Media's Public

Is campus press less free than ‘pro’ media? Each has its limits.

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

A defective Campus Journalism Act can be amended to make the promised press freedom in schools in synch with the reality on campuses.

[John Cavin M. Sabonsolin, a liberal arts teacher of Naval State University and working on his M.A. in media studies at USJ-R, raised the question to a number of working journalists.]

THE Campus Journalism Act (Republic Act 7079) declares that it is the policy of the state “to uphold and protect the freedom of the press even in the campus level.” Note the word “even.” Read the rest of this entry »

How media users view fake news: ‘more of degree…’

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

A Reuters School survey showed that media users don’t clearly distinguish fake news from, say, mistakes in reporting and editing or politicians’ propaganda. The kind of fuzziness found in the definition by the House version of the fake news bill.

Related Media’s Public columns: “Villafuerte’s bill on fake news oppressive,” Feb. 17, 2018; “House fake news bill punishes errors in reporting and editing,” March 24, 2018; “Bong Go’s idea of fake news,” Feb. 24, 2018]

A SURVEY conducted by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ) and Oxford University showed that media users see no clear distinction between authentic news and fake news. Read the rest of this entry »

Roque, gov’t workers and Grace Poe bill on fake news

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

The presidential spokesman’s arguments against SB#1680 may not fly. But the proposal may be assailed for its being vague as a penal provision.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque was accused by Sen. Grace Poe of protecting government officials and employees who engage in spreading fake news.

True to his reputation as defender of human rights and free speech before he took the Malacañang job, Roque is defending the freedom of the likes of blogger Mocha Uson to peddle fake news while on government pay. Read the rest of this entry »

House ‘fake news’ bill punishes errors in reporting and editing

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

Unlike Villanueva’s Senate version, Villafuerte’s bill would punish the media outlet regardless of “whether or not” it had knowledge or ill intent in publishing the falsehood.

IN House Bill #6022 filed by Rep. Luis Raymond Villafuerte Jr., definitions of “fake news” and “false/inaccurate reports” include mistakes in reporting and editing.

And for mass media outlets, penalty is a gigantic fine (P1 million to P5 million) and, obviously unconstitutional, suspension of operations from one week to one month. Read the rest of this entry »

Lacson complaint, Roque objection on ‘fake news’

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

Two bills in the Senate fail to define “fake news,” contributing to confusion in the debate and fueling attack on constitutionality.

TWO news stories, which broke out on the same day (Thursday, March 15), highlight two major issues about fake news.

◘ Sen. Panfilo Lacson said in an “Inquirer” story he was a victim of “fake news” when in 2001 senior military officers under then president Gloria Arroyo accused him of stashing in foreign bank accounts “hundreds of millions of dollars” he allegedly piled up from criminal activities when he was PNP chief. Read the rest of this entry »

Cyber libel a continuing crime? NBI uses theory against Rappler

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

NBI argues that the news site didn’t cease in committing the offense when it didn’t remove the “offensive” story against a businessman. Unlike news in print, internet stories go beyond the day of posting.

A continuing crime, Black’s Law Dictionary says, is a single crime consisting of a series of acts but all arising from one criminal resolution.

A robbery gang strikes at three jewelry stores in three locations in a span of one hour. A spurned suitor kidnaps a girl and takes her on a ride across two towns and one city. Those are continuing crimes. Read the rest of this entry »

‘News gods must be crazy’:story overload on one day

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

Last Thursday, a chaotic White House produced more big news than what media would routinely handle.

What happened when at least seven major news stories erupted on one day in Washington D.C., seat of of the most powerful government in the world?

Scale down the glut of big stories in the U.S. capital last March 1 and imagine in Cebu, all on one day: Read the rest of this entry »

Bong Go’s idea of ‘fake news’: bad news, news he doesn’t like

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

The president’s special assistant in at least two instances called what could be mistakes in reporting or editing or plain disagreement with the media outlet’s call as fake news

Special presidential assistant Bong Go, testifying last Feb. 19 before the Senate committee, dramatized the erroneous concept of “fake news.”

“Fake news,” a.k.a. “false news” is fabricated content, something concocted, a piece of fiction, falsehood wrapped in some shred of fact. Read the rest of this entry »

Villafuerte’s House bill on fake news oppressive

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

HB #6622 removes absence of malice as a media outlet’s defense, every false news is punishable regardless of lack of knowledge or intent. Worse, the penalties include shutdown of the newspaper, broadcast station or website.

Journalists’ eyes have been focused on Senate Bill #1492 filed by Sen. Joel Villanueva, drawn by committee hearings where PCOO Asst. Secretary Mocha Uson and other “famous” bloggers who allegedly peddle fake news testified.

Few have looked at House bill #6622 filed by Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte Jr. Read the rest of this entry »

Pope Francis, fake news, and snakes in the garden

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

Fake news about the Catholic Church leader includes the pope falsely reported as having endorsed Hillary Clinton and Trump in the U.S. elections and Duterte in our elections.

Jan. 24 was feast day of St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of journalists. This May 13 is Vatican’s World Communication Day. And what had Pope Francis to say?

Pope Francis’s message, contained in a document titled “The Truth Will Set Your Free: Fake News and Journalism for Peace” and released Wednesday, was inevitably about media — and fake news. Read the rest of this entry »