Category: CJJ13

THE 2019 DILI DIALOGUE FORUM

CCPC attendance at Timor Leste meeting enables it to share, and compare, its experience on press councils with other media groups in the region By Karlon N. Rama AN INTERNATIONAL…

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CCPC attendance at Timor Leste meeting enables it to share, and compare, its experience on press councils with other media groups in the region

Representatives from the press councils of Australia, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Thailand discuss media challenges in their countries. Other media groups were represented as well — the Aliansi Jurnalis Independen of Indonesia, the Southeast Asian Press Alliance based in Bangkok, Thailand (Kathryn Roja Raymundo, 5th from right), the Cambodian Center for Independent Media based in Phnom Penh, (Danny Caspe, 4th from right), the Philippine Press Institute (Ariel Sebellino, 3rd from right), and CCPC. The named participants are Filipinos. [Photo from Conselho de Imprensa de Timor-Leste]

By Karlon N. Rama

AN INTERNATIONAL organization has shown interest in the interlocking support mechanism that lies at the core of the Cebu Citizens-Press Council, with an official saying it offers approaches that may apply to nascent democracies, where a free and vibrant press is crucial. 

Dr. Lim Ming Kouk noted on the sidelines of the three-day Dili Dialogue Forum (DDF), held in the capital of Timor Leste May 9 and 10, that the “right support from the various sectors of the communities media itself serves” will help address internal and external concerns affecting the press in the region. 


Quick look: Timor Leste allows free use of its public space but is planning to regulate media. It will define “who can broadcast and what can be broadcast.” A government representative sits in that country’s press council. The chairman of East Timor Press Council hopes for “self-regulation” and a media literacy program integrated in the education system.


Dr. Lim serves as advisor for communication and information of the Unesco office in Jakarta that partnered with the Conselho de Imprensa de Timor-Leste (Press Council of East Timor) in hosting the DDF. 
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Under-coverage of local governments: public officials’ gripes, media’s explanation

  Mayors, mostly of LGUs outside Metro Cebu, complain that their projects and programs have not been publicized by mainstream media. “They send out reporters and news crew to us…

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Mayors, mostly of LGUs outside Metro Cebu, complain that their projects and programs have not been publicized by mainstream media. “They send out reporters and news crew to us only when the news is sensational or negative.”

IN THE southern town of Argao, Cebu locals and tourists alike may be jailed if caught smoking at a public place. The local government has had a working anti-smoking ordinance since 2016.  

Argao Mayor Stanley Caminero

Argao Mayor Stanley Caminero, however, laments that this “initiative and other well-meaning programs” in his town have not been given enough exposure or coverage by the Cebu media.

“Even Gov. (Hilario) Davide is not exempted sa ‘no smoking’ ordinance. Apan ang akong smoking ordinance wa pud na ma medya,” the mayor, a medical doctor, says.

One time, Caminero recalls, the Argao government had to launch “Dalagang Argawanon” at the Capitol Social Hall in Cebu City to ensure the event would’ve media coverage.

But are local executives as desirous of media coverage when the story in question tends  to depict them in less than positive light?

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Public officials miss media when they trumpet success. They’re glad reporters are not around when scandal breaks.

While some mayors lament  media “under-coverage” of towns and cities in far-flung areas, which afflicts even urban centers in Metro Cebu that are outside Cebu City, public officials and media…

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Toledo City Mayor John Henry Osmeña.

While some mayors lament  media “under-coverage” of towns and cities in far-flung areas, which afflicts even urban centers in Metro Cebu that are outside Cebu City, public officials and media managers  are not without measures to cope with the situation. Technology and the various media platforms provide wider access for government publicists. And news chiefs just have to be more adept at meeting audience  demand with reduced resources.

WHEN Toledo City Mayor John “Sonny” Osmena sometime ago publicly complained  that Cebu media was not covering his city, he was in the midst of trotting off accomplishments since he assumed as mayor.

Sonny ran for city mayor in 2013 and was reelected in 2016. He griped about media “under-coverage” of Toledo as he announced a string of  successes in his governance. “You come to Toledo only when there is a disaster or a big crime,” he whined.

True enough, as also expressed by other mayors interviewed by  CJJ.

But would these mayors want media coverage if the object of interest were a scandal brought about by official bungling or corruption? Would they not appreciate the lack or absence of  media scrutiny then?

Public officials’ trait

It has been a common trait of politicians, or of most public officials, who rely on public trust to keep their job. Trumpet achievements. Hide or obscure failure.

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Godofredo Roperos: A long love affair with writing

In Manila, the almost-four-decade career of Godofredo M. Roperos, 88, covered assignments in reporting, magazine editing, and literary writing. It was interrupted by his work with the government as assistant…

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In Manila, the almost-four-decade career of Godofredo M. Roperos, 88, covered assignments in reporting, magazine editing, and literary writing. It was interrupted by his work with the government as assistant to the press secretary, then later as media affairs officer in Cebu. After martial law, he resumed his liaison with writing, as editor of a local newspaper’s weekly magazine and, later, as opinion columnist. GMR is listed with 13 others in the CJJ Media Gallery at Museo Sugbo as “Cebu journalists who shine,” having won national recognition in the field.

GODOFREDO M. Roperos died 10 a.m., Monday, Jan. 28, 2019, following a bout with pneumonia. He was 88. 

Eldest daughter Maria Fe said the veteran writer passed away at the Chong Hua Hospital Mandaue, where he was brought 19 days earlier. 

Internment will be on Feb. 2, Saturday, at the Manila Memorial Park in Liloan, Cebu, following a 1 p.m. requiem mass at the San Fernando Rey Parish.

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Cerge Remonde: the ‘probinsyano’ beat reporter who became Press Secretary

He spoke truth to power as a newspaper columnist and radio commentator. But in a reversal of roles, Remonde defended power as press secretary to then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who,…

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He spoke truth to power as a newspaper columnist and radio commentator. But in a reversal of roles, Remonde defended power as press secretary to then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who, to some observers, was the most unpopular president after Ferdinand Marcos Sr. Before his death, Remonde was frustrated that his former colleagues did not believe in the government whose messages he communicated.

LOCAL journalists who weren’t yet walking the beat in 2010 won’t know or, more likely, will only ‘know of’ Cerge Mamites Remonde, born Glecerio on Dec. 21, 1958 in Lamacan, Argao, Cebu.

Working the search engine will lead to two categories of stories.

The first involves journalism: he was a veteran broadcaster and columnist, he co-founded the original Sugbuanong Komentaristang Nagpakabana, he became six-time national chairman of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), etc.

The second, his later work in government: he was press undersecretary and later press secretary, he was boss to all government media, he was the longest-sitting member of the Arroyo cabinet, etc.

But plain reading will only reduce Cerge into someone who spoke truth to power and who then spoke in behalf of someone in power; the most unpopular president in the history of Philippine presidency, according to some. Continue Reading

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Reinventing the newspaper

A series of articles that CJJ hopes will set off a conversation among practitioners and students of journalism as well as media consumers on the crisis that afflicts print media,…

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A series of articles that CJJ hopes will set off a conversation among practitioners and students of journalism as well as media consumers on the crisis that afflicts print media, specifically newspapers, more particularly, community newspapers.

Each article doesn’t try to tell the problem all at once, much less offer sure-fire solutions. Yet it tries to propel efforts of the industry’s leaders, many of whom have been working quietly to cope with changes in technology, which in turn revised habits of media consumers and reshaped the market.

Shifting to purely digital platform may be a “coerced” response that a newspaper outlet may be reluctant to make. Still it is an option, along with meeting the challenge to reinvent, for print to survive and even grow.

Here are the articles: Continue Reading

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What happened to the newspaper market and how print may meet the needs of the new audience

People say time’s up for the newspaper every time a new media platform comes to life. But newspapers survived radio, television, and cable. It has a way of surviving the…

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People say time’s up for the newspaper every time a new media platform comes to life. But newspapers survived radio, television, and cable. It has a way of surviving the Internet.

The hurdle, says Barbie L. Atienza external affairs head of Manila Bulletin, is how the rise of a new type of audience — one that heavily sources their news and information from the web and friend endorsements on social media — is having an impact on the two main sources of income for newspapers: circulation and advertising.

Evidence shows readers are still “hungry for credible journalism.” But it must go with “preference of today’s customers: style and speed.”

“People now access the news and information they need and want through gadgets, particularly the smart phone. They have gotten used to having instant 24 /7 access. This has a bearing on copies of newspapers circulated and sold,” Atienza explained.

As a result, the concurrent president of United Print Media Group Philippines added, advertisers see reason to invest less on print. Continue Reading

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Survival action: Transform. Innovate.

Surviving the crisis requires two actions: Transform. Innovate. In today’s multi media landscape, transformation and innovation aren’t options but requirements — part of a sustainable business model — to build…

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The changing landscape of Cebu’s print media industry will invariably also cause changes in the physical newsrooms of Cebu’s three print media organizations — Cebu Daily News, Sun.Star, and The Freeman.

Surviving the crisis requires two actions: Transform. Innovate.

In today’s multi media landscape, transformation and innovation aren’t options but requirements — part of a sustainable business model — to build a loyal relationship with an audience that is young and commodified.

Newspapers all over the world have transformed content, workflows and ways of producing the news.

Media management, says Barbie L. Atienza, should therefore accept that the market has changed and embrace rather than resist the new medium. She is the external affairs head of Manila Bulletin and president of United Print Media Group Philippines.

“Now, how to optimize the use of this new platform leveraging on our traditional strengths is something we have to explore and exploit,” she said, citing a “need to decide to take new actions and new mindsets, keep ourselves open and grab opportunities as we find them, regardless of whether they are tested and proven or not.”

“We need to decide to be bold, be adventurous and take risks in trying out new configurations,” she added.

But developing a digital strategy requires a clear understanding of the “competitive advantages,” explains Gregor Waller of the WAN-IFRA Media Management Accelerator Program” Continue Reading

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What kind of content will work? A UP forum kicks the idea around

What kind of content works? A panel of UP graduates kicks around ideas for print media It has been some time since observers within the industry and academia noticed that…

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What kind of content works? A panel of UP graduates kicks around ideas for print media

It has been some time since observers within the industry and academia noticed that journalism is facing a crisis.

Solutions have been proposed. But will change in content, particularly in print media, work?

In September 2018, as the Cebu Press Freedom Week celebration was coming to a close, editor-turned university lecturer Jason Baguia sat down with a group of young University of the Philippines graduates from different parts of the country to discuss the matter. Continue Reading

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Remember the newsboys? They may have been forgotten in the age of digital media

Painfully absent in the conversation about how newspapers are transitioning to digital and the evolution of the next printed media product is the erstwhile loud voice of newsboys selling the…

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Painfully absent in the conversation about how newspapers are transitioning to digital and the evolution of the next printed media product is the erstwhile loud voice of newsboys selling the morning edition.

“Mura’g wala nama’y nahinumdom namo (We seem to have been forgotten)” says Francisco Enghug, 47, amid declining newspaper sales in the age of social media and the Internet. “Wa ko kadungog nga dunay gi (I haven’t heard of anyone calling for a) meeting para (for a) solution.”

But media bosses do see a future for the print media industry — one where a re-imagined paper, containing more detailed narratives and catering to a more demanding readership — goes hand-in-hand with news online and in social media. Continue Reading

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