DUMAGUETE CITY (14-Mar-2013) – As the election fever heats up in Negros Oriental, the provincial chapter of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP) has its hands full in containing what could otherwise be an uncontrollable problem of paid “political barkers” using the airwaves to push their respective candidates in widely observed unethical practices in local stations.
KBP-Negros Oriental chapter president Michael Palma admitted that it is, indeed, a tall order for him and the organization to continuously monitor these “barkers” who have been asked in a meeting Tuesday evening to observe the KBP’s Code of Ethics.
The “barkers”, known also as temporary broadcasters or block timers, have been at cutthroat competition even since last year, either hitting at each other or the political candidates they were endorsing through paid airtime.
One of them has even gone to court to sue a politician after the latter allegedly threatened him inside the announcer’s booth. The politician, in return, also announced he was suing the broadcaster for libel.
Palma said he has asked the block timers to carry out their programs without utilizing black propaganda, muck raking and hitting below the belt.
Many of these part-time broadcasters do not even have KBP accreditation, although Palma said they were asked to sign a memorandum of understanding for them to abide by KBP rules.
Palma also noted that a bulk of the responsibility to clear the air lanes of trash political propaganda is for the station owners and managers to strictly impose policies against it.
The KBP-Negros Oriental chapter president said he is ready to take on the challenge and impose sanctions if necessary once a block timer or any broadcast journalist for that matter is found guilty of violations. (PNA)