The National Union of Journalists in the Philippines reminds our colleagues in the media to uphold the values of fair, accurate, balanced reporting in journalism at all times. It is important to ensure that we only report verifiable facts when filing stories for our respective media outlets.
We are concerned that some recent reports do not reflect these values by letting themselves become conduits of government statements and releases that are presented as facts but are in fact biased and unsubstantiated.
Echoing or amplifying these statements from government agencies and others in power is a huge disservice to our profession and to the public that we have sworn to serve. Our commitment as journalists should always remain with the truth.
The job of a journalist therefore is not merely to relay statements from the powerful but to sift through information provided by our sources and present information as we understand it even as it may debunk the official narrative.
We must always resist the temptation to sensationalize stories, and not let industry competition get in the way of serving the public interest.
We must ensure that the citizens we serve are heard or seen in our stories, as many journalists in the past year of the pandemic have done.
In these challenging times, we need to be vigilant more than ever against disinformation and attempts to peddle narratives that make a mockery of our freedom of expression and people’s right to public information. We will not allow ourselves to become vessels of hatred or propaganda pushed by certain vested interests.
It is at these times that we should be beacons of truth that cast light over outright lies, distortions and disinformation.