MANILA, Philippines – This week, nearly 20 prominent journalists and politicians pledge not to accept pay for favors, specially with the upcoming elections.
Marites Vitug files this video blog.
For the first time in contemporary history, journalists and politicians signed a covenant to fight corruption in media.
It was timed to coincide with the start of the election campaign, a fertile season for bribes and favors.
The signatories pledged not to engage in envelopmental journalism—the practice of paying off journalists to get to the front pages, TV and radio prime time, and the websites.
Of course, the outcome will not be dramatic. But it will lead to 2 significant things.
First, we in the media are opening the gates to public scrutiny. We are making ourselves the subject of news. We are asking the public to hold us to our promise to say no to corruption.
Second, we are encouraging media to report on media. After all, we are fair game.
I liken the covenant to an acupuncture treatment. We’re sticking a few needles to parts of our body. The disease will be healed only after continuous treatment.
Similarly, the campaign for zero tolerance against corruption needs to be sustained over a period of time until it becomes part of our culture.
This is just the beginning.
This is Marites Vitug for VitugVlogs.