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.

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‘How contraceptive methods turn women into liars’

Found this on the Inquirer’s letters section today. A woman reacts to one of the paper’s editorials and frankly shares her feelings about contraception and the RH bill.

The Mother’s Day editorial (“For mothers and their kids,” Inquirer, 5/13/12), using a “CNN hero” to call for the swift passage of the Reproductive Health bill, must have been written under a certain spell. Our Magna Carta for Women, which just needs to be implemented, more than covers all our needs.

As the Philippine Medical Association itself said: Contraception turns women into liars. “I give myself to you entirely,” I tell my husband, “but I don’t give you a key part of me: my fertility!”

I tell you: when my husband was using a condom, I could feel na ginagamit niya lang ako. I’ve told him so; and he has been so good as to change his behavior.

Is the Inquirer really pro-women? Or has the Inquirer just been victimized and fallen under the spell of the materialistic, animalistic, amoral and atheistic brainwashing of the powerful media of the degenerate West?

—YVONNE CHAN-DE LOS REYES

Read the whole article on the Inquirer website »

Journalists, please — not gossipmongers

The consensus on the Net is that the Filipino boxing champion has fallen from grace because of his rant against gay marriage.

Thus wrote Bayani San Diego Jr. in his “news” report on boxing champ Manny Pacquiao’s recent remark opposing same-sex unions. The report appeared on the Inquirer’s May 17 frontpage.

What’s wrong with the report?

It is obviously biased. From paragraph one to the last, it actually rants against Pacquaio, citing or quoting LGBTQ advocates and leaving Pacquiao undefended.

It is not verified. More like an emotional knee-jerk reaction, really.

In a recent interview in the US newspaper National Conservative Examiner, Pacquiao likened gay marriage to “Sodom and Gomorrah” and quoted a biblical passage that said “gays should be put to death.”

San Diego should have tried to verify first whether the second-hand information he got was indeed accurate. It turns out that Pacquaio didn’t really “[liken] gay marriage to ‘Sodom and Gomorrah'”, nor did he “[quote] a biblical passage that said ‘gays should be put to death’.” The disgraced Examiner writer said so. The least that San Diego could have done was insert “alleged” in the right places.

San Diego, as a reporter (particularly in that article), should not use the Inquirer to forward his personal agenda. The Inquirer’s readers deserve true and fair journalists, not gossipmongers.