Interviews need ‘prior notice’ to Comelec
BEFORE a TV station or newspaper interviews a candidate, does it have to ask the Comelec?
Cebu-based jouranlists aired their concern about a new legal requirement to give “prior notice” to the Comelec of interviews made of candidates promoting their election bids or within 24 hours from pubilcation or airing.
Jun Tagalog, station manager of dyLA, said the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas is questioning this rule in court as too bureaucratic.
The concern was raised to Comelec Regional Director Temie Lambino in a forum of the Cebu Citizens-Press Council yesterday.
Pending a court decision, Lambino said media outlets should comply with the law.
He clarified that only notice was required, not consent. If this is difficult to meet on time, it can be filed after the interview.
He said the intention was for Comelec to have a basis to determine the frequency and value of the media exposure and check if a candidate was keeping within limits of campaign spending.
Lambino welcomed a suggestion for stations to log the interviews on a daily basis so it’s easier to track.
Media concerns were raised about interviewing candidates, the right of reply, and advertising limits of campaign propaganda.
A joint project of the Cebu Citizens-Press Council, the police, Comelec and C-Cimpel is the setting up of an Election Media Center for the May 13 polls so that briefings can be held in one site.
PLDT and Smart are providing two land lines, WiFi connectivity, four laptops and three TV sets in the center.
Dialogs wil also be held by media representatives with the Comelec and police to prepare for smoother coverage of the elections.
When the issue of “paid interviews” or “fake news” was raised, Lambino said the Comelec does not distinguish whether an interview was paid for or not, the poll body only takes note of whether the interview was political campaigning.
“You (media) should veer away from asking questions that would persuade the voter to vote for the candidate,” he said.
Another concern of broadcast outfits was the 120-minute limit for political advertisements and how this would be counted.
CCPC aims to hold dialogs with the Comelec and the Philippine National Police as well as voter’s literacy programs.
Joint press conferences regarding the elections will be held at the Elections Media Center at Camp Sergio Osmeña./Ador Vincent S. Mayol And Eileen G. Mangubat