Octeber 1, 2011
MediaNation8: Killing Journalists
is Killing the Truth
The annual summit of representatives from print, television, radio
and even online media was held on September 30 to October 1, 2011
in Cebu City, Philippines to discuss how journalists could defend
themselves from violence as they pursue truth in the world’s
most dangerous place for journalists
Statistics show a total of 180 journalists killed, 121 in the
line of duty since 1986. Print and radio journalists are the most
vulnerable, and killings continue up to today.
A number of factors were identified to contribute to violence
against media: socio-political and economic realities, corruption,
and culture. Participants in the summit talked about how deaths
of journalists can be brought to the attention of the public,
that media violence should be viewed as an affront to the freedom
of expression. The issue of justice and governance was raised
as media members call for the prosecution of perpetrators. Existing
mechanisms to protect journalists from violence as well as to
maintain the standards of their profession must be reviewed and
reinforced. In turn, they agreed that they should maintain accountability
in their work – truth and fairness must always be upheld.
“Truth is always evasive. We have to be always alert in
pursuing it,” reminded Former Isabela Governor Grace
who was the keynote speaker. She recounted her
experience as a radio broadcaster where she gained her popularity
as “Bombo Grace.” She said that media should use its
power prudently and it should not go down the level of “perarazzi”
or journalists that are only after money.
is an annual event organized by
. It is an occasion where media members
can discuss challenges in their field and share best practices.
This year was the first time that it was held outside Manila.
Cebu prides itself with an established media organization that
functions as a cooperative and provides legal and medical assistance.
“Media competition in Cebu is both friendly and fierce.
We may criticize each other but that is meant for us keep our
news factual and straight,” shared one Cebu journalist.
In February next year, MediaNation will tackle corruption. “Media
has the loudest voice. We are glad that they are echoing our campaign
for freedom and anti-corruption,” said Friedrich Naumann
Foundation for Liberty (FNF) Country Director Jules Maaten, who
was one of the sponsors of the event.