In an age where information (both accurate and inaccurate) is available at one’s fingertips, 24 hours a day, many governments have been compelled to help finance major international news outlets. Russia has RT, China has CGTN, France has France-24, the UK has BCC World News etc. In the US, the privately owned CNN generally serves the same purpose in respect of official US positions.
One of the reasons that RT in particular has risen in popularity since its comparatively recent launch in late 2005, is because RT has embraced stories that other international outlets, particularly western ones do not cover, while also allowing itself to have a much needed sense of wit and humour in an age where its western competitors have lost whatever humour they once had. Furthermore, because of the rabid disinformation campaign about Russia in the west, RT has served as an outlet that clarifies what Russians themselves feel about Russia and how Russia views global events.
While The Philippines is a smaller country than Russia, its status as a rapidly growing economy in the most dynamic part of the world means that Filipinos have a lot to say and that anyone interested in global culture, business and the opportunities to engage in both, ought to listen to the things Filipinos have to say. Furthermore, like Russia, ever since President Duterte came to power in order to change his nation as radically as President Putin changed his, The Philippines and Duterte supporters have been the victims of a calculated disinformation campaign in the western mainstream media.
If one were to listen to western mainstream media views on Russia, one would think that its an impoverished backwater run by a combination of brown bears, prostitutes and vodka soaked nuclear arms dealers. In reality, Russia is a country that has embraced pragmatic fiscal conservatism, global commercial multi-polarity and a win-win diplomatic strategy that has allowed Russia to make many new geopolitical friends without losing traditional partnerships and all in the name of interconnected trade, energy and security initiatives.
Likewise, when one listens to western mainstream media views on The Philippines, one might think that the country is run by a gangster whose followers are all running around killing each other because they’re too stupid to understand democracy. In reality, The Philippines is led by a man with a more pragmatic and far reaching understanding of geopolitics than any contemporary Filipino leader. He and his supporters want to live in a safer, healthier and more prosperous country and have endorsed radical reforms in order to make this happen and all within the confines of existing democratic institutions.
This is a message that The Philippines needs to send the world. Compared to other kinds of international outreach, a global web based and/or satellite news and views broadcaster is a cost effective way to get the message across.
Therefore, I propose the creation of TPT – The Philippines Today, or perhaps even PNN (Pinoy News Network). As a growing economy with a large population and prominent expat communities throughout the world, it is important both for the world to understand the Filipino perspective, while it is also important for Filipinos in The Philippines to think ever more globally for the benefit of their own country.
This win-win combination is vital for the success of a country that already has a distinct advantage of a country where English is an official language and where more than a handful of Chinese speakers live. This perfect combination means that a TPT or PNN network could ideally broadcast in English and Mandarin before branching out into other languages as RT has done since its initial English language launch.
There is no reason not to think big. President Duterte’s big ideas from his ‘Build, Build, Build’ initiative to his history making South China Sea policy, to his outreach to new trading partners and his push for security independence, have all shown that when a leader of The Philippines thinks big, great things happen. It’s time for Filipinos to tell the world about their perspective through a modern and innovative medium. There is no time like the present for such an initiative.