Media's Public

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 »

How a publicist can screw up

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

Andanar shows what not to do in discrediting accusations about his client

[Related: “When a news source slams or even curses the press,” Media’s Public, June 8, 2013]

Even Martin Andanar, press secretary and presidential communications officer, must realize by now that he bungled it when, after a damaging press conference by a former Davao Death Squad member, he accused Senate reporters who reported it as having been bribed. Read the rest of this entry »

Leaks to the press not so bad

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

Not when they expose wrongdoing or avert disaster in governance

U.S. President Donald Trump was fuming over the leak of information to the media that brought down his senior security adviser Mike Flynn and other unfortunate events that embarrassed his less-than-a-month-old administration.

This thing first:

Trump attacked media, notably New York Times and Washington Post, for the leaks when the flow of information came from his government. He declared in a tweet: “The spotlight has finally been put on the low-life leakers! They will be targets.” And then, warning he’d sic the justice department on suspects, proceeded to attack media. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Tomas shot down FOI ordinance

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

Mayor Osmeña may issue an executive order instead. To avoid confusion and duplication, he said

[Related article: Concerns of Cebu Journalists on Local FOIs, Media’s Public, Dec. 3, 2016)

It was the classic “I-am-all-for-it-but” pitch of those who refuse a proposal but don’t want it to sound ugly.

Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, in his veto message of Jan. 25, said Ordinance #2471, which implements President Duterte’s Executive Order #2 on freedom of information, is premature as the Senate is still to enact its version of the FOI. It might cause confusion and duplication, he said. Read the rest of this entry »

Cebu papers now equal — in size

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

Newspapers, like many other things in the world, are not created equal. Juanito V. Jabat, whom I worked with for 17 years in “The Freeman,” used to say that. I would laugh, not over his wisdom-laced pronouncement but the pun that accompanied it.

Even Cebu’s three English-language dailies, called “tabloid” for their size, didn’t have the same measurements. Freeman and “SunStar” were taller and thus looked bigger than “Cebu Daily News.” That, after CDN some years ago slashed its height by about two inches, which it said would be the “fatal two inches.” Read the rest of this entry »