A reflection about the role of media in the nowadays society.
Recently, we’ve been hearing and seeing how the media has announced the existence of a “son” not recognized by my father, who is called Phillip Witcomb. The truth is that this would be the third time, published in the same media companies, that someone claims being “the first son of Pablo Escobar”. Now, according to the statements that he had made, makes clear for me that Mr. Witcomb and all his supporters, are clearly hanging on a non-sense story and crazy theory.
According to Mr. Philip Witcomb, which seems to be telling sort of a “James Bond movie”, affirms that the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), around the year 1965, was trying to infiltrate his adoptive father to the Medellin Cartel.
For my surprise no one questioned the authenticity or even the existence of those “facts”. From what Mr. Witcomb said, they detected 15/20 years earlier the “potential” of my father to become a criminal, he was barely 16 years old at that time, with no illegal background and for sure, with no idea of who would he become, so I question myself ¿how on earth did the MI6 knew with such anticipation that Pablo Escobar would become one of the most wanted criminals around the globe?
Sounds like a fiction to me, the story of Mr. Witcomb, make no sense in every way, it’s almost a joke.
In 1965, Pablo Escobar Gaviria was a teenager, as I said, harmless yet, by that time he had no budget, no technology and definitely he didn’t had at his 16 years old a master mind to do what Mr. Witcomb said in his version of the facts, which are being heard and repeated by the media.
From my point of view its undeniable the several contradictions I found in this “story”, seems to me like another opportunist who’s looking for some attention, even some money, or fame by telling stories that never happened, based on lies and clearly lots of misinformation, and no less important, how is possible that the media hasn’t expressed doubts concerning the veracity of the story? Only a few journalists are starting to dig deeper.
I understand the media has to inform, disseminate, spread the news, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have the obligation of verifying the sources and certainly that doesn’t give them the right of slander just because they’ll make some money out of it. Spreading news implies a big responsibility, you never know how far-reaching they will be and how many people will be involved or affected in some way. The media should be more careful and respectful with those involved in the “news” and so with the audience who’s reading, watching or hearing from them, and definitely trusting that if the media is telling something it’s because they had verify the information, which, as I can say, it’s not always true. I have no idea if the media is aware that spreading #fakenews it’s another way of violence.
Philip Witcomb’s story, I repeat, is a non-sense story. Yet so, I’m grateful that this situation made me wonder about a bigger problem which is behind this “scandal”. There are just a few persons inside the media, who actually are interested in informing, and spreading the “news” only after they had verified the authenticity, only when it’s certainly true, and it’s a shame how few are they. However, it’s not my work to dispel or contradict all the rumors, scandals and fake news that are all around the media.
I know the role that media plays it’s an important one, keeping people informed and aware of the matters all around the world. People should have the confidence and the right that whatever they hear that comes from the media it’s at least something well informed. And sadly, that’s not how it works. This, from my point of view, it’s a huge problem that concerns all of us, as humans, as citizens, a problem which can affect a lot of lives, which can change “artificially” the perception of reality by having access to this #fakenews
Of course I know how important is the media nowadays and I admire those who make their work in a committed, informed and serious way, but in the other hand I’m fully concerned about the “reputable and reliable media”, those who turned to have no ethics or moral when it comes to spread fake news, it’s a shame knowing they didn’t care about the veracity or anything else but making some money, completely forgetting what the job was about, which is “to keep people well informed with the truth”.
When the professionalism got lost? and the values? Where is the self-respect as a journalist? And the respect for a whole family history and country? What’s the message media is giving to the younger generations of journalists?
My home country has been trying for 3 decades to get rid of those sad and disgraceful memories, while the media keeps reviving and profiting for the last 27 years, in this mysterious way, something between glorifying and condemning all at the same time the name of my father, Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria.
I’ve made this introspection knowing that a lot of the media has prioritized the result in terms of money before than the truth, which leads me to ask myself, what’s going on with us as a society? Are we quitting to our right to be treated as one?
I as a citizen, I feel hopeless when I face this kind of news, when I know all the media cares about is just sell some drama, and not the truth, not real facts; without caring about literarily anything else.
It’s hard for me to believe that the media doesn’t realize how violent, manipulative, disrespectful and irresponsible they are behaving by publishing this kind of news, losing all their veracity, at least for me.
I’m not saying we should erase the past, or that we shouldn’t talk about my father, but we should do it in the only way that should be done, with the invitation and the clear message of NOT repeating the same story, and respecting of course even those who wants to forget it. I’m just against this irresponsible way of doing it, publishing, diffusing news, fake news, that are truly harmful to the life of every citizen, every family, and every country’s stories. By doing it, most of them are affecting negatively what stills remains about our honor, and our right to preserve it.
Once again, I express my admiration and gratitude for those who are always looking for the veracity in their job as journalists, and I invite all of you to the pursuit of facts and truth, it’s a huge responsibility to keep a society well informed. Let’s stop spreading fake news, society needs and deserves that. I’m not only asking to rectify the #fakenews, but I’m also inviting you to raise our own standards, lives and human values. Because every society needs to be fully committed into that. And you are not giving us a good example.
A well-informed world, it’s a peaceful world.
Juan Sebastián Marroquín Santos, Architect, Writer.