Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” If you start it right, you end it right. However, it seems like it is not the case for a new local newspaper in Catanduanes.
On its maiden issue, Catanduanes Today included an article regarding the discovered clandestine laboratory in Barangay Palta Small, Virac, Catanduanes. Some people may simply be unable to see it, but an unforgivable mistake has occurred on one of its articles.
On page 7 of the said issue, a photo with the caption “Palta shabu laboratory” is found. As you look into it closely, it seems like the said laboratory on the page is not the one discovered in Palta Small. Through the help of the internet, Catanduanes Politics was able to reveal that the photo used is actually the picture of the discovered shabu laboratory in Arayat, Pampanga.
This mistake, whether intentional or not, is a definite violation of the Journalist’s Code of Ethics. Using a wrong photo to represent the clandestine lab is distorting the truth by improper emphasis. We don’t know if it is just pure mistake that they used the photo in the newspaper, or just their lack of effort in finding real pictures of the Palta shabu lab.
Also, when using other people’s photos, they should give credit to its owner or to the source. In this case, the picture of the Arayat shabu lab used in Catanduanes Today is exactly the same with the contributed photo on an Inquirer.net article.
The usage of the said photo is wrong in multiple angles. Using a photo without giving credits to the owner or to the source is already a huge mistake, what more if you use a wrong photo on a wrong article?
Catanduanes Today and the people behind it cannot easily deny the error they did on their first issue. It is not simply a typographical error, because the usage of the photo of the Arayat shabu laboratory and naming it as the one in Palta Small is a major blunder, especially on print media. This seems to be a lapse on the performance of the staff as well as the editor-in-chief.
However, if we look into a different angle, this mistake can probably be intentional. Because of the photo, the whole existence of the shabu laboratory in Palta Small will be even more sensationalized than it already is. The picture can leave a different thought and impression to those readers who have not seen how the clandestine laboratory really looks like. Who knows, this might be another scheme to pinpoint another individual in order to demoralize or ruin their name. Must be early preparation for the 2019 electoral race.
Who is possibly behind this? Your guess is as good as mine.