Sunday, June 15, 2008

Inquirer Vandalizes Review

On Thursday the 12 June the Philippine Daily Enquirer in their Global Nation section linked to my review of BenCab’s latest exhibition “Related Images” which I posted here on the 3rd of June. As is the nature of these things they posted an introduction to the link which they credited with my name. (Very nice to have a credited piece of writing in a mass circulation publication, PERHAPS)

What they did was exercise their “editorial license” and turned a mildly critical, but balanced review into one that spun in an overtly positive manner. They took two and a half of my paragraphs, turned them into three, rearranged their order, changed the odd word and phrase and re-titled the piece. Their labours can be seen here.

One of the Inquirer’s journalists (I use that term advisedly, hack maybe a better pejorative) split my first paragraph into two, OK not a bad move. But taking the last paragraph, which was rhetorical in nature, questioning the exhibition’s success within its own terms and placing it as the third paragraph where it became a positive substantive for the exhibition was journalistic vandalism.

And then to add insult to injury at the start of the following paragraph the “editorially licensed” journalist took a very good noun and turned it into a verb without an object. I mean where does the Inquirer get their journalists from, the grammar remedial class?

In the Inquirer’s version of my review this third paragraph ends on a positive note about BenCab’s photographic abilities whilst the original ends questioning his effectiveness in integrating his drawing with his photography. Ah! In the grand tabloid tradition, don’t let the facts get in the way of the story you want to tell.

In the end the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so dear reader get on down to the Silverlens Gallery and see for yourself. Is it as the Inquirer would have you believe that anything BenCab is good by definition or does the Aussie eye have a point in that “Related Images” is like the curate’s egg, good in parts.

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