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Monday, August 27, 2007

Editors' Failure

Malu Fernandez should have been a non-issue had the editors of Manila Standard and People Asia done their job. I have worked for a well-known lifestyle magazine more than a decade ago. Every issue was in fact read and reread by the owner himself. He scrutinized and edited all the articles before the magazine went out to the printer. A meticulous but sensitive person, he made sure that all articles are within the bounds of his personal ethical standards.

I don't know how the editors of these publications managed to overlook highly callous side comments. Were they sleeping on the job or do they in fact share the insensitivity of the writer? Regardless of target markets, still they have to make sure that civility and sensitivity be exercised by their writers. Whether such articles are politically correct or they conform to socially accepted standards, their job is to edit and "sanitize" all articles before they see the light of day.

Obviously, the editors of both Manila Standard and People Asia are to blame for this Malu Fiasco. Since this thing blew up, neither publication has issued any kind of statement regarding this matter. Their indifference only shows and even justifies calls for boycotting them. They should not have waited for this fiasco to reach fever heights. They should have come out to clear their now tarnished names.

Its too late for that now. Organizations of OFWs the world over and concerned sectors are calling for their heads. The owners too should have come out with a statement. People now wonder if indeed Malu issued her apologetic statement. Though she started all these, she may just end up the underdog and the scapegoat.

To boycott these publications could adversely affect their workforce. They should not suffer just because the higher-ups were remiss in their duties. Boycotting however can also force its owners to FIRE their editors. The editors failed miserably at their mandated duties. I am sure that this will not die down just yet. When sectors of society band together for a common goal, its hard to stop.

It was not just Malu Fernandez who should suffer from this fiasco. Its the editors' failure which led to this. The ball is now in the owners' court. If they fail to act on this quickly, closing down could be their only option.

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