Category: CJJ10

Messenger silenced

It was the eve of the 2013 Cebu Press Freedom Week and The Freeman junior reporter Jessa Agua had just won the Miss Press Freedom title. She and some colleagues…

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It was the eve of the 2013 Cebu Press Freedom Week and The Freeman junior reporter Jessa Agua had just won the Miss Press Freedom title. She and some colleagues in the industry had just pulled out of a restaurant where they were celebrating when news broke that radio anchor and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (Pdea) agent Jesus “Jessie” Tabanao had been gunned down two blocks away from the hotel where Jessa won her crown.

“That was one of the hardest blows as a media practitioner and a friend. What was supposed to be a happy celebration of my victory that night turned into a nightmare. The husband of my close friend was set to join our simple celebratory dinner and fetch his wife. He never came…. My friend was eight months pregnant, and she just lost her husband. I will never understand how painful it was for her,” Agua recalls. 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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NEWSROOM TALES

Is that you? Following the 2004 discovery of the mega shabu laboratory in Mandaue City, Cebu, Sun.Star Cebu chief photographer Alex Badayos was sent to cover a hearing on the…

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Is that you?

Following the 2004 discovery of the mega shabu laboratory in Mandaue City, Cebu, Sun.Star Cebu chief photographer Alex Badayos was sent to cover a hearing on the case when he chanced upon a woman who looked like his friend walking outside the courthouse as he approached the building.

“Hi, classmate! Kumusta? (How are you?),” Badayos warmly greeted the woman with an arm around the woman’s shoulder.

Surprised, the woman quickly moved away and without a word, walked up the courthouse steps. Continue Reading

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Broadcasters: Journalists or propagandists?

There’s this opening scene in a movie where a young farmer chops wood while listening to a radio commentary exposing the town mayor’s abuses, swinging his axe harder and harder…

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There’s this opening scene in a movie where a young farmer chops wood while listening to a radio commentary exposing the town mayor’s abuses, swinging his axe harder and harder as the commentary gets sharper and more intense. “Putang ina!” he says as the program breaks for a commercial.

Whether our lead character was cursing the politician for his abuses or the commercial for interrupting the program, it isn’t clear. But cut to the end part: the young farmer has transformed himself into a hero, chopping off heads of abusive politicians with the same ax he used in the opening scene.

Whether our lead character was cursing the politician for his abuses or the commercial for interrupting the program, it isn’t clear. But cut to the end part: the young farmer has transformed himself into a hero, chopping off heads of abusive politicians with the same ax he used in the opening scene.  This might be too extreme a reaction to wish for from a radio listener in real life, but what radio commentator wouldn’t feel proud of himself, even if in secret, for having elicited such murderous response from his audience? What journalist doesn’t wish to inspire an entire people to rise against evil? Continue Reading

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Legal limits on election coverage, ads

What candidates, journalists cannot do during elections With less than eight months to go before the 2016 Philippine presidential elections, Filipinos will again look to media to provide them with…

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What candidates, journalists cannot do during elections

With less than eight months to go before the 2016 Philippine presidential elections, Filipinos will again look to media to provide them with credible and critical sources of information concerning the candidates, their electoral campaign and political agenda to enable them to freely and intelligently exercise their right of suffrage.

Election propaganda in any and all mediums of communication is allowed for all political parties and candidates, whether local or national, but under some limitations such as those on authorized election expenditures, observance of truth in advertising and subject to the supervision and regulation by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

The Comelec is tasked to supervise the use and employment of media—print, radio, television and, more recently, Internet technology—relative to the holding of the elections. Continue Reading

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Moving to mobile

Battle on as traditional media loses ground to new media In 40 minutes, the phone said, leave for Ayala Center Cebu to make it in time for your meeting. It…

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Battle on as traditional media loses ground to new media

In 40 minutes, the phone said, leave for Ayala Center Cebu to make it in time for your meeting. It showed a suggested route to the mall from where I was in Mactan Island. It then presented various information cards of things the system figured I’d be interested in. It told me about the weather in Mactan; thunderstorms were expected that day and the next few days were forecast to be rainy.

I swiped the card right to dismiss it from the screen and to tell the system I had read it. It then reminded me of my to-do items for the day.

Lower on the screen was a succession of information cards containing news stories the system thought I’d want to read. One was about the upcoming State of the Province Address by Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III. Another was about the latest development on the ambush and killing of lawyer Amelie Ocañada-Alegre. I tapped the info card and the full article was loaded. After a quick scan, I exited the page and returned to the listing of stories. By opening the card and reading the article, the system would register my interest in the story and would likely alert me of future developments on the case. Continue Reading

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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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Snapshots of days past

“Take care of all your memories… for you can’t relive them.” —Bob Dylan, “Open the Door, Homer,” from “The Basement Tapes” [1975] Orlando C. Sanchez and Johnny Bitang Sr. were…

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Orlando C. Sanchez and Johnny Bitang Sr.

“Take care of all your memories… for you can’t relive them.”
—Bob Dylan, “Open the Door, Homer,” from “The Basement Tapes” [1975]

Orlando C. Sanchez and Johnny Bitang Sr. were my colleagues in The Freeman and Sun.Star. As their editor, I had worked closely with them, when the going was tough and journalism was both arduous and fun and better things were still to come. Mitch Albom wrote in “For One More Day” [2006] that “sharing tales of those we’ve lost is how we keep from really losing them.” Even better, tell the stories, share those memories before the mind closes its doors. Continue Reading

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Cebu journalists shine

In 2010, Cebu Journalism and Journalists (CJJ) 5 began an initial listing of Cebu journalists who, excelling in their craft, had gained national recognition. Seven were in the list—Leo Lastimosa,…

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In 2010, Cebu Journalism and Journalists (CJJ) 5 began an initial listing of Cebu journalists who, excelling in their craft, had gained national recognition. Seven were in the list—Leo Lastimosa, Eileen Mangubat, Juan Mercado, Bobby Nalzaro, Godofredo Roperos, Pachico Seares and the late Cerge Remonde.

To inspire future media practitioners to follow in their footsteps, the Cebu Citizens-Press Council put up the achievements of the seven on a wall board at the media gallery of the Cebu press, also called CJJ, at the Museo Sugbo.

This year, the wall board at the CJJ Gallery was updated to include the names of five more Cebu journalists who had left their mark on the national consciousness. Continue Reading

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