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Media Killings and Impunity in the Philippines

Media Killings and Impunity in the Philippines

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Published by nikko norman
This is our hand-outs, a summary of what we have presented last July 08, 2010. It includes certain facts on impunity statistics in the Philippines , the effects and recommended solutions. For more information from our source, I will be willing to send it to your email.
This is our hand-outs, a summary of what we have presented last July 08, 2010. It includes certain facts on impunity statistics in the Philippines , the effects and recommended solutions. For more information from our source, I will be willing to send it to your email.

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Published by: nikko norman on Aug 06, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Unraveling issues of Media killings and the culture of impunity

CM 218 – Mass Media and Society Mock Press Conference July 08, 2010 University of the East - Manila Prof. Gladys Serafica Guest Media Critics Amer Amor Charmie Pagulong

Presented by: Acuna, Abegail I Alcantara, Luis Jaime III D. Asino, Rizie a. Cervantes, Karla Camille Estrada, Robinson Izar, Nikko Norman C. Pascua, Geloen Shekinah s. Pascual, Fanny E. Sadsad, Sheila Marie S. Fajardo, Karisma Carla

Tracing the “beat’s” history I. Facts and Figures Impunity Index of media killings cases Unsolved journalist murders per 1 million inhabitants for 2000-2009. Only nations with five or more unsolved cases are included. Cases are considered unsolved when no convictions have been obtained. Population (in millions) 31.5 9.0 90.3

Rank 1 2 3

Nation Iraq* Somalia Philippines

Unsolved Cases 88 9 55

Calculation 88/31.5 9/9.0 55/90.3

Rating 2.794 1.000 0.609

Population data sources: Unless otherwise indicated, 2009 World Development Indicators, World Bank * World Population Prospects 2008, United Nations Population Division

CMFR DATABASE ON THE KILLING OF JOURNALISTS/MEDIA WORKERS IN THE PHILIPPINES SINCE 1986* (Updated as of 18 June 2010) • The Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) recorded 171 cases of killing of Filipino journalists/media workers since 1986. 32% (55 cases) non-work related and 68% (116 cases) work related. Of the 171 journalists/media workers killed since 1986, 116 were killed because of their work. Seventy-eight out of the 116 work-related cases happened during the Arroyo administration (February 2001-June 30, 2010). The number of journalists/media workers who were killed jumped to 113 after 32 were massacred in Maguindanao in November 2009. With 36 journalists/media workers killed, 2009 had the highest killing of Filipino journalists/media workers in history. Most of the journalists/media workers killed in the line of duty since 1986 were based in the provinces. The Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao registered the most number (34) of work-related killings since 1986.

• •

One hundred and eight (93 percent) of the 116 journalists/media workers killed in the line of duty since 1986 were male. Most of the journalists and media workers killed in the line of duty worked solely for print (48 of the 116 or 41 percent), followed by those who worked for radio (44). The number of print journalists who were killed increased after the Maguindanao massacre where most (24 out of the 32 fatalities) were working solely for print. This includes Reynaldo “Bebot” Momay whose body has yet to be found.


CPJ’s Statistical Analysis according to Investigation (1992-2010) Job * 22 Broadcast reporter % 1% Camera Operator 34 Columnist / % Commentator 10 Editor % 4% Photographer 31 Print reporter/writer % 7% Publisher/Owner Medium * 54 Print % 47 Radio % Televisi 6% on Gender 91 Male % 9% Femal e

Local / Foreig n 100% Local Murder Victims 47 Taken % Captive 26 Threatened % 47 Tortured % Type of Death Dangerous 3% Assignment 97 Murder %

Impunity in Murder Cases 92% Complete impunity 8% Partial justice Suspected Source of Fire in Murder Cases 14% Criminal group 70% 8% 9% Government Officials Political Group Unknown

Beats Covered by Victims * 38% Corruption 25% Crime 7% Human Rights

60% Politics 1% War

Freelance 9 Freelan % ce



Causes of media killings

A. The legal environment for Media (Laws and provisions under the Constitution) B. Government’s attitude towards press freedom (Administrations activity and
insights for media)

C. Media’s incapacity of self-defense/Sending out the media workers in a hostile

D. Lack of political wills an inadequate legal framework, a weak judicial system,
police inefficiency, scant resources, and negligence and corruption on the part of government as causes of impunity. E. State of self-regulation. F. Increasing cases of impunity. III. What are the effects? According to Ricardo Trotti, media killings and impunity of it will cause selfcensorship, misinformation, manipulation of news, erosion of the media’s watchdog role, media closure, and ultimately “journalism that is reluctant to expose the truth.” The plague of impunity is having a broader effect on society as a whole, effectively choking off the flow of news and information. Media killings will produce different tenets that surmise the dangers of every media men and to the people as well. Moreover, it will be a conspicuous fact that information flow is bounded within any outside forces. Most of the people in the

industry and the society itself became alarmed and orchestrate the law that will protect the journalist. The said response is addressed according to what media is portraying about the hostile environment media have. Moreover, they have driven to a point that current administration or government is the primary factor of the cases. At the end, three things will happen. They will be too precautious for any news related on media killings. Diminishing trust for the government, since the government failed to respond to the increasing cases of media killings and impunity. Lastly, it will create a mere distort image of what media is all about and what is its risks.


Solutions A. According to Luis V. Teodoro 1. Media advocacy and journalists’ organizations need to deepen and accelerate the continuing education of journalists, especially of the untrained or inadequately trained. But it is also necessary to engage journalism schools and the Commission on Higher Education to assist the effort to improve the professional and ethical training of future practitioners at the tertiary level. The same groups including journalism and communication schools must add media literacy planks to their training programs to educate the public on the essential role of the press in society as well as on the need for the public to monitor press performance and to demand observance of the press’ own values. 2. As the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility has been doing, other media advocacy and journalists’ groups need to engage the law community on at least two levels: initiating changes in the law curriculum towards the encouragement of free expression advocacy as suggested by Dean Pangalangan, and to work with the same community in the reform of those laws that affect the exercise of free expression, such as the libel law, the decriminalization of which is decades overdue. 3. Equally important, the press needs to even more rigorously monitor and hold the powerful to account, to give voice to the voiceless, to be fair, humane and just, and to defend its constitutionally protected freedom both through conscious advocacy as well as responsible practice.

B. According to Melinda Quintos De Jesus Melinda Quintos de Jesus discussed the importance of ethics and journalistic principles in the safety training program. She noted, “If journalists do the right thing, they will be protected by the people. There will be public outrage when someone is killed. There will be action at the highest level because there is outrage that a good journalist is killed.” C. Media industry must also look inwards to consider what they themselves can do to protect journalists – from self-regulating against unscrupulous journalism to providing journalist trainings on ethics, safety, and security

D. Finally, the market should involve its own checks. Public awareness and media
literacy empowers citizens to use the press more critically.The last involves the public in the upholding media freedom as well as the social responsibilities of journalism as public service. A media literate public appreciates and understands the role of the press in society. The public can evaluate the performance of the press, voice its criticism of its failings as well as encourage and applaud its strong points. E. Merging of different Government organizations (esp. Law/security related) , NGO’s and Journalists group. Resources: www.cpij.org www.cmfr.org www.cpj.org www.chr.org

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6) GOD BLESS!

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