Near the end of World War 2, the U.S. Army dumped tens of thousands of General Purpose vehicles (1st photo) into the Philippines as General Douglas McArthur fulfilled his promise of returning to the archipelago to drive away the Japanese Imperial Army. Many of these “jeeps” ended up in the hands of enterprising Filipino businessmen who turned them into the public-transport “jeepneys” (2nd photo) that are so popular today.
Earlier, the Americans, after the Philippine-American War (1899-1902), had also introduced the concept of free media in the society, which Filipinos have since practiced as one of the pillars of democracy. Today, there are more than 30 national broadsheets and over 50 tabloids, plus close to 80 regional newspapers, circulating across the country.
Now more than ever, as the global coronavirus pandemic continues, people across the globe are using online media to tell their stories from where they are. New Media has made it possible for anyone with a smartphone or any other smart electronic device to take pictures and video, and with an internet connection show those images to the world. The images and video, plus some explanatory text, are sometimes enough to tell some of the story, but it is ideal that everything about the story is told. That is what Independent Media Exchange will encourage people to do.
This website and the people who compose Independent Media Exchange, or IMX, intend to provide useful advice for everyone and anyone who has that desire to communicate what’s happening where he or she is, in order to inform others and the world. The tools available on this site are meant to assist the ordinary citizen journalist and the artist, and to enable him or her to present the story in the most appropriate way so that it conveys truth and just honest facts. Because that’s what information should be, if it is to help build a strong democratic society.
Eventually, this site will become a presentation platform –- a channel, if you will -– for all possible forms of information media that the citizen journalist is able to come up with. Writers, photographers, video producers, broadcasters, documentary makers, and even artists of all media will surely make a difference if they have that freedom to share their work for the interest of truth and the free exchange of ideas. They are all welcome to be part of Independent Media Exchange.
Why is truth and free exchange important?
Based on what they know or see as facts and the truth, people are able to form their opinions about events that happen or statements that are made around them. Those opinions help shape the kind of decisions that they eventually make, and those decisions — whether to act and how to act, or to stay put and do nothing — will impact themselves, their families and friends, and their communities in general. Good decisions usually come from a fair amount of knowledge, and bad decisions from a lack of it.
It is therefore critical that the facts and truth that people receive are as complete as possible so they can make the right decisions for themselves and their community. That’s why journalists, even the most amateur of them, should be conscious of the responsibility that comes along with the ability to share the information they have obtained. The way the journalist handles the information and shares it will determine whether he is helping the community deal with the complex issues they face everyday, or is making matters worse for society.
Here at Independent Media Exchange, during these trying times, we strive to be responsible members of society –- a society that allows freedom of expression while demanding responsibility among its members. We all are members of not only a specific community where we live and work but also of a greater world society. Each one of us should endeavor to keep that society strong, democratic, humane and respectful to the rights of its every member.