Thursday, May 14, 2009

Amplifying 100,000 Voices

I sometimes wonder if the energy I put into writing has any more practical results than interesting words on a screen. I was heartened this past month in relation to the essay “Silencing 100,000 Voices” I posted last month and which was picked up by a local online news outlet called Mindanews. Two weeks ago I met a Muslim non-profit/NGO worker who also participated in the March rallies for peace I wrote about. He was also extremely frustrated that it had been ignored in the national press (which readily picks up stories of violence in the Muslim community.) He told me that he had been personally moved by the essay, and had forwarded it to a number of people in his network. The next day he got a call from a local radio broadcaster who apologized for not covering the peace rallies and promised the lack of coverage would not be repeated. While it’s nice to know that someone likes your literary work, it’s great if it actually promotes positive change in an often discouraging situation! Accuracy in the media is such a crucial component in encouraging the greater Mindanao population (often manipulated by both deliberate and unintentional misinformation) to understand, and eventually transform, the current conflict.

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