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Authoritarian Controls and

News Media in the


Philippines
By Joel Dresang

Short Background on Philippine


Media
Law of Philippine media was modelled after
the constitutional provisions of the
American Colonialists.
In 1960s Philippine Government was
enacting to protect journalists and their
sources of information.
In 1966 a study by Ralph L. Lowenstein
classified the Philippine media among the
most free in the world.

Media in the Philippines was free wheeling


in early 1970s according to Hernando
Gonzales.
Advantage: Media is a catalyst in the
growth and development of the Philippines.
Disadvantage: A lot of publications are
exaggerated especially in the reports of
crimes and official improprieties (1970s
worsening economic conditions).

Media Under Martial Law


1971 According to Marcos, the media is nonobjective.
September 20, 1972 Chino Lagman said that the
ambush of Philippine Defence Minister was a
staged event.
September 21, 1972 Marcos declared Martial
Law and resulted to the close down of print and
broadcast facilities in the Philippines.
Manila Times, published by Joaquin P. Roces, was
shut down.

Martial Law government made a


communications vacuum where only Pro-Marcos
newspaper are allowed.
Chosen communications and broadcast facilities
were the only one allowed to operate.
Marcos then gained control of the content of
the Philippine Media.
Late 1974, the council that controls the media
was dismantled but there was a new order to
the journalists.

The media became more passive.


In January 1981, Marcos then lifted Martial
law but authoritarian controls had been
lifted only in name.

The lack of press freedom


has made many of us, who
have worked all these years
under martial law, tend to
censor ourselves
automatically. Antonio
Nieva.

December 1982, WE Forum (press) was


stopped due to the questioning of the most
decorated veteran of World War II (Marcos).
February 1983, first Philippine press strike
was upheld it was leaded by Antonio
Nieva. After a few months, he was arrested
due to destabilizing the government.
March 1983, International Press Institute
noted that the press controls were
liberalized.

None of the journalists, who got caught,


were convicted according to Chibu Lagman
Journalists learned how to write in symbols
because they cannot explicitly write the
hard facts for how many years.

August 1983, media now is slowly getting back


on track, but not on major newspapers and
televisions.
August 21, Ninoy Aquino was assassinated.
Different news were released.
Enrique Zobel had no respect for the Philippine
Media because they might just have been
bribed.
Vicente Jayme, a business leader, pressured the
established media companies.

Within a few months of the Aquino


Assassination, ten new non-establishment
newspapers joined Malaya in the Philippine
media market
Veritas Weekly was formed.

In October 1983, Philippine Times was


closed because of publishing a series
of articles blaming the soldiers for the
assassination of the Ninoy.
According to Doeppers, newspapers do
tend to expand when people
extraordinarily needs for news.