Did they or did they not?

It’s probably not the journalists’ fault if their respective sources gave contradicting statements.

This is when the battle of credibility comes to the fore.

Who should win?


The Inquirer’s new Readers’ Advocate

It’s a shame I wasn’t able to congratulate the Inquirer soon enough for their new Readers’ Advocate, Dr. Elena Pernia, former dean of the UP College of Mass Communication.

The Inquirer reported this in their June 10 issue, mentioning how they lacked such an ‘official’ in the past four years.

A Readers’ Advocate — or “news ombudsman” — polices a particular paper to ensure that “fair, accurate, and balance[d] news” is served to the reader.

According to the Inquirer, “Pernia is tasked to review and respond to readers’ views and complaints about the Inquirer’s content as well as call the attention of editors to violations of the Journalists Code of Ethics and failure to observe the Canons of Taste for Journalists.” (So now I’m thinking of requesting the Inquirer to publish these “Canons” for the benefit of their readers.)

Dr. Pernia is a respected communication scholar known for her feisty, go-go-go attitude. When I graduated from the College, I knew her as the “Queen” of Sangkamaskoman.

With Her Majesty as the paper’s in-house critic, I’ve never been more optimistic about the Inquirer than now.

Then let’s look at the countryside

The feat of Inquirer photographer Edgardo Espiritu, winning in the 2010 Bright Leaf Agriculture Journalism Awards, is a welcome news to anyone who wants to develop our countryside.

As a leading newspaper in the Philippines, the Inquirer should do well in publishing more of Espiritu’s photos which feature the country’s naturally rich yet underdeveloped agricultural areas. What many people do not know is that the Philippines has a lot of potential for progress through agriculture. The problem is that our agricultural sector doesn’t have sufficient infrastructure to support itself — basic things like farm-to-market roads, agricultural training centers, and efficient fertilizers and farming machines.

Through Espiritu’s photos (appropriately captioned, of course), the Inquirer will be helping Filipinos learn about the more important and urgent needs of the country — for example, the basic project of agricultural development.