MANILA, Philippines – Three years ago today, November 23, the world became witness to the most gruesome case of election-related violence in the Philippines.
Fifty-eight people—members and supporters of a politician, and 34 media personnel—were massacred by private armed groups and members of the then ruling Ampatuan clan in Maguindanao.
The incident is as much a grisly reminder of the culture of impunity in this country as it is of the sensitive, tough, and sometimes costly decisions that newsrooms and journalists have to make when covering campaigns and elections.
It’s election season once more, and the media is already in the thick of covering preparations for 2013 polls. In fact, we know that the media can shape the elections.
So how do we, voters and information consumers, expect our bearers of news to cover the campaigns and elections for us? How do they stay credible in our minds? Are they getting cozy with the politicians they are covering? Do they engage us or miss out on the issues that really matter to us?
Today, November 23, from 6-8 p.m., we’ll talk about watching the watchdogs. Several journalists who have seen several elections will be joining us. Let them know how you want them to cover this crucial exercise.
Join the conversation! Send us a tweet using the hashtag #PHvote, leave us a message on Facebook, or send your video reactions to firstname.lastname@example.org –Rappler.com