The local media received another lecture from President Aquino on how to do their job.
Recognizing the important role of the media to nation building, President Aquino has appealed for a fair and comprehensive coverage of the election period.
In his speech before Publish Asia 2016 conference at the Manila Hotel, the President lamented the alleged bias of print media for “sensational candidates” and “clickbait” headlines, reminding them about the responsibility for truthful and fair reporting this poll season.
“Media, and perhaps especially print media, has a special role to play before, during, and after our elections – as it does at any critical time in even your own countries. We Filipinos will need a just, comprehensive accounting of this historic time, and you are in the best position to do that,” Aquino said.
“By far and large, you – the press – already have our people’s trust. This alone reflects the magnitude of your responsibility to wider society: to disseminate information, instead of speculation; to foster higher levels of discourse, instead of becoming a rumor mill; to empower citizenries and nations, instead of tearing them down,” he added.
The President made the appeal to the media as he observed candidates battle to win votes through various ways, from making promises, engaging in smear campaign against rivals, presenting records of service to making “curses and strong language.”
“All of this appears in your pages – some more sensational candidates featured more prominently than others, I have to point out. Everything you publish is indeed devoured by millions,” Aquino said.
The President said he hopes the media would not forget that they “live and work accordingly with the greater good of the public in mind.”