Media groups to continue reporting on Duterte with ‘accurate and fair’ standards

  • Media groups united to uphold ‘accuracy, fairness and context’ in reporting, particularly of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte
  • This was included in a pooled editorial by several members of the press published a day before Duterte’s inauguration
  • The groups highlighted their ‘common duty’ with the President

Media groups vowed to uphold the “best standards of accuracy, fairness and context” in reporting, especially of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.

On the event of his oath-taking as the next Philippine president, different media outlets united to express their stand on the running tense relationship between them and Duterte.

In a pooled editorial entitled “The Prez and the press”, media organizations such as the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), Philippine Press Institute, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Star, and others, said they will continue to report on the incoming President despite him shunning interviews.

“As ‘the people’s private eye in the public arena,’ the news media serve as custodian and gatekeeper of some of these rights,” the editorial said.

The editorial highlighted how public service is a common duty of the President and the media as the society’s “fourth estate.”

“Regrettably, the conversation between President-elect Rodrigo Duterte and the news media has turned sharp and shrill. All but lost in the noise is the two parties’ common duty in law and tradition to serve and to inform the Filipino people on issues, events and policies that affect their interest and welfare,” it said.

It also underscored the importance of public scrutiny given the history of authoritarian rule in the country.

“The news media serve as custodian and gatekeeper of some of these rights. It’s a task that must be accomplished, and the President-elect’s predecessors as well as the nation’s journey from democracy to dictatorship and back illustrate why and how we must inquire into, inveigh against, and investigate questionable public officials and agencies, on the citizens’ behalf.”

In the end, the news groups vowed to continue with their task and commit to a “better journalism” practice.

“We in the news media wish the incoming administration success in all its endeavors. As journalists and as citizens, we commit not only to do journalism right and better, but also to uphold and defend free speech, free press, free expression, and the people’s right to know.”