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Study more, UP prof tells journalist seeking Senate seat

/ 05:24 AM February 08, 2019

A professor from the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication has challenged a veteran journalist running for a Senate seat to study further his journalism ethics.

Prof. Danilo Arao said this on Thursday in response to remarks by former television reporter Jiggy Manicad that press freedom was not under attack, and that the case of Rappler was an isolated case.

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“[Manicad] should study journalism even more. For this particular candidate, our challenge to him is to go back to the normative standards of journalism, [study] Dean [Luis] Teodoro, Dean [Georgina] Encanto, McQuail and all those scholars in journalism … ” said Arao, also an editor for the alternative media group Bulatlat.

Responsibility to fight

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“In the absence of freedom, it is the journalist’s responsibility to fight for it … if he cannot see that there is a threat to the basic freedoms of the country, then his track record of being a journalist is being put into question right now,” he said quoting Edmund Lambeth, author of the book “Committed Journalism: An Ethic for the Profession.”

The case of Rappler, whose legitimacy the Duterte administration has consistently challenged and whose chief executive officer, Maria Ressa, and other officers are facing court charges, is not isolated, contrary to Manicad’s claim, Arao said.

“Rappler is not isolated … no matter how anecdotal the evidence may be,” he added.

Blatant admission

For veteran journalist Inday Espina-Varona, the media should not be attacked for what it reports.

“What struck me is [Manicad’s] comment: ‘Sino ba ang nauna (Who attacked first)?’ What is this? It’s a blatant admission that the blatant attack on media has happened because somebody failed, that media slapped them, and that is totally against any ethos of press freedom,” Varona said.

“You don’t attack a journalist simply because someone came up with news you do not like. For that former reporter to say that betrays, either because of his very very poor knowledge of ethics of journalism, or … that he’s sacrificed everything he’s learned for the sake of political experience,” she added.

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TAGS: duterte, Jiggy Manicad, journalism ethics, press freedom, Prof. Danilo Arao, Rappler
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