Sunday, February 05, 2006

Promise of Wealth, Ratings, and Tragedy

I do not really watch shows at ABS-CBN. I have always been a watcher of Eat Bulaga, it is my preferred poison. So I got the news of the Ultra stampeded just after lunch when I checked my email. I finally managed to get my Internet connection last Saturday and despite the delay, I am happy with the service. Across the world and through the Internet the news of the stampede had circled the globe. 70, 78, 88 people had died from a stampede just before the anniversary celebration of the popular game show Wowowee. The game show became popular because of the amount and number of prizes it gives away. A strategy similarly practiced by its competitors. Although, Wowowee seem to do this on the level of excessiveness. And the reason for this act? The desire to do good? Maybe only secondary. Most likely, it is the R word, the ratings game. Despite this it would the seem the bond between contestants and game shows was mutually beneficial … at least if you are the winner or a wannabee winner. Nobody knows how the stampede started, was it because someone shouted there was a bomb? Alternatively, because the crowd went wild when it was told the stadium was filled and no one could enter anymore? Only time will tell. Then who is the one most responsible for this disaster? Who is to blame? Over lunch today someone said that the tragedy happened because we Filipinos were undisciplined. This remarked sort of elicited a rebuke from me. Disasters or fatalities from stampede occur all over the world and through out the centuries. One of the factors that led to the victory of the English at Agincourt was the French forces were forced to attack from a wide field into a narrow muddy plain. A large amount of those dead were because they were trampled upon; crushed by the feet of their allies wishing to achieve victory. Several stampedes in football and rock concerts have resulted in fatalities. I do not think the crowd was undisciplined, rather the event was ill-planned and ill-implemented. You do not just build the momentum of a mass of people in three days and expect the surplus crowd to dispense orderly. To ABS-CBN’s credit, they seem to be handling things well. The victims of the tragedy seem to be well-taken cared of. Only a few critical flaws in their efforts are worth noting: 1) There seems to be overkill in diverting the blame from their station. Despite their efforts to help the victims, it does not excuse them from their culpability in the situation. 2) Also the use of its stars to project an aura of concern and the playing of music seems to be a bit trite. And in the long run fake. 3) The re-branding of the show as a sort of self-less act of charity. It is a game show. No matter how much some of their people insist, that it has done charity works it is and will remain a charity pandering on hope and the quick buck to improve the ratings. I wonder though if this focus on ratings was a significant in the mismanagement of the event. Additional Post Rome and the movies


Blogger abgr said...

A rebuke for the horrifying comment that the tragedy was caused by the Filipinos' lack of discipline isn't enough. Death by a stampeding herd of wildebeests is more appropriate--a more efficient way of illustrating to your friend what mindless un-discilpine is!

2/07/2006 12:59:00 AM  
Blogger vonjobi said...

preferred poison? nice term.

i guess that's why i read books more than i watch tv =)

no comment na lang ako sa ratings. kukulo lang ang dugo ko...

2/07/2006 02:25:00 AM  
Blogger juned said...

abgr, true true,

Vonjobi, I know I read the exchange of posts at the PCIJ blog :)

2/07/2006 06:08:00 AM  
Blogger Sidney said...

What about the responsability of the local authorities? What about the Mayor? The police chief?

2/07/2006 02:05:00 PM  
Blogger juned said...

Of course they too have to account for what happened and their role in it. Did they approve of the event without checking the site and allowing for contingencies? I think the full measure of the law should be enforced to all the agencies concerned and the organisation responsible for the event. This was a planned event and measures should have been taken into consideration.

2/07/2006 02:45:00 PM  
Blogger juned said...

Oops..I mis-spelled your name. So sorry. :)

2/07/2006 02:48:00 PM  

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