When I think of Pia Ranada, our Rappler reporter, this is the second video that pops in my head. It is a video of a man in uniform with his hands up in a gesture that needed no words: you cannot enter. The voice of a young woman is loud and clear, her tone polite but insistent, "Why am I banned?"
But the first video that is indelibly linked to Pia in my mind was taken in Davao. The President-elect then was holding one of his midnight press conferences.
Rodrigo Duterte had been in a combative mood that week, telling reporters that corrupt journalists deserved to die. On the same night when he made that not-so-veiled threat, he had also wolf-whistled at a female reporter from a big network.
Pia, in her no-nonsense tone, went on to remind the former Davao mayor: Wasn’t an ordinance passed during his time that made catcalling a woman in public a form of sexual harassment?
The next words stunned me, the Rappler office and the country: “So you violated your own ordinance?,” Pia asked Duterte.
If I were to describe courage, I'd go to my mobile phone and pull up that video. A girl barely 4 years out of college, standing up to a mayor who is soon to be president, who had gained notoriety for the death squads in his turf.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a thousand pictures.
For many enterprising journalists, video is a game-changer that levels the playing field between big networks and start-ups; between full crews and lone wolves.
Smart phones and their ability to capture photos and videos have revolutionized the way we capture the moment. When Pia got banned from the Presidential Palace, she whipped out her cellphone to document how she was being prevented from doing her job.
Studies show that people remember images long after the headlines have faded from memory. If you’re old enough to remember, one of the earliest indelible memories from a tragedy was the 3-year-old “John John” Kennedy saluting the casket of his father.
Outside Duterte, a recent unforgettable image is the video of a mayor during a flag ceremony slumping to the ground after he was shot. It is a macabre reminder that election season is here.
There are a few heartwarming videos to remember 2018 by – topped by the video of 12 lost boys and their coach trapped in the bowels of a Thai cave.
Rescuers have been searching for them for 9 days. In this particular video, they are finally found, standing on a mound of earth surrounded by water. "How many of you?" asks a voice with a British accent. A boy, dimly lit by a flashlight, answers in English, “Thirteen.”
Hope and survival in a single word.
Sometimes, all you need is video. – Rappler.com