Author: Mayette Tabada

Media Self-regulation through Media Literacy: Insights from the Cebu Citizens-Press Council (CCPC)

Abstract How does the press regulate itself? Through document research, key informant interviews, and participant observation, the researcher studied how the Cebu Citizens-Press Council (CCPC) promotes media self-regulation (MSR) among…

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Abstract

How does the press regulate itself? Through document research, key informant interviews, and participant observation, the researcher studied how the Cebu Citizens-Press Council (CCPC) promotes media self-regulation (MSR) among the Cebu press and media literacy (ML) among citizens and netizens in Cebu, a metropolis in southern Philippines. Led by civil society leaders, the editors-in-chief of Cebu newspapers, and other media leaders, the CCPC conducts MSR through the reactive mechanism of adjudicating complaints about accuracy and fairness or right of reply raised against Cebu’s five local newspapers. Its proactive mechanism involves the promotion of MSR among local journalists and the initiation of ML for citizens and netizens. MSR thrives in a setting that involves four stakeholders: newspapers, media advocacy groups, citizens, and netizens, and it can be enhanced and sustained through ML, which ensures greater participation of citizens and netizens as media watchdogs and defenders of freedom of expression.

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Of readership and citizenship: A library’s tale

When I heard about the Cebu Citizens-Press Council’s (CCPC) call for book donations for its Cebu Journalism and Journalists (CJJ) Book project, I thought how history has a way of…

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When I heard about the Cebu Citizens-Press Council’s (CCPC) call for book donations for its Cebu Journalism and Journalists (CJJ) Book project, I thought how history has a way of coming full circle.

During the 45th quarterly meeting of the CCPC on Dec. 1, 2016, the country’s longest active citizens-press council entered into a memorandum of agreement with the Cebu City Public Library (CCPL) to gather journalism books and related materials for a nook at the library, located at the ground floor of the Rizal Memorial Library and Museum.

Book shelves were donated to the CCPL, including 230 books on journalism coming from SunStar Cebu and its public and standards editor Pachico A. Seares, who is also the CCPC executive director. Continue Reading

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Freedom of information: Capitol, Cebu City and Mandaue City regulate access

(The Cebu Citizens-Press Council’s project to find out the transparency stance and mechanisms of the potential heads of selected local government units in Cebu started before the May 2016 elections….

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(The Cebu Citizens-Press Council’s project to find out the transparency stance and mechanisms of the potential heads of selected local government units in Cebu started before the May 2016 elections. Questions formulated by University of the Philippines Cebu assistant professor Mayette Tabada and University of San Jose-Recoletos Department of Journalism and Communications chairman Nestor Ramirez, both CCPC members, were sent to mayoral and gubernatorial candidates. When some candidates did not reply before the elections, the project was revised after the elections to accommodate the answers only of the winning candidates.)

CAPITOL, Cebu City and Mandaue City regulate access to information even after President Rodrigo Duterte signed last July 23 an Executive Order (EO) requiring all offices under the executive branch to grant full disclosure to the public. However, there is a proposal filed to grant the public access to information in Cebu City.

To survey local government practices in granting the public and the media access to information, the Cebu Citizens-Press Council started this initiative during the recent campaign period and continued after the newly elected officials assumed office last June 30. Continue Reading

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Covering the 2016 IEC: What stood out

THE rise of explanatory journalism is said to reflect the revolution of expectations intensifying the public’s view of the role news media should play in modern democracy. Media scholars point…

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THE rise of explanatory journalism is said to reflect the revolution of expectations intensifying the public’s view of the role news media should play in modern democracy.

Media scholars point out that the entry of digital media also adds to the pressure for journalists to go beyond the straight news and breaking stories that once spurred news deadlines.

Other pundits observe that information and explanation had always defined news as exposition. However, many journalists conveniently choose to daily chase names and events, preferring to ignore, treat cursorily or relegate reporting with enterprise and depth as “specialized” and thus not done for regular deadlines. Continue Reading

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Press behind bars: Journalists remember martial law

To generations used to the marketplace exchange of information in this digital age, martial law represents the country’s excursion into the alien and bizarre. Information was not for everyone. Truth…

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Juan L. Mercado

To generations used to the marketplace exchange of information in this digital age, martial law represents the country’s excursion into the alien and bizarre.

Information was not for everyone. Truth could be subverted for a higher good, like security or survival. Journalists, who did not sieve information with the sensitivity of the state, had to be muzzled before they could do more harm.
Information, lives—like scraps of paper, these were lost in the bureaucracy created to hold up one man’s rule.

Juan L. Mercado and Dr. Resil B. Mojares were among those who were “neutralized” or “invited”—euphemisms for the directive to military intelligence agents to take into custody political and non-political leaders after President Ferdinand E. Marcos signed Proclamation 1081 on Sept. 21, 1972, which placed the country under martial law (ML). Continue Reading

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Women in the newsroom: From ‘news hen’ to boss

In the 1980s, first year Mass Communication students at the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu had the impression that being a woman and a journalist at the same time…

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The Freeman newsroom

In the 1980s, first year Mass Communication students at the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu had the impression that being a woman and a journalist at the same time meant covering the “soft” beats of lifestyle and society.

This perception stemmed mainly from being taught print journalism and broadcasting basics by “news hens,” a term denoting veteran female writers and reporters that was still widely used in newspaper articles and class readings.

However, for the students, the tag was a pejorative. It underlined the contrast between the journalistic equivalent of scratching the surface of social realities and the “real” challenge of journalism that the “news hounds,” with their “nose for news,” carried out: cover government and expose wrongdoing. The term “news hound” was exclusively used for male journalists.

Careers would have been misaligned if the students were not assigned to research on “women trailblazers” in pre- and post-war journalism in Cebu. There were only a few women with “a nose for news” then, and all of them had to blaze a trail of their own in the absence of any formal education (also true for the males) and predecessors. Continue Reading

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The Elliptical man

This article originally appeared in a UP College of Communication magazine devoted to the awardee and circulated during the awards ceremony. In the beginning was the printed word. Growing up…

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This article originally appeared in a UP College of Communication magazine devoted to the awardee and circulated during the awards ceremony.

In the beginning was the printed word.

Growing up in Sibonga, some 50 kilometers south of Cebu City, Pachico A. Seares recalls being a wide reader. This preoccupation was not unusual in itself as the town was as sleepy as any in the 1950s, and the young man nicknamed Cheking was not only the son of Ramon Seares Sr. and Purificacion Alicaya, public school teachers, but also distinguished by a total lack of athletic prowess.

But as with all first loves, the passion for reading, which was to spawn Cheking’s enduring affair with writing, flourished at great cost. To reach the town’s two bookshelves, the diffident, gangly teenager had to enter the town hall, walk up flights of stairs and go down corridors, and run the gauntlet of officials and petitioners hanging around public offices. Continue Reading

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