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Mykel Andrada, PhD

University of the Philippines, Diliman

PinoyMedia Center, Inc.
– Latin; pillar

- since mid-1400s
 Article giving opinions or perspectives

 500 to 850 words

 Editorial
– opinion / stand of the
newspaper or school publication, or of
the editors of the paper

 Column– opinion of the columnist, not

necessarily shared by the news

 NOW: Opinion – Editorial

 Headline (Title) - Try to use some
 By-line – your name
 Lead (hook) – A shocking stat or a rhetorical
question works well.
- Creatively introduce your topic
- Clearly present your main point
 Present your 2-5 supporting FACTS:
(each fact is its own paragraph)
This involves:
1. POINT – state the fact;
2. PROOF – paraphrase or quote an
external source;
3. ANALYSIS – comment on the proof
 Write about YOUR OPINION on the facts you
have included (start with a strong stance).
Comment on each fact.
 Transition in to a personal experience
 Conclude by creatively restating your main

 Finish with a statement linking to your lead (
a CALL to ACTION works well). (50)
2-5 FACTS (250)

Opinion +
Experience (250)
Closing + Call-to-
 1. National or Regional Issues
 2. Local / School Concerns
 3. Global Issues
 4. Human Interests


 Personal is Political
 Personal insights should be tested
against facts
 No such thing as “This is MY OPINION”
 Even opinions should be based on facts,
not merely emotions
 Column writing promotes diversity
 The ability or power to connect
seemingly unrelated matters
 Example:
 1. Duterte and Hitler
 2. Martial Law and No Hair Color Policy
 3. Heavy Traffic and Ants
 Empower students to find their voice
 Teach them to learn, not to stock
 Teach them to express what they have
 Encourage them to re-think their
 You cannot succeed as a columnist unless
you combine your craft skills with strong
critical thinking and sound ethical
 The more competent you are in ethical
decision-making, the more confident you
will become in your ability to meet the
tests you face.
 Accuracy means
“getting it right”
 Fairness means
pursuing the truth
with both vigor and
compassion and
reporting information
without favoritism,
self-interest or
 “The method is
objective, not the
journalist. The key is
the discipline of the
craft, not the aim.”

~Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel,

The Elements of Journalism
 Commercial bias
 Temporal bias
 Visual bias
 Bad news bias
 Narrative bias
 Status Quo bias
 Fairness bias
 Expediency bias
 Glory bias
 When individuals
face competing
loyalties to a source
or to their own self-
interest, or to their
economic needs as
opposed to the
information needs of
the public
 Can take many forms,
from outright lying, to
misrepresenting or
merely being less Fabricating stories: Stephen Glass of the

than forthright New Republic

Use of hidden camera

 About the makeup of
news organizations,
who is making
 About the way story
ideas are developed
 About inclusiveness
in choosing sources
and about giving
voice to the voiceless
 “Great journalists
credit others”

~Aly Colon, Poynter Institute

 Does this wording sound familiar?
 Do I know where it came from?
 Have I arranged my notes so attributed
material remains separate from my own
 Can I document the source of my information,
description, or observation?
 Am I giving credit, or some indication, as to
where this material came from when
 Have I double-checked the source of work?
 Need for free information flow vs. rights
of individuals to personal privacy
 Harm from invasion of privacy is almost
certain, but it is more difficult for a
journalist to fully identify benefits from
an intrusion

House in U.S,
Rep. Mikey Arroyo

Erlinda Ligot, wife of

ex-AFP comptroller
 Ethical
decisions are based on something
more than common sense. They are
based on principles that are rooted in
both our professional duty and the
potential consequences of our actions.
 Seek the truth and report it as fully as
 Act independently
 Minimize harm
 Be accountable

Doing Ethics in Journalism, Society of Professional Journalists

 Journalistsshould be
honest, fair and
courageous in
gathering, reporting
and interpreting
 Test the accuracy of information from all sources
and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error.
 Diligently seek out subjects of news stories to
give them the opportunity to respond to
allegations of wrongdoing.
 Identify sources whenever feasible. The public is
entitled to as much information as possible on
sources' reliability.
 Always question sources' motives before
promising anonymity.
 Recognize a special obligation to ensure that the
public's business is conducted in the open and
that government records are open to inspection.
 Tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of
the human experience.
 Examine their own cultural values and avoid
imposing those values on others.
 Avoid stereotyping by race, gender, age, religion,
ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation,
disability, physical appearance or social status.
 Support the open exchange of views, even views
they find repugnant.
 Give voice to the voiceless; official and unofficial
sources of information can be equally valid.
 Never plagiarize.
 Make certain that headlines, news teases and
promotional material, photos, video, audio,
graphics, sound bites and quotations do not
misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or
highlight incidents out of context.
 Never distort the content of news photos or
video. Montages and photo illustrations should
be labeled.
 Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods
of gathering information except when traditional
open methods will not yield information vital to
the public. Use of such methods should be
explained as part of the story.
 Distinguish between advocacy and news
reporting. Analysis and commentary should be
labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.
 Distinguish news from advertising, and shun
hybrids that blur the lines between the two.
 Journalists should
help audiences
create accurate and
useful pictures of
 Pressure and
ignorance tend to
limit journalistic
 Avoid conflicts of interests, real or perceived.
 Remain free of associations and activities that
may compromise integrity or damage credibility.
 Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special
 Disclose unavoidable conflicts.
 Be vigilant and courageous about holding those
with power accountable.
 Deny favored treatment to advertisers and
special interests, and resist their pressure to
influence news coverage.
 Independence is not the
same as neutrality.
Editorialists and opinion
journalists are not
neutral—their credibility
is rooted in the
dedication to accuracy,
verification, and the
larger public interest
 The question is not
neutrality, but purpose
 “Engaged
 Public Journalism
 “No rigid prohibition against any kind of personal
or intellectual engagement will serve to guarantee
a journalist remains independent. In the end it is
good judgment, and an abiding commitment to the
principle of first allegiance to citizens, that
separates the journalist. Having an opinion is not
only allowable, not only natural, but it is valuable to
the natural skepticism by which any good reporter
approaches a story. But a journalist must be smart
enough to recognize that opinion must be based
on something more substantial than personal
beliefs, if it is to be of journalistic value.”
~Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel,
The Elements of Journalism
 Our challenge as ethical
journalists is to gauge the
significance and
importance of the truth we
are pursuing, and to
anticipate, estimate and
understand levels of harm
we may cause through our
actions Hostage-taking at Quirino Grandstand
 We must be adept at
implementing alternative
courses of action that honor
both the truthtelling and
the minimizing harm Family of
principles executed
OFW drug
 Show compassion for those who may be affected
adversely by news coverage. Use special
sensitivity when dealing with children and
inexperienced sources or subjects.
 Be sensitive when seeking or using interviews or
photographs of those affected by tragedy or
 Recognize that gathering and reporting
information may cause harm or discomfort.
Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance.
 Recognize that private people have a greater
right to control information about themselves
than do public officials and others who seek
power, influence or attention.
 Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid
 Be cautious about identifying juvenile suspects
or victims of sex crimes.
 Be judicious about naming criminal suspects
before the formal filing of charges. Balance a
criminal suspect's right to a fair trial with the
public's right to be informed.
 Journalistsare
accountable to their
readers, listeners,
viewers and one
 Clarify and explain news coverage, and
invite dialogue with the public over
journalistic conduct.
 Encourage the public to voice grievances
against the news media.
 Admit mistakes and correct them
 Expose unethical practices of journalists
and the news media. Abide by the same
high standards to which they hold others.
 “The job of the newspaper is
to comfort the afflicted and
afflict the comfortable.”
~Finley Peter Dunne
 “The creation of a
professional class of
journalists may have
produced an alienation
between journalism and the
public.” ~Roy Peter Clark
 “Reporting the issues on the
peoples’ agenda, even though
they may not necessarily be
on the journalists’ agenda”
~Ed Fouhy
 Civic/public journalism is
merely excellent journalism

 Responsibility to gather  Building new models to

information and present it help citizens find ways to
to the public have power
 Tell the community about  Newspaper as an advocate,
significant issues so people activist, agenda setter and
can make important community convenor.
decisions in their lives
 Define the relevant  1. Definition
details of the situation  2. Values
 Identify the values or  3. Principles
value systems which  4. Loyalties
ought to be considered
 Select the principles as
well as provide the
justifications for the
 Choose loyalties or the
interests which the
principle pursues
 You are embedded with military troops
conducting highly secretive operations
vs. insurgents. You receive information
that some civilians want to tell you about
military atrocities, in an interview to be
conducted at a site away from the troops.
But you were not allowed by the military
commander to leave the troops. What will
you do?
 You have graphic photographs of victims
of a recent “terrorist bombing.” Your
news outfit is the only one who was able
to take such photographs. Will you
publish these photos, which includes
bloody, severed limbs? The families of
the victims are at the moment too
distraught/cannot be reached.
 The editorial board of your school
publication agreed that you will publish a
public announcement calling for
students’ participation in an upcoming
huge rally against budget cuts. Your
advisor told you not to publish it,
stressing that you should merely report
events. Will you still publish the