Philippine media

Former Rappler reporter Carmela Fonbuena is new PCIJ executive director

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Former Rappler reporter Carmela Fonbuena is new PCIJ executive director

ON THE GROUND. Carmela Fonbuena in Marawi City during the siege in 2017.

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Carmela Fonbuena is a former Rappler reporter and book author, who specializes in covering elections and national security

The Philippine Center For Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) named former Rappler reporter and book author Carmela Fonbuena as its next executive editor.

“We are very pleased that Carmela has decided to be at the helm of PCIJ at a time when journalism in the Philippines and elsewhere is facing challenges on multiple fronts,” the PCIJ said in a statement on Thursday, December 31.

The transition comes at a time when freedom of the press is under siege in the Philippines in the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, whose allies have sought to bring down independent news outlets critical of his administration.

Fonbuena succeeds Malou Mangahas, who led the PCIJ for 11 years and retired in early 2020. Floreen Simon, who stood in as acting executive director during the transition, will become the deputy executive director while still heading PCIJ’s training desk.

Fonbuena’s work

Fonbuena has been a journalist for 17 years, and has co-written 4 books on Philippine elections and government contracting.

She recently launched a book on the Marawi siege, which she covered on the ground in 2017. (WATCH: Documentary | Marawi: 153 days of war)

Fonbuena was a senior reporter for Rappler from 2011 to 2018 and was the head researcher of GMA’s ‘Bawal ang Pasaway’ public affairs program. Prior, she worked as a researcher for the investigative news magazine, Newsbreak. Recently, she has been contributing in-depth pieces for the British news website, The Guardian.

She earned an MA in political communication at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom as a Chevening scholar, and is a graduate of journalism from the University of the Philippines in Diliman. –

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