COMMENT ON PROPOSED ORDINANCE GRANTING FUND AID TO REPORTERS COVERING ANTI-CRIME OPERATION
January 16, 2018
1. Financial aid from the government, local or national, has been occasionally granted and accepted by media. Acceptance by the individual beneficiary, however, depends solely on the recipient and his news organization. Internal rules of each newsroom apply.
2. The Cebu Citizens-Press Council’s (CCPC) concern is only on any of these:
— If the grant requires the recipient to assist law enforcers during the anti-crime operation, thus exposing the journalist to greater risk;
— If it requires the journalist to testify in court or otherwise help prosecute the respondent/s arrested during the police operation; assistance from the reporter should be no larger than what existing laws compel of all citizens;
— If it requires the journalist to suppress information adverse or unflattering to the law enforcers, or to slant or distort the news in their favor.
The Gabuya proposal does not contain a provision on that, at least not expressly. Ultimately, it is up to the journalist concerned, his editors, and the policy of his news organization whether to accept the grant.
PACHICO A. SEARES
Cebu Citizens-Press Council
(Note: Cebu City Councilor Eugenio Gabuya Jr. has proposed an ordinance giving financial aid to media representatives who get injured or who die during an anti-crime coverage within Cebu City. The schedule for the public hearing on the proposal is January 16, 2018.)