Christmas wishes

  1. That all journalists would truly commit themselves to a rigorous search for truth.
  2. That all journalists would examine their conscience and ask, “Am I really after what is good for every person?”
  3. That all journalists would truly follow the Journalist’s Code of Ethics.
  4. That all media consumers would truly become media literate, knowing what is good and what is bad in the things media present, as well as in the ways they are presented.
  5. That all media consumers of all socioeconomic classes would truly hunger for the truth and fight for it. If journalists commit errors or omit necessary information (maliciously or otherwise), media consumers should protest through feedback or publication or — heavens forbid! — boycott.

May the peace and love of the Baby Jesus reign in you and your family! Merry Christmas! 🙂

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When journalists don’t know what they’re writing about

RECENTLY, in a forum at the university where I work, Parañaque Rep. Roilo Golez revealed something about journalists reporting on the reproductive health (RH) bill debate.

“[Some reporters] haven’t read the bill,” he said.

He recalled his disappointment in finding out that only some of the reporters interviewing him have actually read the entire HB 96, touted as the foremost RH bill today.

After Golez’s lecture, the lone journalist who attended the event interviewed the congressman privately in a nearby room. The young reporter was supposedly writing an in-depth story of the issue. And being part of the event’s facilitators, this writer overheard the lawmaker ask the other gentleman: “Have you read the bill?”

Three-second silence.

“I’m still reading it, sir” was the  reply.

“So you haven’t read it.”

But the statesman was gracious enough to let go of the awkward situation and gestured to start the interview.

Now that kept me thinking. If the reporters on whom we rely for truthful information haven’t read the most basic material of the issue they are writing about, what credibility can they hope to have?

But then, readers often don’t get to know about such journalistic mediocrity.

The more apt question, therefore, is: what hope can we have in having responsible journalists?

Perhaps it begins with us, protesting.

‘The disgusting ANC Vizconde case feeding frenzy’

People for Media’s human dignity-based principles do not always agree with William M. Esposo‘s opinions. His twisting (and spreading of the twisted interpretation) of the Pope’s remarks on condoms was boorish.

But his comment regarding ANC’s coverage (which he calls a “feeding frenzy”) of Hubert Webb’s release last Tuesday is something we agree with. It gives us another glimpse of how unprofessional and manipulative some journalists can be. Are they grandstanding? Protecting colleagues and bosses? We don’t know for now.

Here’s Mr Esposo’s article:

The disgusting ANC Vizconde case feeding frenzy

Your Chair Wrecker was utterly appalled to watch the ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) go on a feeding frenzy the moment the Supreme Court announced last Tuesday the acquittal of Hubert Webb et al, better known as the convicted Vizconde Massacre prisoners. The ANC feeding frenzy simply exceeded the usual feeding frenzy that we expect media all over the world to engage in.

What is totally unacceptable was the treatment that ANC anchors, especially Twink Macaraig, gave the prisoner release processing live coverage at the Muntinlupa Penitentiary. Macaraig was talking like she had a sure grip of all the legal ramifications of the 7-4 Supreme Court decision and was recklessly speculating about charges for the Vizconde case star witness Jessica Alfaro and others who may have ‘connived’ to convict Hubert Webb et al.

Continue reading at the Philippine STAR website.