Vantage Point The Sixth Estate and Other Discoveries

“Language,” it is said in absurdist plays, “is often dislocated, full of clichés, puns, repetitions, and non sequiturs.” And we find ourselves overwhelmed by the poisonous words that filter out of the turret, drifting down like some mantra of state functionaries to help us imagine an impossible future.

Teodoro knows the irony too well: with the clinical eye of an academic, he marshals data and historical contexts to pin down the powerholders, sparing no one—much unlike other “pundits” who dribble words for their patrons’ pleasure. He sees through the charade of duplicitous sovereigns.

Teodoro spares no institution that lumbers like a dinosaur: landlords who perpetuate dynasties and form private armies; archbishops who sermonize about critical collaboration and power-sharing; the Supreme Court which lets slip, with indecent glory, its partisan patronage.

—From the “Introduction”

About the Author

Luis V. Teodoro is a retired journalism professor of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication (UP CMC), where he was dean for two terms (1994–2000). He is currently deputy director of the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) and a member of its Board of Trustees.

He has published two books in the United States: Out of This Struggle: The Filipinos in Hawaii, published by the University Press of Hawaii, of which he was editor, and Two Perspectives on Philippine Literature and Society (with E. San Juan Jr. and published by the University of Hawaii Center for Asian and Pacific Studies). His book, In Medias Res, was published by the University of the Philippines Press in 2012.

He was editor of the alternative news agency Philippine News and Features and after the martial law period wrote columns for several broadsheets including BusinessMirror, Manila Standard Today, Today, and The Manila Times. He was also editor and columnist of the National Midweek magazine and wrote a weekly opinion piece for the news website He has been writing a column for the Manila business newspaper BusinessWorld since 2007. He edits the annual CMFR Press Freedom Report, which has been published since 2006 and continues to the present, CMFR’s PJR Reports, and the regional (Southeast Asian) review of journalism practice and issues, Journalism Asia.

He was vice-chair of the Commission on Higher Education’s (CHED) Technical Panel on Communication and the Social Sciences. Prior to that he was chair of CHED’s Technical Committee on Journalism Education. He has written and edited books on the mass media, among them: Mass Media Laws and Regulations in the Philippines (1998), which he cowrote with Rosalinda Kabatay, and Community Communication: An Introduction (1997); and CMFR publications such as Media in Court (1997), Limited Protection: Press Freedom and Philippine Law (2006), The CMFR Ethics Manual: A Values Approach to News Media Ethics (2007), and the Philippine Press Freedom Primer (2007).

Teodoro is also a fictionist. His collection of short stories, The Undiscovered Country, which includes award-winning works, was published by the UP Press in 2006.