THEY hallowed it at the National Press Club of the Philippines in 1988.
Now adhered to by many media organizations (including journalism schools), the Journalist’s Code of Ethics is fruit of the NPC’s decades-long pining for a written set of standards in Philippine journalism.
According to NPC founding member Manuel Almario, “[in 1987] many [members of the NPC] were already losing sight of the real purpose of the club, which is to advance the [journalism] profession for the benefit of the people.” In a few month’s time, the NPC’s ethics committee was already drafting the Code.
Almario led the group, which first reviewed codes of ethics of foreign media organizations. With him in the committee were then Dean of the UP Institute of Mass Communication Georgina Encanto, PCIJ‘s Ma. Lourdes Mangahas, veteran journalist and academician Renato Constantino, and lawyer-journalist Atty. Luis Mauricio.
After being subjected to rounds of scrutiny and consultation, the Journalist’s Code of Ethics was finally ratified during the April 30, 1988 annual convention of the NPC. The Philippine Press Institute also approved the Code.
Indeed, the ratification of the Code marked a “great milestone in 20th century Philippine journalism.” Twelve years thence, Filipinos are still in want of constant adherence to it among their media friends.
Zamora, J.D.N. (2008). “Clubbed to Death? A Historical Study of the National Press Club of the Philippines from 1986 to 2007.” Unpublished thesis, University of the Philippines – Diliman.