Media groups to Inquirer: Apologize for ‘bigoted’ caption
A media group chides the Inquirer for its 'blatantly bigoted caption'

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Two media groups asked the Philippine Daily Inquirer  (PDI) Thursday, May 10, to apologize for its “blatantly bigoted” photo caption in its May 9 hard-copy and online edition.

In separate statements, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) and the Philippine Center for Photojournalism (PCP) said the paper needed to apologize for the controversial caption.

The Inquirer photo of a woman in a burka shaking President Benigno Aquino III’s hand was captioned “Security Risk.” Netizens protested the caption and shared their views with Rappler. After the online flak, the Inquirer changed the caption to “Presidential Guest.”

“It is disturbing that the paper cleared such a blatantly bigoted caption, especially after the firestorm of criticism it reaped in the wake of the Demetrio Vicente fiasco, when PDI ran a series of unflattering photos of the stroke victim when he appeared at the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona and labeled it ‘Character witness,'” the NUJP said in a statement.

“Clearly, the PDI owes an apology and an explanation to the public, to Muslims and to its own staff photographer,” the organizaiton added.

The PCP, meanwhile, specifically asked for a retraction and public apology from the paper.

“The heading SECURITY RISK! we believe is uncalled for, insensitive and even libelous,” the PCP said.

“We believe labeling a dress a security risk does not take into account the nuances of the Islamic culture. It is also an affront to the minority Muslim population of this country that a symbol of Muslim culture is labeled outright a security risk and further fuels the stereotyping of our Muslim brothers as terrorists,” the PCP added. –