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ABS-CBN news head Maria Ressa resigns

By Bayani San Diego Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:54:00 10/11/2010

Filed Under: Television, Media, News Agencies

MANILA, Philippines?Veteran journalist Maria Ressa on Monday announced her resignation from ABS-CBN network after serving as head of its News and Current Affairs and managing director of ANC (ABS-CBN News Channel) for the past six years.

In her statement released Monday night by Bong R. Osorio, ABS-CBN corporate communications head, Ressa said she was not renewing her contract, which ends on January 3, 2011.

The Inquirer received a copy of Ressa?s statement released after a general assembly of the ABS-CBN news team.

Ressa said, ?There is a time and place for everything in our lives. My time and place as head of ABS-CBN News & Current Affairs is nearing its end. My contract ends on Jan. 3, 2011, and I will not be renewing. I have nearly six months of accumulated leaves so I will go on terminal leave beginning Nov. 15.

?It?s time for me to move on, but it?s important we transition properly and prepare our organization ? and its new leader ? for the challenges ahead.?

A replacement had already been selected to take over Ressa?s post.

?Ging Reyes, North American bureau chief, will assume as news head on Oct. 18, to begin our transition,? Ressa said.

Reyes started in ABS-CBN 20 years ago and has been its North American bureau chief for the past eight years.

Ressa, who was Jakarta bureau chief of CNN International, joined the network in 2005 and instituted reforms, including the establishment of a Code of Ethics for its news team.

Her initiatives reportedly earned her not a few enemies in and out of the news room.

Even the stars of the Kapamilya network?s entertainment division?specifically, Kris Aquino and Willie Revillame?didn?t hide their displeasure over Ressa and her news team.

Aquino, the sister of the President, branded them the ?evil people of news? in the heat of the campaign last May.

Revillame, however, conceded to the Inquirer: ?Management cannot interfere with Maria Ressa.?

In an earlier interview, Ressa told the Inquirer: ?Our goal is to tell the truth. Not to please the candidates and celebrities.?

Ressa also spearheaded the network?s move towards citizen journalism and a multi-platform coverage of elections.

In an earlier interview, she told the Inquirer: ?Journalism is being redefined globally. We should embrace new media . . . because it?s not going away. Our role as professional journalists is to help people think and analyze. We engage them through the social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, but we also need to continue doing in-depth analysis of news.?

Because of this innovation, ABS-CBN is credited for spearheading the very first new media department in the broadcast industry, which spawned ?Boto Mo, Ipatrol Mo? in the recent elections, now transformed to ?Bayan Mo, Ipatrol Mo.?

In her statement, she urged everyone to ?value and protect? editorial independence. She wished her team ?clarity of thought, stamina and courage to fight for what is right and avoid the compromise of mediocrity.?

In the same statement, she thanked her colleagues in the network for teaching her ?so much about what it means to be a Filipino.?

Prior to her acceptance of the ABS-CBN post, Ressa also authored the international best-selling book ?Seeds of Terror: An Eyewitness Account of Al-Qaeda's Newest Center of Operations in Southeast Asia.?

Copyright 2015 Philippine Daily Inquirer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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