Reporting news is like the ‘Three sides of a coin’
Looking around and wondering a fellow journalist based with a major international news organization based in Asia sent me the tags for the two stories listed below: He wasn’t questioning the Government sources – but the news organizations.
I had to say you have to believe them both – i worked for many years with one and know a lot of people at the other. Both got the story right. But to untrained and unschooled in the Philippine theater of terror’s war the reports look like they are saying different things.
 …Gonzales warns of more bombings
National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales warned of more violence by groups out to destabilize the Arroyo administration, ANC reported Saturday.
abs-cbnNEWS.com (6/17/2006 6:04:07 PM)
No immediate threat of terror attacks – defense official
First posted 02:19pm (Mla time) June 17, 2006
By Joel Guinto INQ7.net – THE Philippines is under no immediate threat from terrorist attacks, notwithstanding the latest travel advisory from the United States’ State Department to its citizens here, defense and military officials said Saturday. … 
But in reality- NO… The Military is right in saying the US warning is nothing new just a warning to its nationals – the USEC in charge for the counter terrorism cluster in the palace is correct in saying the situation from his viewpoint on the groups mentioned in the US warden notice of possible terror threats is perhaps dated.
On the other hand the national security adviser has described another group not those mentioned in the Warden notice. But a new emerging threat from a shadowy group called ‘TABAK’ – not the groups mentioned above. If its confusing it is because perhaps that terror groups or rebel factions and other organizations are really rarely monolithic here as in many places.
So yes there are threats and plots and yes there has been little heard from other groups of late in particular after arrests made in the south recently. Also one must remember there are many schools of thought at play here- both civilian leaders and law enforcement and the military often play down some threats for reasons only known to them – often called tactical maneuvers to lull an an opponent of Government into to thinking no one is looking while in fact all efforts continue to try and draw them out so they can be brought to justice.
So to answer my fellow journo covering from afar- yes both reports are right – and both media organizations got it correct. Like in all things read the fine print and you’ll see they are actually thinking and talking about too different groups and event threats.
In covering this place – one has to remember what I was taught so long ago that like a coin there are three sides to a story.
Three you ask? a coin only has two? Heads and or Tails!
Wrong look closely take a coin in your hands and check – it has three look at heads, then tails. then look at the middle. because as thin as it is – that is a side the middle of the coin and the thin side is often where journalists must try to be and looking on to either side and seeing what indeed each is saying.
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