Media-arts alliance hisses over Inquirer's ‘faux pas', "A humiliating case of self-censorship" | BICOL TODAY

Media-arts alliance hisses over Inquirer’s ‘faux pas’, “A humiliating case of self-censorship”

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MANILA — Still breathing hard over Inquirer’s neck, an alliance of media and arts practitioners hisses over Inquirer.net’s “faux pas” as a “humiliating case of self-censorship.”

“We in the media and arts alliance LODI express grave disappointment and alarm at the Inquirer’s decision to take down three public interest articles about Pepsi Paloma from its website,” said the group.

“This humiliating case of self-censorship sets a dangerous precedent adverse to press freedom, history and the cause of fighting child abuse in our country,” said LODI, which stands for “Let’s Organize for Democracy and Integrity.”

LODI gave stress: “We salute the Inquirer’s brave journalists who are speaking out against the shameful cave-in by the management and editorial board to the demands of Senate President Vicente Sotto III.”

LODI continued: Inquirer’s act is made more lamentable by the fact that no court ordered that the articles be taken down. The bosses of the news organization acted on the basis of a mere demand letter from a politician who misused the letterhead of the Senate Presidency.

Last week, NUJP (National Union of Journalists of the Philippines) lashed out at the Inquirer.net for buckling down under Sotto’s wishes – deleting out the Pepsi Paloma stories. Other media groups and practitioners joined the chorus.

“What other stories would be taken down, we do not know. But what is clear is that the Inquirer buckled under pressure from a powerful politician who was given a chance to refute reports, dating from years back, that he interfered in a rape investigation, and whose statement was published by the newspaper,” LODI pondered. “If Sotto could do it to the Inquirer, what’s stopping any other public official from demanding takedowns of articles in other publications that they deem unpalatable like the Pepsi Paloma stories?”

Press freedom and freedom of expression are about the people and their agents — journalists — freely and independently reporting on public figures. In this case, the Inquirer turned these twin tenets backward: letting Sotto decide freely what should come out or be taken down in their publication.

LODI shared with NUJP’s views: “The law does not look kindly on takedowns, especially those sought by government and the powerful: Only in accordance with the orders of a court, after due process, and with the strictest criteria.”

But as we now also know, the rule of law has become optional for Sotto and the president he serves. Tragically, the Inquirer surrendered without a fight.

We in LODI hope the Inquirer management and editorial board would honor their own fighting history as a paper.

“We call on journalists, media workers, and the public to stay vigilant, and defend our press freedom and freedom of expression,” LODI insisted. [BicolToday.com]

Posted by on July 12, 2018. Filed under Headlines,Nation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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