The Drug War from the Perspective of Those Covering It
CHEERS TO the Philippine Daily Inquirer for its three pieces on the administration’s drug war. Written from the perspective of the media people covering it, the folio of articles also provided a breakdown of data gathered about the deaths that campaign has so far amassed.
On Oct. 15, the Inquirer ran “Graveyard shift alive – and international” in its Metro section. In this piece, writer Aie Balagtas See turns the spotlight on those reporting, drawing out their reactions and their feelings. While the ongoing drug war and its daily casualties have become a staple of news, those assigned to the graveyard shift still feel the alarm and shock. She writes: “Even for veteran foreign journalists, the growing scale and seeming regularity of the killings can still give them pause.”
The photographer and his camera provide pictures and text, supplying that combined journalistic perspective in the second article “Dead Serious.” Photographer Raffy Lerma narrates “you shoot, as is expected of you, but every click of the shutter chips away at your humanity.” Lerma, who took the photo of Jennilyn Olayres cradling the lifeless body of her partner which the Inquirer published on its front page on July 24, recalled how the drug war has been “most brutal on the most disadvantaged and vulnerable sector of society.”
“Story in numbers war on drugs” explores what the statistics on the death toll indicate. Sara Isabelle Pacia documents not only the number of drug-related killings, but identifies the most dangerous places and times in the country for suspected drug users and pushers, breaking down victims by gender and naming the cities and their distribution in the National Capital Region and in some provinces across the country.
Informative and uniformly well written, the articles explore other angles in the drug war, breaking out from the formula of daily log reporting to provoke a deeper discussion of this most provocative issue.