Author: Pachico Seares

Seares: Not being a journalist is no excuse for peddling fake news

“Ang ginagawa ko, di po ako journalist…” — Mocha Uson, PCOO assistant secretary who also writes a blog, during Senate hearing on bill seeking to criminalize fake news THERE’S no…

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“Ang ginagawa ko, di po ako journalist…”
— Mocha Uson, PCOO assistant secretary who also writes a blog, during Senate hearing on bill seeking to criminalize fake news

THERE’S no universally accepted definition of a journalist. Standards and definitions vary. Each group or sector engaged in communication or with media has its own concept of what a journalist is. Continue Reading

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‘DEMONIZING’ NEWS MEDIA

More than the usual devices, the new strategy is more insidious and yet more apparent: to erode public trust in any “unfriendly” media and its content by branding them “fake”…

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More than the usual devices, the new strategy is more insidious and yet more apparent: to erode public trust in any “unfriendly” media and its content by branding them “fake”

Public officials and people in other sectors that regularly deal with media have little love lost for journalists and the institution they represent.

Particularly when media does its job of informing the public and shaping public opinion. Expectedly, public figures try to protect their image and interest by pushing their own version of the story.

“Managing” the news has long become an art with publicists using various devices to influence flow of information. Ranging from p.r. techniques to pulling strings of influence. From subtle or outright bribery to dirty tactics such as to sic block-timers and trolls on “hostile” journalists, or in some localities, physically eliminate them. Continue Reading

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In the time of fakery, which media to trust

Attempts to repress media are usually foiled by defense of free speech and free press. Yet how can free speech be justified if media cannot be held accountable for abuse…

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Attempts to repress media are usually foiled by defense of free speech and free press. Yet how can free speech be justified if media cannot be held accountable for abuse or excess?

Mainstream media has long accepted the limits on free speech and free press.

Libel laws provide for both criminal and civil liability. Punishment for contempt curbs disrespect to the courts and legislative bodies lawfully exercising the power of inquiry. Industry and individual in-house rules on ethics restrain offensive behavior that falls short of a crime. Continue Reading

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What does President Duterte really mean?

It’s the job of reporters, editors and opinion makers to understand what the news source says. And that work has been made doubly hard by President Duterte who doesn’t speak…

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It’s the job of reporters, editors and opinion makers to understand what the news source says. And that work has been made doubly hard by President Duterte who doesn’t speak in parables but encrypts his message in on-stage humor, hyperboles and “walk-backs.” Things are improving on each side though. But the challenge continues

THERE were already signs of it during the election campaign: saying one thing, intending another; joking and exaggerating but doing it with a straight face; flip-flopping, one plan or opinion in one forum, a contrary plan or opinion the next. Continue Reading

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Media’s collective voice

Was there ever a Cebu Press Freedom Week (CPFW) celebration without the pooled editorial? The pooled editorial is as essential and basic a feature of the annual observance by Cebu’s…

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Was there ever a Cebu Press Freedom Week (CPFW) celebration without the pooled editorial?

The pooled editorial is as essential and basic a feature of the annual observance by Cebu’s print and broadcast media as the parade. On its first two days: Sunday, the journalists’ street march and Monday, the pooled editorial in newspapers and public-affairs radio on Monday.

What makes it distinct is that it’s the closest to what can be called collective voice of Cebu media. On Press Freedom Week, that voice is routinely raised but at any other time, when solidarity is demanded by any crisis involving free press and free speech, Cebu media can and it will speak out as one, despite industry competition and individual differences of opinion.

Some quick facts about the pooled editorial:

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Hearing on libel case turned messy for Bañoc, other broadcasters

Last April 28, 2000, what would’ve been a simple clarificatory hearing on a libel complaint, filed by Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) against Bombo Radyo before the provincial prosecutor’s office, spawned…

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Last April 28, 2000, what would’ve been a simple clarificatory hearing on a libel complaint, filed by Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) against Bombo Radyo before the provincial prosecutor’s office, spawned an ugly incident involving Iglesia followers and broadcasters.

—Bombo lawyer Marcelo Bacalso alleged he was hit on the shoulder with the palm of INC Carcar minister Rizalino Ocampo while Bacalso was reading before the prosecutor a Supreme Court decision on a libel case filed by INC against a woman who “defamed” a high Iglesia official (the SC cleared the woman). The “assault” disrupted and stopped the hearing. Bacalso named three prosecutors who, he said, witnessed the incident.

—Bombo reporters Gerry Auxilio and Ruphil Bañoc, with station manager German “Jojo” Solante, outside the MBF Palace of Justice at the Capitol were “mobbed” by “over a hundred” INC devotees who accompanied minister Ocampo to the hearing. An irate INC follower, Bañoc alleged, punched his face, cutting him in the lip while they were walking toward the van. Continue Reading

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Elections show right of reply doesn’t have to be legislated

PACHICO A. SEARES. Columnist, founding editor of three dailies, chairman of Cebu Media Legal Aid There are two ways of looking at the legislated right of reply during elections, as…

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PACHICO A. SEARES. Columnist, founding editor of three dailies, chairman of Cebu Media Legal Aid


There are two ways of looking at the legislated right of reply during elections, as provided by the Fair Election Act of 2001:

—It is not necessary since media generally practice it;

—Media practice it because it is compelled by the law and enforced by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

What is clear is that there have been no publicized complaints about its violation since the national and local elections in 2001 when it was first made mandatory. Continue Reading

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Why I see a longer lease on print life

We’ve heard and read about it during the past few years: Newspapers, along with magazines and books, have been sideswiped by high-tech gadgets such as smartphones, smart TVs, tablets and…

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We’ve heard and read about it during the past few years: Newspapers, along with magazines and books, have been sideswiped by high-tech gadgets such as smartphones, smart TVs, tablets and e-books.

And a continuing decline in circulation and advertising revenues tends to confirm the handwriting we have all seen on the industry’s wall: how much future is left for print media?

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WHERE HAVE THEY GONE?

Newsroom jobs, practices phased out or changed with new technology and sharper management techniques Ask a “journ” or masscom graduate what job in a newspaper he can’t apply for. Aside…

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LINOTYPE. First introduced commercially in the USA in 1886, the linotype machine was used by newspapers and general printers to cast lines of type, rather than individual letters, hence its name, “line-o-type.” Sitting in front, the machine operator enters the text on a keyboard. The machine assembles letter molds to make a line. Heated metal is used to cast the assembled line as a single piece, called a “slug,” which awaits placing in a press for printing. After printing, the slugs can be melted again for use in other jobs. The machines and operators above are from Tri-bell Trading, Cebu City.

Newsroom jobs, practices phased out or changed with new technology and sharper management techniques

Ask a “journ” or masscom graduate what job in a newspaper he can’t apply for. Aside from editor-in-chief, a position rarely vacant, there’s no opening for proofreader. The job isn’t there anymore, hasn’t been there for some decades now.

A proofreader compares the text produced by the linotype and set up by the page composer (“cajista”) and reproduced on paper. He compares the proof with the text written by the reporter and edited by the editor and makes corrections on the proof, which then goes back to the linotypist to correct.

That job, time-consuming and messy (proofreader’s hands perpetually show ink smudges), is gone. Reason is plain: no more need to check production work with the editor’s original manuscript as writing, editing and “pagination” are done on computer. A case of technology changing work flow and procedure. Continue Reading

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Is there no freedom of the press against media owners, managers?

In a local paper, a columnist was suspended for more than a month by its owners who, the columnist said, were requested by a politician-relative who was then caught in…

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In a local paper, a columnist was suspended for more than a month by its owners who, the columnist said, were requested by a politician-relative who was then caught in an election campaign turmoil.

In a local radio station, a commentator quit after he was ordered to “cease and desist” in his “one-sided attacks” against a public official.

In a Manila-based paper, the contract of a columnist was not renewed when her columns ran “on politically partisan grooves.”

In those cases, the inside story was not publicized and was only whispered about in coffee shops and bars. In all cases, the will of management prevailed. Continue Reading

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