|NUJP to Arroyo: Media's sole responsibility is to the people|
|Written by Administrator|
|Wednesday, 20 June 2007 03:00|
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Wednesday invited executives of several media outfits to Malacañang to solicit their help for the last three years of her administration, during which she hopes to build her “legacy.”
“The media can help the government and the country reach a new plane of development, stability and reform by balanced reporting based on verified facts, constructive commentary on public issues, and editorial focus on news that matters to the lives and livelihood of ordinary Filipinos,” Ms. Arroyo said.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines sees basically nothing wrong with the President seeking media’s help in pursuing a better future for our country and people. This, after all, is a goal
There is, however, something amiss in Ms. Arroyo’s attempt to suggest how media should choose, present and deliver the news.
We would like to remind Ms. Arroyo that media’s role – nay, duty – is to report events, good or bad, as they happen and not to spin the news to suit anyone’s agenda, much less conform to anyone’s concept of what balanced reporting, balanced commentary and editorial focus should be.
Our sole responsibility is to the people, and their right to free access to the information they need to decide how to shape their future as individuals and as a nation.
Alas, since she came to office in 2001 by virtue of the people’s power, Ms. Arroyo’s administration has, time and again, worked to suppress that information and, worse, even attempted to muzzle the media or blame us when reportage does not conform to the image it wishes to project.
Neither has Ms. Arroyo acted decisively to stem the most extreme form of censorship – the murder of journalists – that has claimed the lives of 52 since she came to power, the highest tally under any sitting president. And she has three more years to go.
Ms. Arroyo needs media’s help to paint a better image of her administration?
All she has to do is exercise genuine good governance and be transparent. Whether she does so or not, the media will do its part, as always, by performing its duty of reporting events as they happen.