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The Elements of Journalism and the Philippines

The Elements of Journalism and the Philippines



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Published by Joana Rizza Bagano
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Published by: Joana Rizza Bagano on Jul 19, 2011
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The Elements of JournalismBagano, Joana 01/19/11Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel’s “The Elements of Journalism” may be about the American press but the elements are certainly not exclusive to the American setting.The Philippines, although branded as the second most dangerous country for journalists, hasmaintained its own press and still has a citizenry interested in news.In its first chapter, the book says the underlying principles are the same whatever technique isused in getting the news. The principles don’t also change whatever the place.Comprehensively discussing each element, Kovach and Rosenstiel approached the discussionwith concrete examples. The Philippines has its own share:
Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth.
People don’t need the fact; they have to know thetruth about the fact. A Philippine counterpart to the book’s example occurred in 1992 during theLittle League World Series championship where the Philippines’ Zamboanga team won 15-4(more)The Elements of JournalismBagano, Joana 2
over California’s Long Beach boys. The scores were factual however it was not known that our team had cheated. Their players were overage and did not come from a single city. ThePhilippine Daily Inquirer with its Zamboanga correspondent Armand Nocum unearthed thisdeeper truth.
Journalism’s first loyalty is to citizens.
Rosalinda Pineda-Ofreneo’s “The Manipulated Press”reveals that after the Second World War, the United States linked with press bosses in thePhilippines. The Elizalde family who owned the
 Evening News
was also leading in the Philippinesugar industry. The industry was tied to the U.S market through the quota system, thus benefitting sugar export trade. This made our press loyal not immediately to the Filipinos but toUncle Sam.
Its essence is a discipline of verification.
According to a medical report, President BenignoAquino III, then presidential candidate, had history of psychiatric illness. When ABS – CBNaired the document on TV Patrol World, the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibilityrebuked the network saying ABS-CBN made a mistake of putting emphasis on the contents of the document rather than on the denials of Ateneo De Manila University priest Father CarmeloCaluag and the president himself.
Its practitioners must maintain an independence from those they cover.
A column writtenfor the
 Philippine Daily Inquirer 
by former SC justice Isagani Cruz outraged the LGBT(more)The Elements of JournalismBagano, Joana 3
community in mid-2006. According to the community, the column entitled “Don We Now Our Gay Apparel” was bigoted and discriminatory of gender orientations, especially gays. Cruzdefended himself and cited free speech to articulate his hatred toward these homosexuals.
It must serve as an independent monitor of power.
 Not only should it monitor those who areused to the public eye, it should also give voice to the voiceless. Under the name
 Radyo Natin
, or 
Our Radio
, MBC has launched more than 400 low-power FM stations in late 2001-2002, withanother 400 in the pipeline. It aimed to reach every consumer in the country according to an imagazine article by A. Lin Neumann.
It must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise.
Citizens nowadays do not onlywant to know, they also desire to be involved.
The Philippine Star 
has allotted in one of itsopinion pages a half-page for a forum. This forum, entitled Inbox, is for citizens to voice outtheir views on the question of the day. They can also give a comment on anything they wish toaddress.
It must try to make the significant interesting and relevant.
Evening news programs tend tosensationalize and prioritize stories that attract people but have no great value. The Hayden Kho-Katrina Halili scandal acquired misplaced interest not because it was significant but because itwas allotted much TV time by local stations, especially GMA 7 where Katrina is a talent.(more)The Elements of JournalismBagano, Joana 4
It must keep the news comprehensive and in proportion.
A letter to the editor of the
 Philippine Daily Inquirer 
dated November 29, 2010 said the broadsheet violated the first point of 

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