Media's Public

Where the fake news law could fail

By Pachico A. Seares
Public & Standards Editor
Sun.Star Cebu and Sun.Star Superbalita

Lawmakers need to look at SB #1492 thoroughly and, with experts of media and technology, craft legislation that can work

Last June 22, Sen. Joel Villanueva filed Senate Bill #1492 that seeks to punish “malicious distribution” of fake news and black propaganda. Read the rest of this entry »

‘Bullying’ the White House press

By Pachico A. Seares
Public & Standards Editor
Sun.Star Cebu and Sun.Star Superbalita

U.S. reporters may have to bear with the press secretary’s rant. Trump people own the mic, set the rules. And journalists can talk back in their own individual news outlets and media platforms.

A number of reporters covering the White House have felt they’re being made to suffer in their job of getting the news about U.S. President Trump and his administration. Read the rest of this entry »

What mainstream media can do about fake news

By Pachico A. Seares
Public & Standards Editor
Sun.Star Cebu and Sun.Star Superbalita

Newspapers and broadcast stations can hardly help educate audiences and call out bogus material elsewhere if they themselves are reckless with their stories

Senate Bill #1492, filed by Sen. Joel Villanueva, seeks to punish purveyors of fake news, although one may ask outright how, if it becomes a law, that can be enforced against nameless and unidentifiable violators in social media. Read the rest of this entry »

Aguirre’s mistakes in Marawi ‘plot’ story

By Pachico A. Seares
Public & Standards Editor
Sun.Star Cebu and Sun.Star Superbalita

The DOJ secretary mishandled post-incident damage control. In the first place, he shouldn’t have opened his mouth about a conspiracy he still had to verify

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II’s handling of the report of an alleged destabilization plot against the Duterte administration provides a case-book study for a news source, especially a public official, on (1) how to avoid that kind of fiasco and (2) what to do afterwards to control damage. Read the rest of this entry »

If a comedian uses journalism tools, is he not a journalist?

By Pachico A. Seares
Public & Standards Editor
Sun.Star Cebu and Sun.Star Superbalita

John Oliver uses humor to draw and keep his audience but uses facts and logic to drive his point home

“Stupid shows like ours lean heavily on local papers. In fact, whenever the show is mistakenly called journalism, it is a slap in the face of journalists whose work we rely on.”
— John Oliver, host of “Last Week Week Tonight with John Oliver” Read the rest of this entry »

Calling out state media’s mistakes

By Pachico A. Seares
Public & Standards Editor
Sun.Star Cebu and Sun.Star Superbalita

It’s a practice that may be encouraged. Misinformation needs to be exposed wherever it occurs. PNA and Mocha Uson slipped and drew a lot of noise

Philippines News Agency (PNA) last May 27 ran on its web page a news story with the heading “Urban Warfare: A Challenge for Soldiers in Mindanao.” An uncaptioned photo of a soldier, which readers assumed was taken in Marawi City, turned out to be an image from the 1955-1975 Vietnam war. Read the rest of this entry »

Striking back at the press

By Pachico A. Seares
Public & Standards Editor
Sun.Star Cebu and Sun.Star Superbalita

The news outlet may be stymied in resisting abuse of power if its owners are vulnerable in their business with the government

News sources, especially politicians and other high public officials, are also human beings who feel pain and anger when they are attacked in media and some may want to return the assault.

They try “public relations” first: seek friendship, extend favors or, for some, give bribes. And woo not just editors and reporters but also newspaper publishers and broadcast station owners and managers. Read the rest of this entry »

Why the press secretary lies

By Pachico A. Seares
Public & Standards Editor
Sun.Star Cebu and Sun.Star Superbalita

Publicists like Sean Spicer and Ernesto Abella present the news as best as they can to favor their bosses. But they can’t change the facts

CNN media columnist Dylan Byers last March 31 wrote: U.S. White House Press Secretary “Sean Spicer has lost his credibility.”

Spicer has been the target of attacks and the butt of jokes by news anchors, cable news commentators, late-night-show hosts and in Saturday Night Live sketches, which were as merciless as they could get. Read the rest of this entry »

Coping with criticism in foreign press

By Pachico A. Seares
Public & Standards Editor
Sun.Star Cebu and Sun.Star Superbalita

Andanar’s blast on Senate reporters didn’t work. Hinting The New York Times is corrupt and did a ‘hack job’ dodges the principal issue

President Duterte hasn’t had a friendly press abroad since he assumed office. Instead, because of his potshots at then U.S. president Obama, the European Union, the United Nations chief and Pope Francis, highlighted by his pet expletives, he has earned little goodwill or respect among the foreign media.

Hostile fire from major news organizations and late-night-show hosts has stepped up since the body count in President Duterte’s war on illegal drugs drew world attention. Read the rest of this entry »

When to drop the camera and save a life

By Pachico A. Seares
Public & Standards Editor
Sun.Star Cebu and Sun.Star Superbalita

The photojournalist is at times faced with conflicting choices: doing his job or rescuing a human being from death

Abd Alkader Habak, a photographer covering the Syrian war, last week was at the scene when a bomb hit a convoy of buses carrying evacuees from a besieged Syrian village.

Habak said he and his colleagues saw an “indescribable” image of people wounded and killed as they fled from another place of violence where 126 people, 68 of them children, died. Read the rest of this entry »