Inquirer, GMA 7 join forces for polls free of fake news
Media giants as well as leading institutions in education, business, telecommunications and public service have forged a formidable partnership to provide the most credible coverage of the 2019 elections and counter fake news as the country gears up for the much-anticipated midterm polls.
Broadcast leader GMA Network, Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) and Inquirer.net, along with more than 20 other institutions, signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on the “Eleksyon 2019” partnership, in ceremonies held at GMA Studio 7 on Friday.
“Let us all stand for the truth,” GMA chair and chief executive officer (CEO) Felipe L. Gozon said in his welcome remarks, noting that fake news has become a phenomenon that plagues everyone.
“The truth is, fake or misleading statements are everywhere and on almost every topic,” Gozon said. “As we gear up for the upcoming Eleksyon 2019, one of our biggest responsibilities is letting voters know what the facts are.”
The other partners include the Commission on Elections (Comelec), PLDT-Smart Communications Inc., Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, Catholic Media Network and election watchdogs Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) and the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel).
From the academe, the partners are the University of the Philippines (UP), Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University (DLSU), the University of Santo Tomas (UST) and AMA Education System.
For the first time, regional school partners from Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao joined the partnership. They are Phinma-University of Pangasinan in North Central Luzon, the University of San Carlos in Cebu City, Silliman University in Dumaguete City, West Visayas State University in Iloilo City, Central Mindanao University in Bukidnon, Capitol University in Cagayan de Oro City, and Holy Cross Davao College in Davao City.
Philippine Entertainment Portal, the Philippine Bar Association (PBA), Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), and the Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine Islands complete the alliance.
“For Eleksyon 2019, it is important that we understand what is at stake—no less than the future of our country. The next generation depends on whom we will vote for,” Gozon said. “On the face of this reality, our commitment to the truth shall be unwavering. Now more than ever, we should remain steadfast in delivering an election coverage with no spins or personal agenda.”
PDI president and CEO Alexandra Prieto-Romualdez and Inquirer.net president Paolo Rufino Prieto signed the MOA for the Inquirer, which has been GMA 7’s exclusive print partner for the past six elections.
“This election partnership is a shared commitment among all partner institutions to band together and offer their resources to arm voters with factual information in real time using different platforms,” Romualdez said.
Said Inquirer.net’s Prieto: “Filipinos all over the world can expect in-depth and critical analysis of issues that matter to them, and real-time updates on the course of the election.”
Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, who signed the agreement for the Comelec, echoed the same challenge.
“Aside from accurate and timely information for voters, we should also fight fake news because even the Comelec has become a victim,” Guanzon said.
The Inquirer was introduced at the launch as “undeniably the country’s most credible and most influential newspaper,” while Inquirer.net was recognized for delivering “up-to-date breaking news when it happens, where it happens.” Together, they will bring into the partnership more than 30 years of excellence in journalism, as well as a global reach through online and social media platforms.
Eleksyon 2019 also promises superior digital coverage in collaboration with video-sharing platform YouTube and social media platform Twitter, GMA Network said in a statement.
Among the other signatories at the launch were Henrietta de Villa, PPCRV chair; Namfrel chair Augusto Lagman; UP president Danilo Concepcion; Ateneo dean Dr. Fernando Aldaba; Dr. Elaine Tolentino for DLSU; associate professor Giovanna Fontanilla for UST; PLDT executive vice president Eric Alberto; Smart Communications senior vice president Juan Victor Hernandez; IBP president Abdiel Dan Elijah Fajardo; and PBA president Jose Luis Agcaoili.
‘Pusuan ang Totoo’
The launch was hosted by GMA News and Public Affairs anchors Vicky Morales and Mike Enriquez, who made his first public appearance after a heart bypass operation in September.
GMA Network also launched its election advocacy, “Pusuan ang Totoo,” a call to stand for what is true, to fight against corruption and disinformation, and to choose leaders who will truly serve the country.
Gozon and GMA president and chief operating officer Gilberto R. Duavit Jr. were joined by the network’s internal partners: GMA News TV, GMA New Media Inc., GMA Radio (RGMA, dzBB and WLS-FM), GMA Regional TV, GMA News Online, GMA News and Public Affairs Social Media, GMA Pinoy TV, GMA Life TV, GMA News TV International and GMA Kapuso Foundation.
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