The Grotesque Image of Journalism: Responsible Journalism as portrayed in ‘Pinocchio’ (Korean TV Series)

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         Integrity and distinction have been in contrast with each other in the minds of Journalists. Being in line with a very consequential profession, Journalists are torn apart in making choices of whether they will be Journalists who simply provides the people what they need and deserve or ones who secure their careers into their own well-being no matter the cost—choices that will decide which kind of a Journalist they are going to be. The Korean Series Pinocchio provided a very graphic representation of the two faces of Journalism, one which is the face of Just Reporting, and the other being the face of Sensationalized News.

In the series, two of the most prominent broadcasting corporations (MSC and YGN) square off against for supremacy over the other. In the first episode, the two corporations are simultaneously screened as reporters Song Cha-ok (MSC) and Hwang Gyo-dong (YGN) argue with their producers to have their story of the factory explosion of which firefighters died in rescue efforts put in the news.

YGN news desk chief wanted no presumptions from the missing captain of the firefighting squad until the facts are calibrated to a 100% and until hearsays are disproven. On the contrasting end, the MSC reporter Song Cha-ok wanted to have the story put in the news, having rid of, distorted and created facts in order to sensationalize the story, even ruling out that it is impact that what gets the ratings up, and not the facts.

The fictional broadcasting companies in the series can be traced of the same observation from the Philippines’ top two competitors in the broadcasting scene. The ABS-CBN and GMA network has been compared and contrasted in many angles and aspects, even recently in social media, the two were weighed in the registry of responsible journalism. Manny Pacquiao being dropped by Nike as one of their endorsers due to his infamous statements with regards to the LGBT community was covered and published by the two networks in their respective online news sites.

Minutes after being published, the articles written by the two networks regarding the People’s Champ being dropped by Nike received social media reprimand, particularly the one written by ABS-CBN due to its sensationalized approach on the issue. The GMA Network having used appropriate sentence construction for news received commendation from the public, thus showing how much the public appreciates responsible Journalism.

‘Pinocchio’, being a fictional syndrome among humans is used as an allegory to portray responsible Journalism in the series. Journalists in the series were portrayed as people who live for the stories, whether approximate or global and shaped in different images of principles and philosophies in the work they do. The juxtaposition of the struggle for responsibility in the news reports Journalists write and broadcast and the sensationalism for distinction will always be a grotesque image of the profession we understand all too well. Neil Jayson N. Servallos


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