Atom Araullo speaks up on press freedom

MANILA, Philippines – In an interview during the press event for his latest show,  journalist, TV host, and now film actor Atom Araullo admitted that while he enjoys exploring new facets of his career, news is still his core.

Atom was asked about his views on press freedom during the event on Thursday, February 1.

He said: "I think a crucial element of any healthy democracy is a healthy press and free press. And there are challenges especially nowadays that we're facing, and it's important for members of the press to push back against organizations or interests that might want to control the press."

Press freedom became a hot topic mid-January, when the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revoked Rappler's license. The SEC's move was widely viewed as political. (READ: FAQs: Rappler's SEC case)

Atom added: "The important thing, I think, is for people in the press to also not forget that they also have responsibilities to the audience as well. And we need them to support us – they are our allies. So every time there are also criticisms of the press, we have to listen.  That's the only way we can ensure that people will support journalists when our work is under fire."

New milestones

During Thursday's press event, Atom also discussed his latest endeavor. 

This is Adventure Your Way, a 30-minute crowdsourced travel show produced by AXN. The show relies on suggestions given by viewers through social media to determine Atom's activities and next destination. 

Although some of his new shows are in a different format, Atom appreciates the leverage and reach they provide. He said these can help him too as a journalist.

He explains, "For someone like me who has made telling stories a career, I am perfectly cognizant of the fact that it's not just important to make good stories; it's important to make people listen to this stories so that we're not just throwing stories into the void."

"That has to do with expanding your influence, and there are many ways of doing that. By being sincere and showing a side of your personality to people that they may not see on a daily basis, it makes you more human and more relatable. I think that's a great advantage for people in our line of work." – Rappler.com