The President Should Know The Workings of The Press

This statement was signed last November 16 by 14 faculty members of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication (UP CMC) led by Dean Nicanor G. Tiongson. For verification, please call Prof. Danilo A. Arao (Chair, Department of Journalism) at 920-6852 or (0917) 833-ARAO.

We, the undersigned faculty members of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication (UP CMC), are disturbed by the statement made by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo last November 10 at the 31st Top Level Management Conference of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) in Baguio City. As quoted by the media in the days that followed, she said that the media must cast aside their “bad boy” image by focusing on what the public wants – winners. According to her, “the economy is the only winner here today amidst these losers who carry no public mandate.”

The President should be reminded that the mass media cannot be harbingers of only good news or bad news. They report events based on the time-tested elements of news. On the other hand, the gatekeepers of information decide which should be printed, aired or uploaded based not only on what the public wants, but what the public needs. The media serve as watchdogs of the government and are therefore duty-bound to report all important events, regardless of how the concerned government institutions and officials are portrayed.

President Macapagal-Arroyo should know how media organizations function. Being aware of the workings of the press is a crucial step to knowing the role of an independent mass media in national development.

There are journalists who have lived up to the highest standards of journalism, and some of them mattered enough to be harassed, intimidated and even murdered. Instead of being concerned about media’s alleged loss of credibility, the President should focus on bringing the perpetrators of violence against media to justice.

If the President wants to help mass media, she should address the fundamental issue of justice for murdered journalists. No one has been convicted for the 70 murders of journalists that have occurred since 1986.

While it is imperative for the President to leave the media alone in terms of what they should report, it is incumbent upon this administration to ensure that journalists can work in an atmosphere where they can properly exercise their function without being harassed or threatened with violence.

3 Replies to “The President Should Know The Workings of The Press”

  1. As long as the media presents facts, with causal and effectual realities in mind this is a good concept. To report a fact, just because it is may be harmful to any number of people and the national government. A prime example is the reckless reporting of troop movements during an armed conflict resulting in providing the “enemy” with aid in locating and defeating national defenders.
    As to violence against journalist, it is acknowledged that violence is only very rarely a solution to any issue. Murder, for whatever cause should not be tolerated in a healthy society. If government fails on these fundamental issues, there is a very serious flaw in existing government and change is inevitable.

  2. The president is only airing the opinion of many Filipinos in regard to the tendency of the media to highlight and sensationalize negative news at the expense of truthfulness or accuracy of said news, and of the public morale. Nowadays especially, leading networks have obviously been very biased in reporting issues about PGMA. News should not be one-sided reports but must give balanced coverage to opposing sides of an issue. In the same way, it must not constantly highlight only bad things about our country, which only gives us a feeling of hopelessness and discourages efforts to contribute to economic progress.

  3. les figuretes son una una moadna i cada any per santa llucia m’ en compren una esl meus pares.Ara tinc el nen jesus , la verge maria i sant josep.L any que ve, la mula .

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