In the 12th Media Nation, an annual gathering of journalists to exchange views and air pressing concerns, some facts stood clear:
Held on September 9 and 10, the 12th Media Nation is the first under the Duterte administration. Participants included editors and staff of ABS-CBN, CNN Philippines, GMA7, Inquirer, TV5, Rappler, and the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility and Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication.
Today, the media operate in new conditions brought about by the polarized environment. Many supporters of Duterte regard any reporting that is critical of the new president as biased. In fact, BIAS! was their battle cry during the election campaign – and continues to this day.
They conveniently label legitimate media organizations which do their job to chronicle events, no matter that they hurt the powers that be, and fact-check official claims as Yellow, meaning partisans of the Aquino administration. (Yellow was the campaign color of Benigno Aquino III when he ran for president.)
In the light of all this, participants in this last Media Nation recognized the need to reach out to the public and engage them through a media literacy campaign. We have to inform and remind the readers and viewers about what to expect from news organizations: independence is our hallmark and a source of credibility. We do not report to please our leaders. We are not part of the official echo chamber.
In moments of self-reflection, Media Nation participants also talked about not letting one’s guard down and hewing to strict standards of accuracy and fairness because facts are easily disregarded these days.
Equally important was the realization that we need to tap into to our reservoir of vigilance. We will not let the mobs, partisans, and vested interests drown out our voices. – Rappler.com