Category: Media Issues

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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Congress seeks to fix venue of libel to place where community journalist lives, works

Bills now pending in Congress narrow the venue of the filing of libel cases to the place where the journalist lives or works, or where the main office of his…

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The Revised Penal Code requires libel suits to be filed in the Regional Trial Court of the province or city where the libelous article was first published, or where the offended parties lived or worked when the offense was committed. Complainants have filed suit in places far from where community journalists work. SUNSTAR PHOTO

Bills now pending in Congress narrow the venue of the filing of libel cases to the place where the journalist lives or works, or where the main office of his media outfit is located.

House Bill 6916, “An act providing for the venue of the criminal and civil action in libel cases against a community or local journalist, publication or broadcast station,” provides the venue of libel cases against such journalists and media outfits as the “Regional Trial Court of the province or city where the principal office or place of business of the community or local journalist, publication or broadcast station is located.”

The objective of the bill is “to prevent harassment of community or local journalists, publications or broadcast stations.” Continue Reading

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Why CCPC has defined fake news

Legislators need to know that the phrase is also used by some people to refer to errors in editing and reporting and the proposed law might make such errors punishable…

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Legislators need to know that the phrase is also used by some people to refer to errors in editing and reporting and the proposed law might make such errors punishable as a crime. As in libel, where presence of malice is required, errors committed mostly in the rush of deadline cannot be criminal unless made knowingly or maliciously. Otherwise, it would impair the right to free speech and free press.  Continue Reading

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CCPC decries ‘toughened’ rules on media coverage at House of Representatives

  CEBU CITIZENS-PRESS COUNCIL STATEMENT May 8, 2018 News editors and reporters generally recognize reasonable rules on media coverage to make the flow of information “systematic and orderly.” We are concerned…

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CEBU CITIZENS-PRESS COUNCIL STATEMENT
May 8, 2018

News editors and reporters generally recognize reasonable rules on media coverage to make the flow of information “systematic and orderly.”

We are concerned though about the “codified rules” on media coverage released last April 23 by the House of Representatives.  Continue Reading

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Legitimate media as source of fake news

Facebook chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg has identified as fake news “promoters” these three: spammers or unethical advertisers, state actors, and legitimate media. And legitimate media, he said, pose the…

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Facebook chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg has identified as fake news “promoters” these three: spammers or unethical advertisers, state actors, and legitimate media.

And legitimate media, he said, pose the “most challenging” threat. Spammers may be removed although it could take time and diligence. State actors like Russia and other countries with their bot armies can be dealt with by the nations attacked such the U.S. which documented Russian meddling in its 2016 elections. Continue Reading

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Speak truth to power; keep power in check!

World Press Freedom Day, May 3, 2018 Manila, Philippines A Report by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), Philippine Press…

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World Press Freedom Day, May 3, 2018
Manila, Philippines

A Report by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR),
National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP),
Philippine Press Institute (PPI), and
Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ)

Rodrigo R. Duterte’s presidency has altered and controlled the public discourse so radically in its favor in ways rude and bold. Its tragic result: it has restricted and narrowed the celebrated freedom of the Philippine press and the people’s cherished right to know.

In his first 22 months in power, Mr. Duterte has earned the dubious honor of logging 85 various cases of attacks and threats on these dual values that the Constitution upholds as inalienable rights of the citizens. The number far exceeds those recorded under four presidents before him.  Continue Reading

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How media users view fake news: ‘more of degree…’

[Related Media’s Public columns: “Villafuerte’s bill on fake news oppressive,” Feb. 17, 2018; “House fake news bill punishes errors in reporting and editing,” March 24, 2018; “Bong Go’s idea of…

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[Related Media’s Public columns: “Villafuerte’s bill on fake news oppressive,” Feb. 17, 2018; “House fake news bill punishes errors in reporting and editing,” March 24, 2018; “Bong Go’s idea of fake news,” Feb. 24, 2018]

A SURVEY conducted by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ) and Oxford University showed that media users see no clear distinction between authentic news and fake news.

“It’s one of degree rather than clear distinction,” said a summary of findings of the survey that used data from online media users in focus group discussions in the first half of 2017. Continue Reading

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Cyber libel as ‘continuing crime’

Why NBI theory in complaint against Rappler might lead to a ‘never-ending’ prescriptive period, which could be used to harass journalists and bloggers  [with additional research by ELIAS L. ESPINOZA] Cyber libel is a continuing crime when the…

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Why NBI theory in complaint against Rappler might lead to a ‘never-ending’ prescriptive period, which could be used to harass journalists and bloggers 

[with additional research
by ELIAS L. ESPINOZA]

Cyber libel is a continuing crime when the libelous article is not removed from the online news site. And a continuing crime does not prescribe until the criminal conduct ceases. Continue Reading

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House ‘fake news’ bill punishes errors in reporting and editing

IN House Bill #6022 filed by Rep. Luis Raymond Villafuerte Jr., definitions of “fake news” and “false/inaccurate reports” include mistakes in reporting and editing. And for mass media outlets, penalty…

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IN House Bill #6022 filed by Rep. Luis Raymond Villafuerte Jr., definitions of “fake news” and “false/inaccurate reports” include mistakes in reporting and editing.

And for mass media outlets, penalty is a gigantic fine (P1 million to P5 million) and, obviously unconstitutional, suspension of operations from one week to one month.

And worse, for the news organization, traditional or online, it doesn’t matter “whether or not such mass media outlet knows of the falsity (of the news) and regardless of intent.” Continue Reading

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