Guest Editorial | Reclaiming the value of journalism

This year marks the 54th anniversary of the Philippine Press Institute (PPI), also known as the national association of newspapers.

This milestone serves as a testament to the enduring two-pronged vision of PPI: 1) To defend press freedom (the significance of which nowadays cannot be stressed enough); and 2) to promote ethical standards within the ranks of its member-publications.

“It is a feat that is both humbling and challenging, especially when we consider that this is happening at a time when our nation has been marred by crass partisanship and a maelstrom of populist rhetoric, made more intense by digital hyperactivity, the scale of which seems unprecedented,” said Alfonso Pedroche, PPI chairman-president.
As in previous years, PPI is holding its annual National Press Forum on May 24 and 25 in Manila, not only in celebration of its founding but, more importantly, to bring together the members in a once-a-year opportunity to engage in meaningful discussion on an issue that matters to all of the Philippine media. The publishers and editors from the member-newspapers will be joined by guests from the academe, government, embassies, and civil society organizations.
The theme for this year is “Reclaiming the Value of Journalism: In an Era When Clickbait Is King,” around which the PPI aims to have a discussion that, among others, will highlight how the media, the community press included, could reclaim and assert its role in today’s public agora, while upholding news as a public good instead of peddling it as a commodity in an atmosphere severely polluted by misinformation, malinformation, and disinfomation — telltale marks of today’s information disorder.
“We need not belabor the fact that the media is in deep crisis in today’s digital ecosystem. Among others, it is battling growing public distrust, declining revenue that severely impacts its capacity to pursue good journalism, and the commodification of news that is anathema to serious journalism,” said PPI training director Tess Bacalla.
Confounding these issues is the growing specter of threats to press freedom in a country that was once dubbed a bastion of a free and vibrant, albeit rowdy, press. Add to these troubling realities. She said, are the rise of an information disorder, where fact and falsehood are constantly at odds, or, worse, at times indistinguishable from the other.

Posted in Opinion