Aquino defends attacks on media

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President Benigno Aquino III. AFP FILE PHOTO

TAGYATAY CITY – This time, he made sure the bosses got the message.

While he did not appear to be in fighting mood, President Benigno Aquino III still took yet another opportunity to call media’s attention on their purported “shortcomings,” but vowed “to work with you towards the advancement and protection of your profession.”

“When I talk about your profession in public, I have been forthright about the shortcomings I see—not because I enjoy criticizing, but because I believe it can help,” he said in a speech before top media executives at the Taal Vista Hotel here.

“My door is always open, and I am here to listen to you, and to work with you. I have said nothing that your own readers, viewers, and listeners have not already said themselves.”

Aquino’s congenial approach on Friday was far different from his combative stance in previous media events where we had also been invited as guest of honor.

Last July, he berated ABS-CBN’s “TV Patrol” at its own anniversary party, for supposedly highlighting negative news. Just last week, he reiterated his preference for positive news before a gathering by the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas.

After delivering his speech on Friday, the President spent about an hour in a closed-door meeting with media owners and executives. Among them were Philippine Daily Inquirer president Alexandra Prieto-Romualdez, who had confronted Aquino’s complaints against media before the private affair.

“Mr. President, you have sometimes spoken of being bombarded with negativity. We feel for you,” she said in her remarks in plenary, but reminded Mr. Aquino that “the Constitution grants that the press is fundamentally free as it allows the press to determine negative or positive in different ways.”

“This is the diversity of opinion at the heart of democracy,” she pointed out.

Aquino later insisted that he was not making a “pitch for government to take an active role in media regulation.”

“I have seen the harmful effects of state-controlled media; and I am old enough to remember how, before Martial Law, media was held in the highest regard and considered the journal of record,” he said.

“Martial Law changed that, turning a noble profession into a propaganda machine, with those in power censoring and even punishing those who spoke the truth–my father included.”

Aquino tackled two key issues where media’s “solidarity can produce tangible outcomes.” He mentioned the need to come up with “consistent standards” in media to address conflicts of interest or determine mechanisms for redress for people aggrieved in a story.

He also tackled “corruption in media,” the theme of this year’s Media Nation Summit, asking whether benefits received by the media rank-and-file were “commensurate to the highest standards of integrity demanded of them.”

“Having seen the price our country paid to regain freedom, I believe it is incumbent on all of us to continually improve the standards to which we hold ourselves and to insist on accountability–from public officials to journalists like you,” he said.

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  • Pepe Smith

    See what you’ve done, people? Now he thinks that even the media should learn from him! Wow! Ni hindi nga makahanap ng matuwid at karapat-dapat na girlfriend, ngayon expert na, hahaha.

    • pangitbudhiko

      adviser ni abnoy si kris aquino

  • CPCook

    This article is very misleading. I have read Pres Aquino’s speech and nothing in it could be construed as defending attacks of media. If anything, articles like this one highlights media’s shortcomings and the validity of what Pres Aquino said in his speech.  I think this article is a disservice of the country as it tries to sensationalize what the president said.  I believe that media has a role in meaningful, constructive dialogue and this begins by accepting constructive critiques (not even criticisms).  In my humble opinion, the president raised very valid points why certain groups may resort to violence against media people, particularly block timers.  It does not help the country that rather than addressing such valid, specific points, media, in this particular case, Inquirer, would resort to misdirecting attention and say the president is defending attacks on media.  Please show us, your readers, some respect by providing us with balanced, intelligent news reporting.  Are media people now like Catholic bishops who think that they cannot do wrong, and no other opinion but theirs is correct? C’mon… we, the public, deserve way much better.

    Just a comparison of the different headlines for the same event:
    GMANews – PNoy calls on media to develop ‘common standards’ to avoid corruption
    PhilStar – PNoy stresses fairness in libel debate
    Rappler – Aquino to PH media: Improve your standards

  • Your_King

    Aquino’s shortcomings and underachievement are factual and thus newsworthy. If he does not want it to make it to the news maybe he should just overachieve and get things done that positively affect the nation for the good. Stop making excuses and blaming others including the media.

  • Albert Einstien

    it is NOT only the ampatuans who have ISSUES with MEDIA…Pnoy in fact is the one BERATING & SCOLDING MEDIA regularly for reporting DAILY BAD NEWS ….it’s always headlines..the media just laughed at him…as usual…lol

    CANT blame the PRESS sir…it is the WRONG POLICY DIRECTIONs & INCOMPETENCE…that are creating waves of BAD NEWS…!

  • Guest

    B.S. aquino III

  • speedstream2

    Like it or not, bad news sells newspapers and fuels ratings. And the relationship seems to be directly proportional. That’s a fact of life that government and its functionaries have to contend with 24/7. It all depends on how bad news is taken. One can take it positively, strive to do better and move on or take it badly, dwell on it, stonewall and get stuck. And, yes, if one can dish it out, one should be able to take it too.

  • EdgarEdgar

    Combative or congenial, Noynoy is not fooling anyone. Noynoy’s speech is riddled with overused euphemisms that fail to mask his creeping despotism. When Noynoy proposes “common standards”, the media knows this is a precursor to uniform reporting in compliance with state propaganda. Simply put, Noynoy wants the media to sing him praises in chorus and in unison. When Noynoy proposes greater “accountability” within the the media, he is simply asking the media to exercise more self-restraint, self-doubt and self-censorship or be accountable for unforeseen consequences. Such a not-so-subtle threat would surely not be lost on the media. When Noynoy extolls the virtues of “solidarity” and how “solidarity produces tangible outcomes”, he might as well be chanting the old Martial Law mantra — sa ikauunlad ng bayan disiplina ang kailangan. Our mama’s boy of a president can throw another one of his legendary tantrums but he cannot compel the media to fall in line or toe the yellow line or go along with the flow. Not unless he’s got some goodies and PPP sweetheart deals to entice the media bosses with. That unfortunately is the bittersweet truth of the love-hate relationship between the president and the media.

    • boybakal

      Make your statement simple, Pnoy won’t understand.
      Pnoy’s attack on person is direct, disrespectful and indecent. He is rude as rude he can be.
      That is what he is, he is not arrogant but does not know who is an elder or woman.
      Just like a child who shows tantrum when mad but needs guidance and discipline.

      • EdgarEdgar

        Thanks for the advise. My post was not meant for the media and the StratComm.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DFW5PTIGTXNRUX44FLV6LI5USM Bantay

    hindi lahat na Media yellow ang kulay.kaya di mo kayang diktahan.kaya act like a President para may good news ka naman…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QZZKXPEA67I7HELEIYM35QVYFA Jon

    Ano ba kayo mga taga-media?
    Good news lang daw dapat ang ilabas at allergic sila sa masamang balita.
    Masisira lang daw kasi yung ratings nila.
    Entiendes?

  • opinyonlangpo

    Its a business and they write whatever sells. . . . unless somebody pays for it. Its up for the readers to analyze the news and compare it with other publications. Even PDI commits lots of mistakes, wrong title, wrong picture, and sometimes also wrong reporter.

  • jadejones2012

    Buhay pa ba ang abnormal na ito?

    Akala ko namatay na sa kanser.

    • JOSE RIZAL

      kasama mo mamamatay yan. sabay kayo.

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