Media's Public

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 »

Duterte’s blast on newspaper ‘slant’

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

The president complains of media overdoing its ‘antagonism’

“Look at the Inquirer. They are the ones saying that I am killing the poor. That son-of-a b**** is bull****. The poor will be killed. Look at how they slant the stories.”
–President Duterte

Editors admit that a news story must have a focus, which is usually in its lead (or lede) and the basis for the headline (or head). But they hardly use the word “slant,” maybe because it also means “bias or distortion.” Read the rest of this entry »

Complaint vs. Inquirer, ABS-CBN

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

Duterte rants on ‘corrupt and unfair’ media and its ‘oligarch’ owners

When President Duterte last June 4 declared a boycott on media, following his May 31 blast on media corruption and virtual endorsement of killing corrupt journalists he didn’t name any news organization, journalist or media owner.

The other day, March 30, in two speeches in Malacañang, he named the Inquirer and ABS-CBN and their owners — “the Prietos and the Lopezes” — cursing and shaming them. Read the rest of this entry »

Mainstream media, Mocha Uson

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

MBC and DZRH serve notice that broadcast values still apply in their newsroom

When dzRH radio, owned by Manila Broadcasting Co., suspended indefinitely a commentary program by Mocha Uson, President Duterte’s “supporter and propagandist,” it set off some ripples in the media industry.

For two reasons:

[1] Broadcast is not known for disciplining its hard-hitting commentators and news anchors. They are even encouraged to be vitriolic and acerbic, to sow fear in the airlines and develop a mass following. Obviously, for ratings, which drive basic programming to compete for the news organization’s share of advertising revenue. Read the rest of this entry »

‘Destabilizers’ and ‘deep state’

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

‘Threats’ on Duterte, Trump show parallels. And media unavoidably would’ve a part in reporting the clash

Palace spokespersons dispute most criticisms of President Duterte as acts of destabilization: more recently, opposition of the mining industry to his environment and natural resources secretary, Gina Lopez; the filing of an impeachment complaint against the president with the House; and Vice President Leni Robredo’s calling out the United Nations to the extrajudicial killings in the country.

They’re out to destabilize the Duterte government, his spokespersons allege, even noting a “plot” among the “destabilizers.” Read the rest of this entry »

Andanar ducks after fallout

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

Separate incidents, with Senate reporters and Malacañang Press Corps, showed how a publicist can get maimed and recover

[Related: “How a publicist can screw up,” Media’s Public, Feb. 25, 2017]

Two incidents, a month or so apart, showed how a high-powered publicist, Presidential Communications Officer Martin Andanar, could take the wrong step in dealing with media:

◘ Last Jan. 15, Andanar, in a press statement, cited as “examples of irresponsible journalism” news reports about President Duterte’s statement about martial law in a Davao City press-con held the previous day. He decried the “misreporting” as the latest offense of the reporters covering Duterte. Read the rest of this entry »

Fewer news reports of acquittals?

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

RTC Executive Judge Gilbert Moises tells why a ruling of “not guilty” deserves to be published

Cebu Regional Trial Court Judge Gilbert Moises asked at a media forum last week why the press usually doesn’t report acquittal of a person accused of a crime.

It does not? We’ve seen news stories of the accused declared not guilty as well as of the accused convicted of the crime. Read the rest of this entry »