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CONTENTS Original Articles

A Case Study on the Perspective of the Media Organizations in the Emergence of Freedom of Information Law in the Philippines A Study on the Usage of New Media against Traditional Media as Perceived by Selected PUPCOC Students A Study on the Perception of the Metropolitan Manila Residents on Obscenity in Tabloid Newspapers A STEP TOWARDS ENDING THE CULTURE OF IMPUNITY: An Analysis on the Implications of the 15th Congress Senate Bill No. 455 Case Study on the Salaries and Benefits of Print Journalists in the Philippines

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Compendium of Research Reports in Journalism Editor: Julie Ann Demdam Associate Editors: Romar Fernando Tretch Boy Melarpes Romar Fernando Jerryca Marie Dolon Review Editor: Lloyd Zapanta Founding Editor: Dr. Angelina Borican, MBA Editorial Advisory Board Aba単es, Mariel; Andal, Patrick Roy; Avellanosa, Alyssa; Mansion, Ryan Kester; Martinez, Maria Jessica; Noriega, Mariane Clarize; Pe単ano, Erwin; Roque, Jazon. Research on Freedom of Information Law. Bardinas, Mary Ann T.; Landicho, Jolina M.; Pablo, Rouczar M.; Saclote, Arlyn Rose A.; Tagnipez, Antonette B.; Terrazola, Vanne Elaine P.; Velasco, Joyce A.; Zoleta, John Jerick R. Research on New Media vs. Traditional Media. Alix, Angelo; Artizuela, Jazztine; Guieb, Rei; Reyes, Alyssa Mae; Sebastian, Ruffa; Senora, Rosemarie; Ulanday, Bryan; Zapanta, Lloyd. Research on Safety on Journalists. Ofianga, Shaira; Tercero, Francoise; Reyes, Christine Joanne; Villanueva, Dennile; Celiz, Linell Faye; Valdez, Jamela; Agpaoa, Janica. Research on Obscenity on Newspapers. Bencito, John Paolo J.; Caranyagan, Leslie Ann L.; Corcilles, Judy Ann; Dolar, Arianne Joy D.; Maranan, Romelie Janelle; Mendoza, Merrowen M.; Santos, Ma. Donna V.; Otares, Ma. Dana P. Research on Salaries and Benefits of Journalists.

Compendium of Research Reports in Journalism Volume 2 – 31D ORIGINAL ARTICLE A Case Study on the Perspetive of the Media Organizations in the Emergence of Freedom of Information Law in the Philippines College of Communication, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Manila (October 2013) The urgency of the passage of the Freedom of Information Law in the Philippines have emerged. In the recent opening of the 16th Congress, the FOI Law was signed by the president to be an urgent law to pass. This law shall pave the way for higher transparency and accountability to the country by means of greater access to information of the public. The media, as represented by different organizations, plays their vital role in the success of this law. This research focuses on the perspective of the media organizations and their foreseen advantages and disadvantages in the law. It examines the major question: What are the perspective of the media organization in the emergence of Freedom of Information. Aside from this, the study also examines three research questions: (1) What are the advantage and disadvantages of FOI in the eyes of media organizations? (2) What are the efforts made by the media organizations in the pursuit for FOI? (3) What are their underlying reason/s why they pursue the passage of FOI in the country? In the following pages, the perspective of the media organizations will be examined through systems model and theory to understand wholly their perspective in the emergence of this new law for Freedom of Information. INTRODUCTION This research study seeks the perspective of media organizations in the emergence of the Freedom of Information in the Philippines. This attempts to describe primarily the emergence of Freedom of Information


as it is legislated in the country in the view of media organizations. We all know that information is the communication or reception of knowledge or intelligence. Throughout the years, the information process has been dealt with in day to day activities. The bits of information together with the process of communication plays vital role as it is applied and utilized in social areas such as organizations, groups, or even in a mere interpersonal relationship. Thus, it’s role have been inevitable to us all. In this study, it shows how organizations collect and distribute information as they perceived it and how their roles have greatly shaped their perspectives. The Philippines is a democratic country wherein the people of the State vote and decide its rulers. The State belongs to the people and transparency is a must for it. As a democratic country, transparency in the Government is a definite must and necessity. All the transactions of the Government and its Officials should be visible and available upon request for the people. This is recognized by the 1987 constitution. The Right to Information is an essential privilege for the people of the State. Through the Right of Information, the people would be informed about the dealings, businesses and transactions within the Government, thus making them not ignorant with the State’s affairs. The Right to Information would also lessen the corruption in the Government because of its demand of transparency. Study shows that many of the countries with FOI act have successfully lowered corruption. A prize-winning study at the University of Missouri found that countries with freedom of information laws “have lower incidence of corruption” and a better quality of life than nations that just recently enforced such a measure or have none at all. The study by former INQUIRER reporter Edson Tandoc Jr., a Fulbright scholar and doctoral candidate at the Missouri School of Journalism, found that nations long implementing legislated transparency experience less corruption.


“The findings of the study can inform countries without an FOI law—such as the Philippines—of the benefits that come with guaranteeing right to information to its citizens. The study shows that countries with mature FOI laws tend to have much lower corruption levels and higher standards of living than countries with younger laws, or no laws at all,” Tandoc said (Quismundo, T. 2013). The 1987 Philippine Constitution Article III, Section 7, states that the citizens of the State have the right to access documents, records and other transactions within the Government. The Constitution allows the people the Right to Information. This is primarily the basis of the Freedom of Information bill. As it is cited in the bill, the State recognizes the right to access of information. The Freedom of Information Bill will allow the people an access to the Government’s transactions and all the businesses within the Government will be transparent to its people. Through the freedom of Information, a citizen will have knowledge regarding the Government’s affairs. But isn’t it ironic that a democratic country like the Philippines doesn’t have an enabling law? There is no Freedom of Information Act per se in the Philippines but a combination of the Constitutional right and various other legal provisions makes it one of the most open countries in the region. In the constitutional provision, it is stated that the FOI is subject to an enabling law. A comparative review by the Southeast Asian Press Alliance in 2002 found that the Philippines, even without a formal FOI law, was one of the most open in the region. However, there are still many problems in accessing information, especially by non-media. These include a lack of a uniform procedure to obtain information from bodies, a “fluid” scope of right due to changing government policies, limited sanctions, inadequate remedies to require disclosure, and a lack of a culture of transparency in government bodies. (


Here enters the purposive informants, the media. The media as they vigilantly speaks and presents truth as precise as possible aimed to fulfill their call of duty. In research conducted in USA as written and compiled in, the media played vital role in disseminating the information about the E. Coli outbreak. (Lupberger, R. 2012) The media in its call of duty disseminates information throughout the public by means of mass communication. The FOI recognizes the right to access of information, not just of the media but of every constituents of the country. Thus, the major disseminating body in our country – media, practices this right. But the truth is, until now, the FOI Act proposed in the 16th Congress is yet to be passed. It still has to pass under scrutiny. Hopefully in this Congress, the legislators shall see its importance. In the beginnings of this congress, the FOI have affirmative results. In this study, researchers have seen its potential that the perspective of the media (and their role) plays an issuing chapter in the history of Philippine government and in the passage of the FOI Law. The researchers view this study as an essential tool for further and future researches in different angle but of same subject. It is not neglected that this issue is very timely, which may have effects in the current undergoing of the study. The researchers address changes but still focuses on the perspective of the media organizations in the emergence of the Freedom of Information. “The exigency to pass the Freedom of Information bill has never been this timely and appropriate,� according to the statement of UPKMS (UP Kalipunan ng Mag-aaral ng Sosyolohiya). In the recent Congress, FOI has advanced significantly with the unwavering efforts of the advocates and legislators. However, contentions stalled its passage into a law. But through the persistence of the advocates, the bill was proposed again for 16th Congress through an indirect initiative referendum. Signed in the referendum are representatives of various organizations,


political parties and media men. FOI, by this time, is in regular session in the beginning of 16th Congress. As a watchdog of their right to a free access to information, the media’s position in the issue is imperative. The study aims to find the answer to the question: What is the perspective of the Media Organizations to the emergence of the Freedom of Information in the Philippines? BRIEF REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE AND STUDIES Information plays a vital role in the communication process. As communication is defined, it is the act of transferring information from one place to another. These places are what we call the sender and the receiver. But according to Merriam Webster dictionary, information is the reception of knowledge or intelligence. Without information in the communication process, communication itself may not even be possible in the first place since this is where the message to be sent to the receiver comes from. An essential part of our freedom as a democratic country is the freedom to access information about government affairs. By keeping an open communication between the government and the people, the officials currently in position may be open and responsive to the people’s will. Through this, free political discussion may also be encouraged. But in the current twin provisions in the Constitution which seeks to promote transparency in policy-making and in the operations of the government, it also seeks to provide adequate information to exercise other constitutional rights effectively. If the government does not disclose its official acts, transactions and decisions to citizens, whatever citizens say, even if expressed without any restraint, will be speculative and amount to nothing. These twin provisions are also essential to hold public officials “at all time accountable to the people,” for unless citizens have the proper information, they cannot hold public officials accountable for anything. Armed with the right information, citizens can participate in public discussions leading to the


formulation of government policies and their effective implementation. An informed citizenry is essential to the existence and proper functioning of any democracy. (Chavez v. PEA; Chavez v. NHA, et al., G.R. No. 164527, August 15, 2007). The Freedom of Information in the Philippines In the closure of the 15th Congress, Freedom of Information bill unfortunately was not legislated. Coalition lead convenor Nepomoceno Malaluan filed the coalition’s petition for an indirect initiative for the people’s FOI bill with the senate secretariat. The petition takes advantage of the mechanism provided by Republic Act 6735 or the initiative and referendum act, which allows people’s organizations to propose a bill to congress. Through it, a people’s bill will still go through the regular legislative mill, but will now “have a precedence over pending legislative measures on the committee.” The coalition hopes to spur congress into finally passing the FOI after so many failed attempts. FOI advocates had hoped for a speedy passage of the bill. They have filed a counterpart petition with the House of Representatives as early as the 16th congress opened. Advocates acknowledged that the real battle for the FOI takes place in the lower chamber, and not in the Senate, since most of the opposition to the FOI bill have consistently come from the House of Representatives. In the 15th Congress, congressmen succeeded in delaying the approval of the FOI bill in the House Committee on Public Information until the last two weeks of session of Congress. By then, there was already little time left for any substantial discussion of the bill on the floor. Malaluan expressed confidence that the group’s new tack would give the FOI bill a better chance of getting through the legislative wringer. ( The Philippines without Freedom in the Access of Information In 2008, Karol Ilagan of CMFR wrote about PCIJ’s experience in accessing documents on projects funded with official development assistance.” I


was just in my second month on the job at the time, and hearing stories from senior colleagues about the ways in which public offices dealt with requests for information made me realize how much I had my work cut out for me.” Until now, there are often-frustrating efforts in the journalists as they try to obtain state records that needed to be disclosed to the public. Agencies and certain officials have often suppressed the access of information that is according to the 1987 Constitution, a right of the public. However, on most days, obtaining a document – specifically those pertaining to expenditures, contracts, or the use of taxpayer’s money – would require sending a letter to, say, a bureau director who will forward it to the head of office who would in turn refer the request back to the director because he has the papers being requested. There is no guarantee that the request will be approved, or if complete documents will be released. In case of some local government units, letters must be addressed to the mayor because he has the sole authority to approve or deny all requests for information. The problem is, the mayor is seldom in the office. There is no guarantee that there will be a release of records for information gathering of the journalists. If journalists whose bread and butter involves getting public records on a daily basis find the task daunting, it would even be more challenging for ordinary citizens who may not have the time and resources to keep track of requests. Unfortunately, the FOI bill that would enable citizens in accessing government-held information remains in legislative limbo. Despite the many difficulties in today’s allegedly transparent regime, journalists have learned to cope. If anything, the media’s trying account of accessing information shows how much more the FOI law is needed. After all, it has never been just about securing a document to finish a report and beat a deadline, its about the content and the impact it would have on the welfare of citizens. (


The PH Press without FOI Law The importance of FOI and its effectiveness is not just for the journalists. The media can maximize their use of the access to information. For the President, caution is his notion to where will the media people use such information they will gather. But for the media, responsibility to disseminate information of public concerns are far above an alleged benefit that they would get from the law. According to the Philippine Press Institute, it is a common knowledge that advertising is the lifeblood of a newspaper, and indeed, of any mass media organization. Deprive a newspaper, a radio or television station, an online news agency or any other news medium of advertising and it will soon die. Similarly, information is the lifeblood of a democracy. If we are to strengthen democracy in our country, we have to enact the freedom of information bill into law. METHODS This research is based on interviews with the head of the media organizations in the Philippines. An in-depth study through analysis and interpretation of the interviews were made. Research Design The research is qualitative in nature as it further utilizes descriptions, of behaviors, events, phenomena, experiences and such to explain further findings. The researchers believe that such approach will strengthen the output which is the perspective of media organizations in the emergence of Freedom of Information. This aims to solidify the whole concept of the study through descriptive manner. According to, Qualitative research is a generic term for investigative methodologies described as ethnographic, naturalistic, anthropological, field, or participant observer research. It emphasizes the importance of looking at variables in the natural setting in which they are


found. Interaction between variables is important. Detailed data is gathered through open ended questions that provide direct quotations. The interviewer is an integral part of the investigation (Jacob, 1988). This differs from quantitative research which attempts to gather data by objective methods to provide information about relations, comparisons, and predictions and attempts to remove the investigator from the investigation (Smith, 1983). The researchers aim to study in a comprehensive manner. By this, the researchers look into an in depth view through case study as the tradition of inquiry in the study. The closer look into their perspective and the issue shall then be analyzed in an unbiased manner. Case studies are detailed investigations of individuals, groups, institutions or other social units. The researcher conducting a case study attempts to analyze the variables relevant to the subject under study (Polit and Hungler, 1983). The principle difference between case studies and other research studies is that the focus of attention is the individual case and not the whole population of cases. Most studies search for what is common and pervasive. However, in the case study, the focus may not be on generalization but on understanding the particulars of that case in its complexity. A case study focuses on a bounded system, usually under natural conditions, so that the system can be understood in its own habitat (Stake, 1988). In identifying the focus of the study which is the perspective of media in the emergence of Freedom of Information, the researchers made use of an interview as the methods for data generation. Interviews are conducted to leading media organizations as a credible informants as a credible informants of the study. A study guide shall be utilized by the researchers. The researchers chose purposive sampling in selecting representatives of the media organizations under the advocacy and those who are not. In


this manner, the researchers set carefully a criteria to the media organizations and their representatives. RESULTS, DISCUSSIONS AND CONCLUSION The perspective of the media organizations to the emergence of the Freedom of Information law have been strongly on the side of pursuing it. The Researchers upon gathering of data through interviews in the chairman of every media organizations have seen a consistent view on the following: Profile of the media organizations, Profile of the Selected Informants of each organization, the advantages and disadvantages of FOI in the view of media organizations, the efforts made by the media organizations in their advocacy, and their underlying reason why they pursue the passage of FOI into law. The FOI in other countries have been successfully executed. Though still has flaws, the FOI law was able to trigger the accountability of the government to their countrymen. Since the FOI has been for so many years stalled in its passage, the media organizations upon their earnest desire to access information for their practice have worked hand in hand with other organizations in pushing forward the FOI to law. These media organizations have been well-rounded with the advocacy. As the Freedom of Information bill was proposed, the organizations started backing up the proposal. According to NUJP, by the year 2000, the media organizations teamed up in spearheading activities such as: Lobbying, debates with legislators, organizing forums, campaign discussions, attending the hearings and the like. The media organizations, started in the advocacy for approximately five years starting 2008 until now. Upon their experiences in pushing for the FOI Bill, each organizations started their own FOI activity. Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, for example have their website posted for writings and updates in the FOI Bill which is and other campaigns like Bantay FOI campaign which is launched in July 19, 2011. Interestingly, after years of hearings and debates for the FOI, the


people’s FOI through an Indirect Initiative paved the way for more possibilities of success. Time may be a constraint during the 15th Congress but according to Rep. Erin Taùada III, the freedom of information shall be on its legislative mill on the opening of the 16th Congress. In his statement during the interview, Lastly, the advantage of media people in gathering information from government officials can be made easier through the FOI law. This is the first and foremost benefit of the law. Aside from that, not only the media can get information which are of public concern. The public, even the regular citizen of the country can access information making them aware of the issues and more concerned to it. In the side of the government, upon the request of information, the officials are now more accountable to their task in making data/information available to access. They are then responsible to inform people in a manner of truth and credibility. Apart from the advantages are the disadvantages. National Security is a big considerable notion in the provisions of the FOI law. Since national security is an important goal for the government, the information that can violate this will not be disclosed to the public. Also, the abuse from the restriction are said to be questionable. There is a certain criteria to tell whether the information may cause to disrupt the certain transactions that the government has with other countries. Discussion and Conclusion Though the government of the Philippines may have their personal arguments that stalls the finale passage of the bill into law, the media organizations never died in their hopes and dreams of finally having the FOI law. This rest assures their works through the advocacy and campaigns will never be in vain. The citizenry, in their pursuit, shall be able to participate by means of being accommodated whenever they request for information. Apparently in their quest, there are issues being raised to them such as the probability of abuse in the information. Which is according to the media organizations are against their protocol. Since


for media people, truth must not be chucked out from their news gathering. The Right to Reply provision was removed from the bill. Why? “The freedom of the press must not be suppressed,” according to Sonny Fernandez. “Right to reply is a prior restraint which allows the officials power to suppress the freedom of the press. For example, the issue of the PDAF or Pork Barrel Scam, the accused legislators kept their mouths shut. They never gave their side regarding the issue though the media sought their side to be investigated. How come that they wanted the Right to reply provision be in the FOI law? Right?” In a matter of weighing the advantages and disadvantages, the media organizations have become one in the advantages. Securing transparency and accountability must be called to the government officials. They themselves must be able to inform the public about matters of their concern such as to where their taxes were spent, transactions that the government undertakes, and the like. This study was able to search for the perspective of the emerging Freedom of Information law. The pursuit is still continuous and every media organizations united to stand for the advocacy. Not only them but also other organizations that represented the public joined their fight. This is true to what President Noynoy Aquino stated, “FOI law is not just for the media but for the people, for the public.” In this “daang matuwid” will the FOI bill be finally legislated? The media organizations are hopeful. The study is still continuous in the process until the FOI is finally put into law. Though the researchers were able to get enough resources, the efforts are still with flaws. Shortcomings such as more amount of time is needed for the research. For future researches, the impact of the FOI law in the media through the perspective of the media organizations in the Philippines is a well rounded study to be made.


RECOMMENDATIONS Though our study seeks to suggest to the media organizations a public information for the citizenry to access information, we may have foreseen a benefit if the people will see the importance of this bill and act upon it. Since the people’s act is more appealing to the government might as well, if the public will participate more in the advocacy of the freedom to information. To the legislators of the country, scrutinizing the FOI law is beneficial but bias judgment is not. We recommend that if the past debates with the advocates are insufficient for your gaining knowledge of the FOI, communication between the government and them would be highly appreciating especially in the midst of our passion to serve one another. Lastly, to the readers of this study, we recommend further researches of this topic as it is very substantial and timely. Researches on different angles will be very beneficial for further learning for us all. REFERENCES Bernas, J.G. (17 October 2011) ‘Freedom of Information’, Philippine Daily Inquirer (Online), Available at: (Accessed 20 February 2013). CPBRD (2013). Pushing for Greater Transparency and Accountability Through Freedom of Information. Philippines. Ilagan, K. (26 September 2012). Why we need an FOI act. Http:// Philippines Mora, (2012) Right to know, right now! Coalition: A case study. Philippines

13 Agee, et. al, Introduction to Mass Communication, 11th ed. (New York: Herper Collins College, 1994) 44-45 Viray, K., Context of Communication (2008) McQuail, D., McQuail’s Mass Communication Theory (London: SAGE Publications, 2010) Judy Imelda Igoy, Ph.D, Apolinario S. Saymo, Effective speech communication in various situations, 35 Nick Sanchez, Communication Process Reese, S. (2001). Understanding the global journalist: a hierarchy-ofinfluences approach. ory M.Saravanan. PhD Research Scholar, Media gate keeping theory: Tuesday talk (2011) Communication and Leadership Ilagan, K. Why we need a FOI ACT (CMFR: 2012)


Compendium of Research Reports in Journalism Volume 2 – 31D ORIGINAL ARTICLE A Study on the Usage of New Media against Traditional Media as Perceived by Selected PUP-COC Students College of Communication, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Manila (20 October 2013) Mass media plays a vital role in spreading all the important information that an individual always need and also enables people to participate in events and interact with communities over long distances. And now, in this generation, the role of the traditional media has been challenged by the new media that greatly affects the participation habits of all the audiences. As confidence in the media grows, a problem is creeping up on one side. As a result, traditional media are weakened in the process. And because of this, the researchers conducted this research that aims to know the usage of new media against traditional journalism. Newspapers are not really over-powered by the internet news portals but still, new media are ahead in their clash. With these findings, modernization takes place and also the mindset of the communication students in terms of news inquiries had also been changed and modernized. These fundamental changes to newspaper revenues mean that public access to affordable content (most importantly, news) will decline; content quality and diversity will also decline. But there is still hope for newspaper companies to come up and adjust. It is still early days in the new media revolution. Some mainstream media organizations are beginning to join the party and to take their audiences with them; others have yet to make their first move. There is much still be learned, but overall there is new confidence in the underlying values of journalism and the role that new media might play in keeping those values relevant in the digital age. To sum it up, the researchers aim to present the current situation of traditional journalism in the generation of


computers and fast-paced technological advancements, thus help journalists as well as future media practitioners adjust and keep up with today’s challenges. INTRODUCTION The research study deals on the issue of Usage of New Media against Traditional Journalism as Perceived by Selected PUP-COC students. This paper attempts to describe primarily the present status of traditional journalism and new media; the changes brought by the rise of new media against traditional journalism. As we all know, developments have always driven change in the way people live through the passing generations. All throughout the years, new discoveries, inventions and the advancements in technology never fail to transform the views, the works and the actions of almost everything including the media. From the very first printing press of Johannes Gutenberg to the rise of the Internet, the world of media has experienced drastic modifications with each new ways and means to deliver news that shaped Journalism. According to the Internet World Stats (2010), roughly 28.7 per cent of the world population, or nearly 2 billion people, were using the Internet in 2010. The growth in developing countries has been astronomical: Africa has seen a 2,357 per cent increase in usage since 2000, while that of the Middle East increased by 1,825 per cent in the same time period (Internet World Stats 2010). In terms of real numbers, Asia, by far, has the most Internet users with about 825 million online. Europe is a distant second with 465 million Internet users (Internet World Stats 2010). The evolution of the age of the internet has been rapid enough to change the trends and lifestyle of many people. With new media conquering the scenes, it is consequently believed by some people that Traditional Journalism is at its verge of dying. In the present, the consumption of printed newspapers and magazines


has declined. It is not just a trend happening locally but even in the global scene. Nowadays, many of the younger generations are very much reliant on the Internet when it comes into getting news and other information they would want to know about. Observably, most of the time, only the sector of adults and old-aged citizens depend on traditional newspapers for the supply of news and other information they need. With the ability of the public to freely gain the power of technology, the reign of newspapers and traditional journalists are said to be surmounted by the birth of the new forms of Journalism and the so-called citizen, participatory and crowd-sourced journalists. Crowdsourcing: new media now employ such mechanisms to be able to gather news and information faster. Crowdsourcing is defined as the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people and especially from the online community rather than from traditional employees or suppliers. Jeff Howe and Mark Robinson, contributing and features editors, respectively, at Wired Magazine coined the term in 2006 after conversations about how businesses were using the Internet to outsource work to individuals. These trends have greatly affected the business of traditional newspapers. Traditional employees in printed newspapers are no longer as in demand as compared to the past since the budding of crowdsourcing—now a tool for the new media to grow and to widen its coverage or scope in acquiring information. It is now more difficult to survive in publication businesses since a lot of people nowadays do not consume traditional newspapers and instead they find alternatives (which are always present in the new media especially online). People with busy lifestyle acquire their needs of news on the internet. Well, the Internet allows easy access on news information than in traditional medium since it’s just “one-click away”. Some of the people in the working class get their news online since they have limited time for


reading news and the just look for the news of their interest is easier to do online. As for some people, the advantage of getting news on the internet is that the news or information are always updated online—that updates are first seen in this medium and information come up minute by minute. Also, it has wider scope, hence, news is not confined only on the local scene but people also have access on global news at any moment they want. But in spite of the easy-access-and-one-click-away features that the Internet offers, some people still find that traditional journalism outputs are more credible than of new media’s. Accuracy is always a question in new media (especially in the online medium) for the news posts or updates are done fast and people still need to be critical in order to verify whether the news are reliable enough. On the whole, this research study aims to deal with the issues and conflicts of the effects of new media. With the classification of new media and traditional journalism, the study will discuss the radical changes that the new media has brought to the lifestyle of the people and the credibility of news. At the end of the study, recommendations and answers to how the media, especially the practitioners of traditional journalism can adapt to the said rapid changes and developments, today as well as to the future to keep themselves alive and stand and walk up-straight through the flow of this generation. BRIEF REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE AND STUDIES Many people might have believed that it was a 1990’s invention, but the Internet is actually envisioned as early as during the 1960’s (Medoff and Kaye, 2011).Poe (2010 even) lifts, that this electronically networked system is a fulfillment of the 400-year-old dream that information might be collected, stored, sifted easily, efficiently and endlessly. And in just 40 years, technology has developed from being able to send one letter from one computer to another, to being able to send trillions of








Since its advent, we cannot deny how the Internet has helped in improving every aspects of the society, including the media, as mentioned. The Internet and Traditional Journalism The rise of the Internet, also, mirrors the development of over-the-air radio and television broadcasts as well as printed publications (Medoff and Kaye, 2011). For so long, these traditional media have been influential on people’s daily lives and routines, affecting the content and times that audiences read, watch and listen ( So as online technology enhances the traditional electronic media keep up as they see the potential of increasing their audiences (or as they fear of losing their audience); for technological advancements as well have reshaped and redefined the public’s preferences, understanding and expectations for obtaining news, information and services (Bumanglang, 2011). From a once-unknown medium, the Internet has become one now used by over 1.5 billion people worldwide (Pew Research Center, 2010, cited in Medoff and Kaye, 2011). Most research indicates that individuals spend about four hours per day online, which constitutes about 30 percent of their media use per day. Internet blogs, news portals and online news, Facebook, You Tube, podcast and webcast, and even the short messaging system (SMS), are all new media. The modern revolution enables everybody to become a journalist at little cost and with global reach. Nothing like this has ever been possible before. Broadband internet platforms with 24/7 exposure are creating citizen journalists so that anyone can produce news, breaking free the strangle-hold of institutional news organizations, and influencing debates. People do not need to rely solely on traditional media. (Media and Good Governance, 2009)


This lends credence to the media industry’s concern that they are no longer needed by increasing number of Internet users. That is why almost all media organizations and stations have established online counterparts and web sites—further to provide news and information and to continue promoting themselves—leading to the growth of the new media. Online television and radio streams have now caught the ears of webusers and have the potential of becoming a viable alternative to overthe-air broadcasting. Online newspapers and news-oriented websites have gained their significance as compared to the traditional printed ones. With the current fast-paced culture, many are abandoning traditionally-delivered broadcasts, figuring that it’s better to access static-free online audio than to listen to on-air reports and that it’s more convenient to read about current events and watch video clips or programs online than to wait for a television program to come on (Medoff and Kaye, 2011). The Internet, too, has dramatically lowered barriers of entry in the media industry. The costs of starting a news site are small compared to what it takes to launch a new print magazine. Digital Journalism and Crowdsourcing Technological innovations, which previously allowed the mass distribution of news and information to large audience is now giving that power to individuals. There is this new form of journalism to which this arises: Digital Journalism. According to Wikipedia, Digital Journalism is journalism originating from the Internet. Digital journalism is creating a new media landscape for the 21st century, with low barriers to entry, computer networking technologies, and new writing genres such as blogs. Freed from the necessity of large investments in distribution and production equipment, individuals and grass-root organizations have pioneered various new journalistic styles and practices and generated new communicative forms such as YouTube and hyper local geographicallybased websites.


Digital journalism allows for connection and discussion at levels that print does not offer on its own. People can comment on articles and start discussion boards to discuss articles. Before the Internet, spontaneous discussion between readers who had never met was impossible. The process of discussing a news item is a big portion of what makes for digital journalism. People add to the story and connect with other people who want to discuss the topic. The effects of digital journalism are evident worldwide. This form of journalism has pushed journalists to reform and evolve. Older journalists who are not tech savvy have felt the blunt force of this. In recent months, a number of older journalists have been pushed out and younger journalists brought in because of their lower cost and ability to work in advanced technology settings (cited in Wikipedia). Web-based news media enables the discussion and information exchange forum on specific topics. This further suggests another breakthrough in the new media called crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, and especially from an online community, rather than from traditional employees or suppliers. The idea is to take work and outsource it to a crowd of workers ( Crowdsourcing is process where media companies solicit content from the audience. Much of the time that process involves digital tools and invokes social media and social networking platforms to collect that content. It represents a grassroots initiative that potentially could produce better journalism. (Quinn, Asia’s Media Innovators Vol. 3: Crowdsourcing in Asian Journalism, 2013) Although the word is just recently coined in 2006 (by Jeff Howe and Mark


Robinson and published in Wired magazine article “The Rise of Crowdsourcing�), it can be applied to various ranges of activities, especially in business and in marketing. In journalism and media, though not obviously termed, crowdsourcing as well applies. Extended news and information gathering are made possible through citizen journalism in the new media. Users may upload photos or video clips about events which help in journalists find news. News inputs can be delivered much quicker than traditional methods. Just as the internet played a role in the evolution of the world, social media is transforming the way we think of crowdsourcing and will continue to do so as the benefits of using social media to crowdsource become more well-known. Social media is becoming an essential component to crowdsourcing as it allows organizations to reach a wider audience faster, cheaper and more efficiently than ever before. Current crowdsourcing campaigns almost always use social media to obtain a higher number of contributions, in theory leading to a better quality idea, service or whatever the desired end-product might be. As social media monitoring technology becomes increasingly popular and sophisticated, more and more organizations will pay closer attention to how social media can be used to fuel their crowdsourcing campaigns. In the past, that sometimes meant a long, arduous process, hindered by the communication challenges one would expect to encounter at a time before the internet. In fact, not much attention was given to crowdsourcing before it was adopted by web-savvy organizations that were designed to take advantage of the networked world. This is the primary reason the term crowdsourcing was coined only a few years ago, despite the concept’s existence for quite some time now. ( Here in the Philippines, is one of the great innovators of crowdsourcing. Rappler is a social networking and news site in the


Philippines whose stories inspire community engagement for social change. Its founders describe it as journalism in “a new world of limitless collaboration enabled by digital technology and connected by social media”. It is the only media country in the country owned solely by journalists. Think of it as crowdsourced with a social purpose. “We are web artists, designers, publishers and professionals combining the best of broadcasting and information technology processes.” (Quinn, 2013) Information is the raw material of journalism. Sites like Rappler and the concept of crowdsourcing allow for the sharing and spread of information via Internet, mobile phones and social media. This sharing of information gives people tools to understand and learn from the reality they live with. In this sense, journalism and crowdsourcing are democratizing agents. It is also why one of the main indicators of democracy in any nation is the independence of the new media (Quinn, 2013). Work conducted by groups like Eco Team in China is often described using the term “human cloud”. Much of the material for this section of the chapter is based on reseach by academics Erran Carmel from American University and Tim Olsen of Arizona University, in collaboration with Chaoqing Hou of Ernst & Young. The academics coined the term “human cloud” (abbreviated as HC) rather than the more common phrase crowdsourcing because they believe it is more descriptive. They consider the term crowdsourcing “problematic, limiting and misleading”. The trio focused on the subset of HC that involves payment rather than the voluntary form found on websites where people are not paid (Quinn, 2013). Nonetheless, there is no doubt that users stick to these new media, because in the World Wide Web, interactivity is the core attraction (Medoff and Kaye, 2011). Users can easily share their thoughts and involve themselves about what’s happening in their locals. Arianna Huffington, co-creator of the UK-based news website Huffington Post, says that in the online media, ‘they don’t just consume news; they share


it, develop it and add to it; it’s a very dynamic relationship with news.’ Another Pew Research Survey in 2010 reports that 37% of Internet users had contributed to the creation of news; commented on it or distributed it via social networks (cited in Newman, 2011). As more people consume news online, news organizations face the dilemma of reallocating resources to attract new readers and viewers while still trying to hold on to their existing, and usually aging, print or broadcast audiences. And despite the advantage of convenience, conduciveness, interaction, and timeliness, and with all the fanfare of technological innovation, it is feared that the old, ‘traditional’ journalism may soon expire. Questions on Credibility Credibility research has been a major facet of mass communication and journalism scholarship since the field’s earliest days. Whereas the seminal work on credibility concentrated on dimensions of source credibility (Hovland & Weiss, 1951), more contemporary literature highlighted variations in the perceived credibility attributed to different media channels (Rimmer & Weaver, 1987). Past researches are mixed with regard to the question of how the credibility of information published on news websites compares with the credibility of information offered by the traditional news media, although evidence is scarce at this point (Kovačič, 2009). Journalism and the news media are built on credibility. With the appearance of online news websites, journalism in the traditional news media gained a competitor in the news offer. How did mainstream journalists in the traditional news media react to the new key player on the media scene? They have a generally negative attitude toward the Internet. They are concerned with source credibility, information reliability, and the difficulties in verifying facts in the online world (Garrison, 2000; Weise, 1997; Chan et al., 2006). Credibility of the news media or sources is important to audience


members (Kaufman et al., 1999). Two types of media credibility have traditionally been studied. Source credibility considers the trustworthiness of the individual who constructs the message (Hovland & Weiss, 1951) while news medium credibility evaluates the overall credibility of a larger entity, such as a local television news station, newspaper (Graziano & McGrath, 1986), or, of course, an online news company. Much of the Internet credibility research has compared online newspapers to more traditional news formats. The studies have produced mixed results with some research indicating that online news media are more credible than more traditional news media (television and radio stations, newspapers), while other research has suggested that online media are less credible. Johnson and Kaye (1998) examined how individuals who used the Internet for political information and to purchase candidate paraphernalia, judged the credibility of several news media, including the Internet. They found that online newspapers and news magazines were judged as highly credible; more credible than traditional media. Credibility was more associated with reliance on the Web than with how much an individual was using the medium. Johnson and Kaye (1998) also discovered that online newspapers and news magazines were regarded as highly credible. According to Flanagin and Metzger (2000), the Internet was deemed to be as credible as most other media, with the exception of newspapers. Kiousis (2001) found that people were skeptical of online news sources. His survey showed that newspapers were found the most credible medium. International studies have also confirmed that the traditional news media were regarded as more credible than the online news media. According to Yi Park (2005), Koreans considered traditional news media to be more credible than the online news formats. Schweiger’s (2000) study found that German media consumers rated newspapers as being more credible than television or online news. At the time that the study was conducted, the Web was relatively new to consumers and the


majority of participants were non-Internet users. While newspapers were generally considered to be the most credible medium, the lines between television and online news media were blurred. Television was considered as more serious, well-researched, critical, proficient and professional, whereas the Web was rated as more thorough and impartial. Research has shown that age affects how audiences rate credibility. Bucy (2003) discovered that college students found television news and online news more credible than older media consumers. Older participants, however, found online news to be more credible than television news, whereas college students found television news to be more credible (cited in KovaÄ?iÄ?, 2009). New over the Traditional? Mass media plays a crucial role in connecting the world of individuals. It has the ability to reach wide audiences with strong and influential messages which impact upon society. The mass media has at least three important roles to play: to inform, to educate and to influence opinion. These distinctive features of traditional media have been challenged by new media, which is changing the participation habits of the audiences. New media is what many of us enjoy using every day. It is digital and allows for unlimited numbers of people to communicate with limitless numbers of other people. This is what makes new media so powerful. On the other hand, traditional media is limited to an approach in which one person or entity can communicate with many people. For instance, an ad campaign in a newspaper can be sent by your business and will be seen by perhaps thousands of people. But this approach does not allow ad readers to communicate with your business, or easily disperse the information. This is one of the big drawbacks to traditional media. ( Early reports claim that between 18 and 37 percent of web users were


watching less television than they had before becoming users and that the Internet was cutting more deeply into time spent than with other traditional media. A study conducted by politically-interested Internet users has reported that 27.7% spend less time with radio news since becoming Internet user; only about one-third still favor AM/FM radio (cited in Medoff and Kaye, 2011). Bumanglang, in her study during 2011, concluded that people nowadays have high regards and acceptance on online media as a useful tool in their daily activities and in their use for academic research, social networking, recreation and more importantly, a potential source of news and information. Furthermore, the rise of User-Generated Contents (UGC’s) and social media are now considered strategically central to the development of media organizations: being drivers of traditional news content and allowing wider reach to their audience (Newman, 2009). Blogs and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have become tools for journalists; a central role in sourcing, breaking, and distributing news stories (Newman, 2011). BBC Business Editor Robert Peston adds (cited in Newman, 2009) that these have ‘helped him feel much closer’ his audience: “The key thing is that they give a sense of what resonates with people. And some people do have great ideas. It has certainly given lots of ideas, angles to look at.” For Peston, the core of journalism remains the same and has not really changed—that new media only help in getting information. Newman further concludes that journalists are beginning to embrace these tools, but very much on their own terms-- “same values, new tools”—and are not replacing the traditional mainstream media. Kovačič notes that the tension between traditional media journalism and online journalism is more of a conceptual than a technological issue as


traditional media journalism exhibits not an aversion to new technology but rather an attempt at a controlled incorporation of it. “What is at stake is how, not if, these new technological practices will be incorporated into journalistic practices” (Bratich, 2004). The problem of controlling news quality online stems from the inherent qualities of the Internet itself, where “the invitation to ‘be the media’, and thus to challenge traditional media’s definitions of what counted as ‘news’ as well as who qualified as a ‘journalist’ is very much consistent with the animating ethos of the Internet” (Allan, 2002). METHODS Basically, the purpose of this study is to know whether the level of usage of communication students in Polytechnic University of the Philippines of the new media is really overpowering the traditional journalism. In order to achieve certain result, researchers followed particular flux and design. The purpose of this chapter is to give to you the rationale of the study and the chosen methods and procedures, the description of the study area, the demographic details of the study population, the way how the population was selected and the descriptions of types of data and sources. Research Design Since the researchers want to find out if the new media is indeed overpowering the traditional journalism, they decided to choose descriptive research as the main typology of research. Since descriptive scheme focuses on the process of gathering, classifying, and analyzing of data regarding prevailing phenomena and conditions, developing trends and the effects that are felt, researchers found this type of methodology more compatible to the research problem. According to Creswell, descriptive method of research is to gather information about the present existing condition. The emphasis is on describing rather than on judging or interpreting. The aim of descriptive research is to verify formulated hypotheses that refer to the present situation in order to elucidate it. The descriptive approach is quick and


practical in terms of the financial aspect. Moreover, this method allows a flexible approach, thus, when important new issues and questions arise during the duration of the study, further investigation may be conducted. A research study classified as a descriptive study attempts to describe systematically a situation, problem, phenomenon, service or programme, or provides information about, say, the living conditions of a community, or describes attitudes towards an issue. (Kumar, 2011) Since the prevalence of new media is an evident and noticeable phenomenon, there are effects that are being felt in the traditional journalism perspectives. Now, through descriptive type of study, researchers made a way to answer the aforementioned question. “Is the New Media overpowering the traditional journalism?� Researchers used the quantitative approach for the study. Quantitative research is frequently referred to as hypothesis-testing research. Typical of this tradition is the following common pattern of research operations in investigating, for example, the effects of treatment or an intervention. Characteristically, studies begin with statements of theory from which research hypotheses are derived. Then an experimental design is established in which the variables in question (the dependent variables) are measured while controlling for the effects of selected independent variables. (Newman, 1998) Researchers found it more compatible than the qualitative one because this research method adheres most closely to the scientific method than qualitative research. In quantitative research more control and objectivity can be exercised, thus following the scientific method more closely. Participants As what is stated above, researchers chose the College of Communication (COC) students of Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) to be the respondents of the study. The total population of COC summed up to almost 2600 students. This number of students is


categorized into four different departments: Broadcast Communication, Advertising and Public Relation, Journalism and the Communication Research. The total population was too wide to cover the whole study. So the researchers find the reliable number of representativeness for each department by means of getting the 5% of the population of each course. The following table shows the breakdown of the population of COC through four different departments:

One hundred twenty six COC students from PUP (43 from the Departments of Broadcast Communication; 42 from the Advertising and Public Relation; 21 from the Department of Journalism and 20 from the Communication Research) answered one type of questionnaire provided by the researchers. They were selected stratified random sampling for they have a homogenous identity of being a communication student. Moreover, no specific number was assigned by the researchers for each year level. Researchers decided to get the views of the students from COC because they will be the future media practitioners. Carrying that label and profession, they have something to do with the prevalence of the new media and the existence of the traditional journalism. In this reason, it is significant to get their views as what is more relevant to them, the former or the latter. Based on the value through their answers in the questionnaires, the researchers knew what was more preferable for them


and what their vision as they is graduate- to be on the job of traditional journalism or be employed in the field of the New Media. Instrumentation In order to administer that aforementioned methodology, surveys were conducted by the researchers. The term ‘survey’ is commonly applied to a research methodology designed to collect data from a specific population, or a sample from that population, and typically utilizes a questionnaire or an interview as the survey instrument. (Robson, 1993) The researchers know that there are distinct advantages in using a questionnaire over an interview methodology. Questionnaires are less expensive and easier to administer than personal interviews. They can lend themselves to group administration and allow confidentiality to be assured. Researchers took the perception of the COC students in PUP about the advent and the level of perusal of the former as the factor for the probable downfall of the latter. Data Processing and Analysis After data had been gathered, researchers tabulated it for a convenient measurement of the answers. Researchers used the weighted mean for the calculation. Weighted mean is the average wherein every quantity to be averages has a corresponding weight. These weights represent the significance of each quantity to the average. To compute for the weighted mean, each value must be multiplied by its weight. Products should then be added to obtain the total value. The total weight should also be computed by adding all the weights. The total value is then divided by the total weight. RESULTS As a preliminary in showing the result in the survey, the researchers piled up descriptive statistics for the entire variable in the study. Since one of the primary concerns was with identifying the usage of new media against traditional journalism as perceived by selected PUP-COC students, we compared means along this variable. The researchers


divided the questionnaire depending on the objectives they used in the study. Awareness Since this study showed the level of usage in new media and traditional journalism, the researchers need to identify the awareness by the selected students (by courses). It is significant to get the views of the respondents about their knowledge on the certain issue in this study. Out of the total of 126 respondents, 115 (91.3%) of them were aware on the emergence of the new media while the remaining 11 respondents (8.7%) did not know what the new media is. On its counterpart, 112 respondents (88.9%) have the knowledge about traditional journalism while the remaining 14 students (11.1%) did now exactly have the idea on this kind of media. Related to that, 117 respondents (92.9%) were aware of the digital newspaper sites and news portals found in the internet while only nine (7.1%) of the total students were not aware on these internet-based papers and portals. One-hundred fourteen students (90.5%) claimed that they always browse the internet for the news consumption while the remaining 12 students (9.5%). And in terms of printed newspapers such as broadsheets and tabloids, 111 students (88.1%) usually read those media and behind that, only 15 of them (11.9%) did not prefer newspapers in acquiring news. Level of Exposure In terms of the level of exposure, the researchers used specified ranges of time that normally the respondents were exposed in browsing the internet and reading newspapers. Out of 126 respondents, 27 of them (21.4%) consumes two to three hours in the internet, 43 of them (34.1%) uses internet in four to six hours, 39 of


them (31%) for ranges seven to ten hours and on the other time ranges given that the respondents specified, the remaining 17 respondents (13.5%) uses internet in almost greater than ten hours weekly. On the contrary, in spending time for reading newspapers such as broadsheets and tabloids, 70 students (55.6%) read for almost two to three hours, only four students (3.2%) and one student (0.8%) spend time reading in ranges four to six hours and seven to ten hours respectively, and the remaining 51 students (40.5%) read newspapers less often than the lowest range which is two hours. Preferences The researchers also used the survey to get the preferences of the selected respondents in terms of the media they like better in acquiring news information. Mostly eighty respondents (63.5%) prefer to read news in printed newspapers than in the internet medium while the left 46 respondents (36.5%) would like to read news in the new media than in the traditional journalism. On the other hand, in terms of sharing the news to others that the respondents obtained, 82 students out of 126 were more likely prefer to contribute news via new media than the traditional journalism which only has 44 students (34.9%). Employing the Media By means of the questionnaire, the researchers will know what was more preferable for the respondents’ and what their visions as they graduate to be on the job of traditional journalism or be employed in the field of the New Media. As response by the students, 85 of them (67.5%) prefer to employ to the new media industry (internet medium) when distributing the news to the public while the remaining 41 students (32.5%) would prefer to have the


job in traditional journalism (printed newspapers). And in terms of the respondents’ insights about which will reach the public effectively when sharing the news information, out of 126 students, 98 of them (77.8%) chose new media and the remaining 28 students (22.2%) selected the traditional journalism as more effective. Assessment of the Media Used Table 1 provides the summary statistics of New Media (the Medium – Digital Newspaper Sites and News Portals) and provides the summary statistics of Traditional Journalism Newspapers – Broadsheets and Tabloid). The upper numbers respondents and the lower numbers are the percentages.

Internet Table 2 (Printed are the

Table 1. New Media (the Internet Medium – Digital Newspapers Sites and News Portals)


Table 2. Traditional Journalism (Printed Newspapers – Broadsheets and Tabloid)

As summary explanation of all the results, in terms of the awareness of the respondents in the issue of the emergence of new media and traditional journalism, it shows that the bigger percentage went to those who are aware both in the new media and traditional journalism, but still, respondents that are knowledgeable in new media has higher percentage than the traditional journalism.


On the other hand, in terms of level of exposure, the results seems that the higher percentage went to those who spent their time greater in browsing the internet (new media) with approximately four to six hours per week than in reading printed newspapers such as broadsheets and tabloids (traditional journalism) which only have three hours or less per week. In preferences, higher percentage went to the students who preferred reading printed newspapers for acquiring news than to those who preferred in internet medium. In terms of employing the media, bigger percentage went to new media as the media preferred by the students to be on job when they graduate than the traditional journalism. And lastly, in the assessment of media used, it seems that in the result, higher percentage went to those who agreed that traditional journalism is being over-powered by the new media in terms of timeliness, accessibility, convenience, reliability, credibility, interactivity, and ease in sharing. DISCUSSIONS News today is increasingly a shared and a social experience. Majority of the PUP College of Communication students rely on the new media in acquiring news and information. Even though many of the students prefer newspapers such as broadsheets and tabloids than internet, they always find themselves focusing on the news that came out because of the new media. While most original reporting still comes from traditional journalists, technology makes it increasingly possible for the actions of citizens to influence a story’s total impact. Most broadly, the stories and issues that gain traction in new media differ substantially from those that lead in the mainstream press. But they also differ greatly from each other. Of the years that the students spent their


college lives with media related courses, it seems that they always use internet for news consumption. Though traditional media is still coming out on top when it comes to keeping up with current affairs in general, how does it measure up when it comes to following certain issues in particular? In this case, the direct nature of new media could give it an advantage over traditional media. Choice of new media changes only slightly when it comes to following a specific issue, like in this study. When asked what medium was preferred to get information and news, students showed a slight increase in constantly accessible media like the Internet, while newspapers and network television news were slightly less preferred. There was no significant change in use of social media to follow news. Young people are attracted to the easy means of getting information with internet based terminals or hand phones which provide them information of their choice anytime, anywhere. They need not have to wait for any broadcasting schedule to be connected to get the information. This should be the golden age for new media. We have the technology. We have the professionals to deliver high quality services. We have a great hunger among people for reliable, timely and useful information. As confidence in the media grows, a crisis is creeping up on one side. In the push for more channels and choices, market models have been depressingly uniform. As a result, local content suffers, and cultural values are weakened in the process. Now, fast developing technology is fueling an information revolution. The new media, digital broadcasting and the internet are sweeping away the limitations of the analogue world and weakening the grip of government-owned platforms. The nature of the relationship between the broadcaster and its audience is changing. New media in this information age provides an immediate, informative, intelligent, interactive platform for discussion and debate.


It is little surprise then that there is a growing debate about how to put quality back into traditional media and curb the influence of the increasingly powerful elite. The argument is that the media itself cannot protect pluralism and diversity. In terms of potential errors of the results, maybe the researchers didn’t make the proper statistical treatment for choosing the participants or respondents in this study. Although the researchers do have the idea of doing the proper choosing of the number of participants, it seems that time is not in the side of them. But still, even though the respondents are only 5% of the population of each course, the results came out just like how the researchers made their assumptions. CONCLUSION Is the new media over powering the traditional journalism? Despite the changes brought about by progress and modernity, media is still playing a vital role in our society. Television and Radio have been influential on people’s daily lives and routines, affecting the content and times that audiences watch and listen. The mass media has at least three important roles to play: to inform, to educate and to influence opinion. These distinctive features of traditional media have been challenged by new media, which is changing the participation habits of the audiences. And with this, the researchers found out that because of this modernization, mindsets of students also changed in terms of using media for their news inquiry. The mere fact that our present generation renovated, there are still communication students who are in favor of traditional media which are the newspapers. Even though students nowadays are much exposed on internet and it seems that internet for them is much accessible, newspapers are still fighting for its legacy. There is still no reason for the media print companies to see no light at the end of the tunnel. A responsibility of the media is to ensure fair, accurate and impartial reporting. A set of codes of ethics is essential to maintaining standards for


media professionals and organizations. Everyone in the organization should uphold the standard with a sense of responsibility, equality and accountability. Information ethics is not just a matter of written values for the journalists and broadcasters, it must be practiced in their day to day operation. And within this, still, even though new media is over-powering the traditional journalism in terms of accessibility, newspapers are still came to be ahead in terms of reliability and credibility. The media environment is changing according to the needs of citizens. The fundamental changes are that the individuals want a ‘voice�, and citizens demand accountability. All these underline the need for governments to communicate clearly and consistently on a timely basis, and to reach out to stakeholders. It also makes it imperative for new technology and techniques to be effectively used. In the internet, all the people who wanted to comment or even publicized their own opinions are possible that’s why new media over-powered traditional journalism in terms interactivity. The researchers only focused on the clash between the new media and traditional journalism, specifically the internet and the newspapers. Other forms of traditional media are not belong to the scope of this study. This might be the shortcoming of this study. In order to improve this study, maybe the researchers need to get the proper number of respondents in every course in order to know exactly their perceptions, according to their population, about the new media and traditional media. With this, the researchers might be able to identify more accurate results than the findings in this study. In this research, it seems that the mindsets of students had also been modernized. The results are in favor of new media. It appears that they much prefer to the existence of new media and because of this, traditional journalism which are the newspapers such broadsheets and tabloids are being left-behind. Yes, there are always changes because of modernization, but it does not mean that the old important things,


especially the media, will be cast aside. We can also see in the result that some of the students doesn’t much aware on the clash between the two kinds of media. In the small amount of respondents, still, there are those who don’t know what each of the media plays the important role in our society. RECOMMENDATIONS This research is intended to determine the Usage of New Media against Traditional Media as Perceived by Selected PUP-COC Students. As in the process of conducting the study, the researchers decided to limit the scope on printed newspapers alone for the aspect of the Traditional Media while digital newspaper sites and news portals were chosen to represent New Media. Though limiting the study this way is advantageous and would render results faster, the researchers recommend to the future researchers to consider other forms under Traditional Media such as television and radio communication. For New Media, future researchers may include social networking sites and blog sites as other sources of news information in the Internet medium. The researchers are aware of the broader scope of the two categories of media. Including other forms of media in a research study will allow production of more conducive results which can be used to discover the present status of media in a larger perspective. Embracing other media forms both in Traditional and New Media will generate more comprehensive results. Thus, comparison on the current conditions of the two media will be made easier. The researchers recommend to future researchers to also consider larger number of participants to produce accurate and generalized results. As on the findings of the study wherein New Media is slightly leaving behind the Traditional Media in terms of the students’ preference in both


acquiring and sharing of information, Traditional Media should employ mechanisms to advance its accessibility among the public particularly in younger generations. Traditional Media must use advancement in technology to widen its reach in terms of providing accurate and reliable news information to the general public. On the other hand, while New Media is advancing ahead, it must also observe accuracy in the news information since it reaches more people online. As for the future researchers, this study is can be used as reference. And for the shortcomings that this study might have, the researchers encourage future researchers to determine them and find improvements in the future studies that they plan to conduct. REFERENCES Allan, S. (2002) “Reweaving the Internet: Online News after September 11”, pp.119–139. In: B. Zelizer & S. Allan (Eds.): Journalism after September 11. New York: Routledge. Bratich, J. Z. (2004) “Trust No One (on the Internet): The CIA-Crack-Contra Conspiracy Theory and Professional Journalism”, Television & New Media, 5 (2): 109–139. Bucy, E. (2003) “Media Credibility Reconsidered: Synergy Effect between On-air and Online News”, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 88 (2): 247–264. Chan, J. M., Francis, L. F. & Zhongdang, P. (2006) “Online news meets established journalism”, New Media & Society, 8 (6): 925–947. Flanagin, A. J. & Metzger, M. J. (2000) “Perceptions of Internet information credibility”, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 77


(4): 515–540. Garrison, B. (2000) “Journalists’ Perceptions of Online Informationgathering Problems”, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 77 (3): 500–514. Graziano, C. & McGrath, K. (1986) “Measuring the concept of credibility”, Journalism Quarterly, 63: 451–462 Hovland, C. I. & Weiss, W. (1951) “The influence of source credibility on communication effectiveness”, Public Opinion Quarterly, 15 (4): 633–650. Howe, J. & Robinson, M. (2006) “Wired Magazine: The Rise of Crowdsourcing” James, B. (2006). Media and Good Governance Johnson, T. J. & Kaye, B. K. (1998) “Cruising is believing? Comparing the Internet and traditional sources on media credibility measures”, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 75 (3): 325–340. Kaufman, D., Stasson, M. & Hart, J. (1999) “Are the tabloids always wrong or is that just what we think? Need for cognition and perceptions of articles in print media”, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 29: 1984– 1997. Kiousis, S. (2001) “Public Trust or Mistrust? Perception of Media Credibility in the Information Age”, Mass Communication & Society, 4 (4): 381–403. Medoff N. & Kaye B. (2005) Electronic Media: Then, Now and Later Newman, N. (2009) “The rise of social media and its impact on mainstream journalism: A study of how newspapers and broadcasters in the UK and US are responding to a wave of participatory social media, and a historic shift in control towards individual consumers.


Peskin, D. (2006) Emerging Media Reshape Global Society, p. 4 Quinn S. (2013) Asia’s Media Innovators Volume 3: Crowdsourcing in Asian Journalism, p.7 Rimmer, T. & Weaver, D. (1987) “Different questions, different answers? Media use and media credibility”, Journalism Quarterly, 64: 28–36, 44. Schweiger, W. (2000) “Media credibility – experience or image?”, European Journal of Communication, 15 (1): 37–59. Vaina, D. (2007) New Media Vs. New Media: Media Making Emerging, Vol.12 Weise, E. (1997) “Does the Internet Change News Reporting? Not Quite”, Media Studies Journal, 11 (2): 159–63. Yi Park, C. (2005) “Decomposing Korean News Media Credibility in the Internet Age”, Public Opinion Research, 18 (2): 238–245. Electronic:

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Compendium of Research Reports in Journalism Volume 2 – 31D ORIGINAL ARTICLE A STEP TOWARDS ENDING THE CULTURE OF IMPUNITY: An Analysis on the Implications of the 15th Congress Senate Bill No. 455 College of Communication, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Manila (22 October 2013) This research seeks to analyze the 15th Congress Senate Bill No. 455 An Act Qualifying the Killings of Broadcast and Print Media as Murder, of the Article 248 as Amended. Because of the rampant media killings in the country, as well as the continuing culture of impunity, the researchers pursued to analyze the said bill and its hypothetical implications on the current status quo. As assaults against media prevail, the major problem significatly lies in the weak criminal and judicial system, and as this particular bill, though its proceedings have already stopped since last congress, sought to impose amendments and address the mediarelated cases where criminal proceedings have been superficially deterred. The researchers seek the opinions and first-hand experiences of the media practitioners who have already received threats and violence seemingly inherent in their line of duty. The respondents were broken into two--- those who approve the pursuance of the bill, and those who clearly condemn it. Nonetheless, the bill is still insufficient both in its corresponding provisions and possible implications. It was also concluded that the answers to these problems lie in the efficiency of the government to implement its laws fairly well and to have stronger political will, for the accumulation of a better environment and more established protection for the watchdogs of the society. INTRODUCTION Journalism is one of the most proliferative jobs in the Philippines. Filipino journalists stay on this job despite the low salary and long working hours.


However, they are more prone on threats because they also have one of the most risky professions in the country. In fact, just recently, the New York based press freedom watchdog Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) released their 2013 Impunity Index where in the country was next to Iraq and Somalia. Apparently, the country placed third among the countries with most number of journalists whose murders are still unsolved. The existence of constitutional grants and other laws regarding press freedom don’t clearly define the establishment of a sturdier protection for the journalists, as well as other media practitioner’s safety, despite the risks they face in the pursuit of their profession. On an article by Luis V. Teodoro (CMFR: Limited Protection, 2006), he emphasized the term “culture of impunity” which best describes the way some societies ignore, permit or even encourage various forms of violence against journalists, as well as their harassment and intimidation and allow these to go unpunished. Teodoro also stated that the power of this culture is rooted in the weakness of the Philippine justice system. Nevertheless, on the last 15th congress, Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada introduced the Senate Bill No. 455: AN ACT QUALIFYING THE KILLING OF MEMBERS OF BROADCAST AND PRINT MEDIA ON THE OCCASION OF THE EXERCISE OF THEIR FUNCTIONS SUCH, AS A CRIME OF MURDER PUNISHABLE UNDER ARTICLE 248 OF THE REVISED PENAL CODE, AS AMENDED. Knowing the current punishment associated with murder under the Revised Penal Code, the researchers opted to analyze this particular senate bill, specially addressing the rampant problem of the growing media killings in the country. Though it is still a bill, and that proceedings concerning this bill have already been dismissed, the researchers adopted it as similar to that of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill. This study deems to analyze this particular step on a par with the country’s legislative body. This examines the research questions 1.) What are the implications of this bill, its effects, as well as, 2.) Should this bill be pushed through? 3.) Will this have a dominant effect in the current status quo?


This paper is an analysis of the Senate Bill No. 455, as well as an evaluation of the legislative body’s efforts to uplift the protection given regarding the safety of the members of the media. This bill provides concerns for the safety of journalists and media practitioners alike. Since journalism is one profession that is apparently subject to irrational threats and danger, everyone might think that they should have a more definite protection, clearly defined in the laws of the country. And the said bill apparently want to impose or amend something on the media laws, and so this research wants to attend to the need to thoroughly analyze the bills’ pros and cons, to help in its pursuance or rejection, as well as apt recommendations, with the journalists’ safety as the primary concern. This research examines the questions (1) What are the implications of this bill, its effects, as well as, (2) Should this bill be pushed through? (3) Will this have a dominant effect in the current status quo? In the succeeding pages, the Senate Bill 455 will be examined through the hypothetical implications of the bill as perceived by the particular respondents.

BRIEF REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE AND STUDIES It is inevitable in a media man’s line of work that corrupt officials, and others would be the subject of their boldly honest articles. For that reason, media reporters and journalists are killed and oppressed which became the founding grounds for unrelenting culture of impunity. And this culture of impunity has not been pacified from the last decades up to present. Under different regime and presidential terms, the killings of media practitioners are still rampant and uncontrollable. The number of unsolved cases continues to pile over the desk of the country’s jurisdiction and more masterminds and perpetrators are still at large. From the news on prints up to the reports on T.V., media still remains at risk in the exercise of their duties as watchdogs of the country. From the Present, then Back to the Past Years of Impunity


The ever-growing list of media killings in the past years has kept the Philippines in third place among the most dangerous places in the world for journalists.Recently, the New York based press freedom watchdog Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) released their 2013 Impunity Index where in the country was next to Iraq and Somalia.Two of the highlighted profiles in this report were, the infamous Maguindanao Massacre, which was considered as the “single deadliest event for journalists in history,” as well as the assassination of Palawan radio commentator Gerardo “Gerry” Ortega. To add more, since the CPJ began their annual release of impunity index in 2008, the Philippines consistently ranked in the Top 10. This can also be noticed in another press freedom advocate Reporters Without Borders. In their 2013 World Press Freedom Index, the country fell 7 places, from 140th to 147th. Meanwhile, another international organization Human Rights Watch noted that the killings and harassment of journalists have persisted midway through President Aquino’s term. From January 24, 2011 (Gerry Ortega assassination in Palawan) when the first media killing in the recent administration happened up to September 14, 2013 (Jesus “Jessie” Tabanao in Cebu), the media killings count is 19. Particularly, Jessi Tabanao, a radio commentator of DyRC Cebu 648, was shot dead in his car while on the way from his work to fetch his pregnant wife. Despite of the reputation of Cebu in press freedom, which the city actually celebrates during the month of September, still impunity has found its way. Indeed, this was only the second incident of media killing in Cebu (CMFR). Though, it is way far from 80 media men slain during the 9-year period of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, 19 are just too much for this present administration. It has surpassed the count in Ramos regime which is 11 over six years with an average of 2 per year and Estrada which is 6, or 2


also per year in 3 years time. As of May 2013, the Committee to Protect Journalists says that the state is the third of 12 countries where at least five journalists were murdered and where the governments have failed to win any convictions from the year 2003-2012. Defining the culture of impunity and the rampant media killings in the country A largely corrupt political system, volatile criminal justice process, the overpowering presence of the ruling class and an impoverished people. All these combined with a simple word – impunity - create the fabric of the ‘culture,’ which permeates the South-East-Asian nation of the Philippines with far reaching consequences. In a 90-page report presented by Filipino Church leaders in March 2007 at a United Nations office in Geneva, impunity from detection and prosecution was labeled as the catalyst for many of the human rights violations in the Philippines. Despite years of international attention and outrage the US-based news outlet Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle (FRS) says impunity remains rampant in the Philippines. Exemption or freedom from punishment, harm, or loss is impunity. With how the things are going in the media killings cases in the Philippines where gun men get jailed, witnesses being killed and master minds enjoying the outside world freely without fear of getting punished or jailed, this so called impunity has been a culture in the country. While the slain society watchdogs continue to grow, the papers in the trial courts also continue to get thicker. That’s why it is no brainer that we keep our standing which is 3rd in the worst country for journalists, as cited by the CPJ and also on the bottom quarter of the press freedom index by Reporters Without Borders (147th place) around the world. Getting away with it – IMPUNITY. This has been the situation after all the


killings in the country, despite the international attention, urgency, advices and criticisms, the government, as well as the judicial system has put the same effort in at least lessening the unsolved cases which only boosting the morale of the killers which happened to be the powerful ones (e.g Landlords, politicians, businessman) with large private armies, to continue their reign in shutting down truth seekers and conveyors. Recent Media Killings and Unsolved Cases 18 work-related killings under the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III 1.) Vergel Bico, 4 September 2013; 2.) Fernando “Nanding Solijon, 29 August 2013; 3.) Mario Sy, 1 August 2013; 4.) Richard Kho, 30 July 2013; 5.) Bonifacio Loreto Jr.. 30 July 2013; 6.) Miguelito “Mike” Rueras, 2 June 2013; 7.) Edgardo “Egay” Adajar, 2 January 2013; 8.) Julius Cauzo, 8 November 2012; 9.) Nestor Libaton, 8 May 2012; 10.) Rommel Palma, 30 April 2012; 11.) Aldion Layao, 8 April 2012; 12.) Antonio Silagon, 15 December 2011; 13.) Roy Quijada Gallego, 14 October 2011; 14.) Niel Jimena, 22 August 2011; 15.) Romeo Olea, 13 June 2011; 16.) Marlina Flores Sumera, 24 March 2011; 17.) Gerardo Ortega, 24 January 2011; 18.) Miguel Belen, 31 July 2010. The unsolved and unpunished killings of media people in past years have kept the Philippines in third place among countries listed as the most dangerous in the world for journalists. According to the report of Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (Sept. 9, 2013)- 18 have been killed for their work in the three years of the Aquino III administration, or an average of six per year. Five of the most recent killings took place in the last three months. The record of the Aquino III administration as far as the killings are concerned still falls below that of the Arroyo regime, which totals 80 killings over a nine-year period, or an average of nine killed per year. But the number of slain journalists in this administration has surpassed those of the administrations of Fidel Ramos (11 killed over six years, or an average of two per year),


and of Joseph Estrada (six over three years, or an average of two per year). These killings have added to the ever-growing list – 159 since 1986 and counting. “Where journalists are murdered regularly and government failed to solve crimes”. This has been the features of the Impunity Index of the Committee to Protect Journalists where in we ranked 3rd among worst in the world. “Only nations with five or more unsolved cases are listed. Cases are considered unsolved when no convictions have been won,” the CPJ explained. The 2009 Maguindanao massacre, which left 58 people dead, including 32 journalists and media workers, still figures prominently in the Philippines’ press freedom record. The CPJ noted that local authorities “are yet to make headway” in the prosecution of dozens of suspects linked in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre. The group has previously described the crime as the “deadliest single attack on the press in history.” The global impunity index is obtained by calculating the number of unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of each country’s population. With its population of nearly 95 million, the Philippines has an impunity index rating of 0.58 unsolved journalist murders per million inhabitants. Only two nations, Iraq and Somalia, have worse impunity records than the Philippines. The CPJ noted that the Iraq government has not been able to solve any of the 93 journalist killings that happened there since 2003. Another high-profile case cited in the CPJ report is the 2011 murder of Palawan-based radio broadcaster Gerry Ortega. Despite the early progress made regarding its investigation, the case suffered a setback when a major witness was killed in jail early this year. Former Palawan governor Joel Reyes, earlier pinpointed as the


mastermind in the Ortega killing, has been cleared by the Court of Appeals last March although he remains in the wanted list of Interpol. Two employees of the Bureau of Immigration were fired for allegedly helping Reyes and his brother sneak out of the country despite a lookout bulletin against them. According to the CPJ, the Ortega murder case reflects “the politically inspired nature of the large majority of Philippine media killings” as well as the “general breakdown in the rule of law that has allowed the killings to continue.” The Philippines has not solved 55 cases of killings, the second most number of unsolved cases, next only to Iraq which is understood because of the conflict-ridden area there. What is not acceptable is, unlike the Top 2, we are a democratic country but despite of this, still, culture of impunity continues. As cited in Bulatlat. Com, Prof. Luis Teodoro, deputy director of the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) and member of the Freedom Fund for Filipino Journalists (FFFJ), said the killing of journalists is eroding press freedom and the media’s essential role in a democracy. In a study conducted by the CMFR in 2005 and 2006, Teodoro said they have documented 33 killings of journalists that were “in the line of duty” while there were 20 other cases of killings “for reasons not connected with their work.” Except for a few, Teodoro noted that all victims were community journalists or provincial radio block timers who were not working for big media establishments. Of the said cases, only 27 have been brought to court. 11 are pending investigation, five are under trial, five have been dismissed, four are pending prosecution while only two have been successfully investigated. Court records would show that some of the suspects are connected with the police, military or the local government. According also to United Nations deputy secretary general Jan Eliasson, more than 90 percent of the cases of summary killings of media people in the country remain unsolved. His visit in the country this July, 2013 made a


call for special meeting with the 15-member Security Council, a body devoted to the protection of journalists in armed conflict and urged the council to address the problem. “Every time a journalist is killed or intimidated into silence, there is one less voice to speak on behalf of the victims of conflict, crime and human rights abuse, one less observer of the efforts to uphold rights and ensure human dignity.” For him, the reason why there is a snail-like progress in the media killings cases is the assassination of the witnesses which is the result of weak Witness Protection Program of the government. Eliasson added more than 600 journalists had been killed in the past decade, and most of them were local journalist and media staff often reporting on corruption and other illegal activities. He said it was “shocking and unacceptable” that more than 90 percent of those guilty of killing journalists were going unpunished. “The least we can do when a journalist is murdered is to ensure that the death is investigated swiftly and justice is served,” Eliasson said. The Senate Bill No. 455 The Senate Bill No. 455: AN ACT QUALIFYING THE KILLING OF MEMBERS OF BROADCAST AND PRINT MEDIA ON THE OCCASION OF THE EXERCISE OF THEIR FUNCTIONS AS SUCH, AS A CRIME OF MURDER PUNISHABLE UNDER ARTICLE 248 OF THE REVISED PENAL CODE, AS AMENDED, was introduced by Sen. Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada in the first regular session of the Fifteenth Congress of the Republic of the Philippines . This bill seeks to amend the Revised Penal Code thus making the killing of members of the broadcast and print media qualified as murder punishable under Article 248 of the same Code. The legal proceedings of the bill: • Pending Second Reading, Special Order (12/6/2010) • Subject(s): Journalist Welfare, Revised Penal Code (R.A.No. 3815;


• • • •

Amendments), Crime of Murder Primary committee: Justice and Human Rights Secondary committee: Constitutional Amendments, Revision of Codes and Laws Committee report No. 9 - Killing of Members of Broadcast and Print Media (11/9/2010) Sponsor(s) : Escudero, Francis “Chiz” G. Document certification: No Certification

• • • Floor activity Date

Parliamentary status




Arroyo, Joker P. Enrile, Juan Ponce Escudero, Francis "Chiz" G. Zubiri, Juan Miguel F. Drilon, Franklin M.


Co-Sponsorship Speech

Legarda, Loren B.


Sponsorship Speech

Escudero, Francis "Chiz" G.


Period of Interpellation Closed



Pangilinan, Francis N.



Defensor Santiago, Miriam Drilon, Franklin M. Osmena III, Sergio R.


Period of Committee Amendments



Arroyo, Joker P. Defensor Santiago, Miriam Enrile, Juan Ponce



Introduced by Senator JINGGOY P. EJERCITO-ESTRADA;




Returned and submitted jointly by the Committee(s) on JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS and CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS, REVISION OF CODES AND LAWS per Committee Report No. 9, recommending its approval with amendments, taking into consideration SBN-1426;


Committee Report Calendared for Ordinary Business;


Sponsor: Senator FRANCIS "CHIZ" G. ESCUDERO;


Transferred from the Calendar for Ordinary Business to the Calendar for Special Order;


Sponsorship speech of Senator FRANCIS "CHIZ" G. ESCUDERO;


Co-sponsorship speech of Senator LOREN B. LEGARDA;



[ 2011 ] 1/18/2011

Senator MANUEL "LITO" M. LAPID was made as coauthor;




Manifestation of Senator FRANCIS N. PANGILINAN;


Period of interpellation closed;


Senator RAMON A. REVILLA, Jr. was made as coauthor;


[ 2012 ] [ THIRD REGULAR SESSION, 15TH CONGRESS ] 1/24/2012

Senator MANNY VILLAR was made as coauthor;


Period of committee amendments (amendments by substitution);



The Senate Bill No. 455 was filed in the 15th Congress on July 06, 2010. The bill mainly subjected an amendment in the 1940 Revised Penal Code provisions on the crime of murder. Thus the Explanatory note of the bill announces: “While the constitution affirms the freedom of speech, of expression and of the press, a report conducted by a New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists in 1996 yielded that members of the media in the Philippines have been continually subjected to harassment by the military, influential families who maintain feudal-like control of some areas, large corporations and even the government itself, to the point that even murder is committed against them. The report that it is in rural areas outside Metro Manila, where radio is the dominant medium because of an under-developed infrastructure and high illiteracy, where such serious abuses are pervasive. Since press people are faced with dangers which go along their line of duty, while exposing the truth, especially those which are sensitive, controversial and emotional, it is the duty of the government to ensure the protection of their welfare This bill then seek to amend the Revised Penal Code thus making the killing of members of the broadcast and print media qualified as murder punishable under Article 248 of the same Code. “Immediate passage of this bill is earnestly sought.” In the long run, the media community has observed the persistence and determination of,


very particularly, Sen. Estrada in imposing bills pertaining to the welfare of journalists. The Magna Carta that he imposes, for example, had been refilled in the 16th Congress, and so issues of this proposed bill amending the whole media practitioner’s welfare. However, they still do not affirm nor reject, making it still a heated issue. The Senate Bill No. 455, on the other hand, wanted to impose direct amendment to the RPC, though, this is highly hypothetical since the proceedings have stopped, the interpellation ceased. But since this is regarding to the safety of the journalists, this study seeks preliminary answers to whether this bill has apt significance that will lead the media community one step closer to ending the impunity. The Crime of Murder under the Revised Penal Code Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines discusses the crime of murder as following: Any person who, not falling within the provisions of Article 246 shall kill another, shall be guilty of murder and shall be punished by reclusion temporal in its maximum period to death, if committed with any of the following attendant circumstances: 1. With treachery, taking advantage of superior strength, with the aid of armed men, or employing means to weaken the defense or of means or persons to insure or afford impunity. 2. In consideration of a price, reward, or promise. 3. By means of inundation, fire, poison, explosion, shipwreck, stranding of a vessel, derailment or assault upon a street car or locomotive, fall of an airship, by means of motor vehicles, or with the use of any other means involving great waste and ruin. 4. On occasion of any of the calamities enumerated in the preceding paragraph, or of an earthquake, eruption of a volcano, destructive cyclone, epidemic or other public calamity. 5. With evident premeditation. 6. With cruelty, by deliberately and inhumanly augmenting the


suffering of the victim, or outraging or scoffing at his person or corpse. The 1948 Revised Penal Code: To Be Fully Amended? The Revised Penal Code of the Philippines is already in its 81st year of existence. The Philippines have been through numbers of Presidents and Congresses, yet the RPC is still being used effectively. According to some government officials, the RPC is now ineffective in our situation. The government is independent, but the RPC still roots from our American and Spanish invaders. And with these reasons, our legislators finally got the guts when they did the first move of changing our penal code by revising it. The Department of Justice is the highest entity involved in the creation of the new criminal code of the country. The process is divided into 2 parts. November 22, 2012, reported by GMA News with the headline ‘DOJ committee completes first phase of penal code revision’ states that the DOJ had just announced that the first phase is finished and is ready to be converted into a bill for Congress’ approval. Assistant Secretary Gerardo Sy said that this revision is also aimed to be one of Pres. Aquino’s legacies after he leaves the highest position in our country in 2016. According to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, the penal code dates back in around 1930s when the Americans established an annex government in the Philippines. The Criminal Code Committee, a group of people who takes charge of anything involving the revision of the penal code, has members from different institutions including the Supreme Court, PNP, DOJ and its agencies: NBI, Bureau of Investigation, Public Attorney’s Office, Office of the Government Corporate Counsel, Office of the Solicitor-General, Board of Pardons and Parole, and LRA or Land Registration Authority. Book 1 has already been completed and it contains general principles


like application of punishment in crimes. Once attempt also to revise some provisions of the Revised Penal code includes Senate Bill No. 3402 AN ACT REPEALING FOR THIS PURPOSE ARTICLE 133 OF ACT NO. 3815, AS AMENDED, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE REVISED PENAL CODE. First filed in the 3rd Regular session of the 15th Congress by Sen. Pia Cayetano, it appeals to the criminal constitutions of the Article 133 with regards to the freedom of right and expression. Nonetheless, so far no strong pursuance for the full revision of the RPC has been established, and that our judicial system still trust the efficiency of our existing penal code. METHODS Data Generation Method The researchers used the Focused Interview (FI) in generating qualitative data mainly from the respondents, and from some media organizations as additional and support data. Focused interview is focused on specific topics that are to be discovered the kinds of backgrounds and experiences that have influenced the subject. (Calderon, Gonzales, 1993, p. 132) The researchers used the Focused Interview (FI) since the study is focused on a specific topic which is the Senate Bill 455 of the 15th Congress filed by Senator Jinggoy Estrada. The questions are directly intended to obtain the perception of the respondents to fulfil the objectives of the study. All the interviews that were conducted by the researchers were taperecorded and transcribed. Each interview varied 10 minutes to 20 minutes depending on the flow of discussion. The researchers used an outline of questions as guide for the interview. On the other hand, questionnaire form will be used in case of possible conflict on the schedule and time of the prospect respondents. The


questions that will be asked in the questionnaire will also be the same on the questions on the interview. The Research Design This study was undertaken in order to acquire knowledge and understanding from the personal insights of the selected media practitioners in the Philippines who, in any way or another, may be affected by Senator Jinggoy Estrada’s proposed Senate Bill 455 of the 15th Congress. The researchers used the descriptive design which according to Calderon and Gonzales (1993, p.139), is a fact-finding study with adequate and accurate interpretation of the findings. It describes what it is, and describes with emphasis what actually exists, such as current conditions, practices, situations or any phenomenon. It is designed to gather information about present existing conditions, it also determines and reports the way things are. (Aguinaldo, 1991, p.10) The Respondents and the Selection Technique The respondents that will be interviewed include selected media practitioners. The study required specific criteria before a media practitioner becomes a key informant. He or she should qualify on one or more of the following: 1. Must be a media-practitioner (print, radio, television or on-line); 2. Must be a Filipino; 3. Must be at least 5 years in the industry; 4. Must have covered and made a report or commentary on government and police beats; and/or 5. Must have already experienced threats, assaults or oppression and violence. There are the six (6) media practitioners who qualified in all criteria set by


the researchers. Their answers are those which will be prioritized by the researchers for the generation of conclusion and recommendations. Furthermore, there are other media practitioners who did not qualify with a few of the criteria set by the researchers for this study. Yet, the researchers still sought additional information from them as a gratitude for the time they’ve given for the interview. Their answers will be additional information for the discussion of findings, but will not be the priority answers for the acquisition of conclusion and recommendations. These are the five additional (5) respondents RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS The question about the rampant media killings and the problem of the continuing culture of impunity Most of the interviewees agreed and answered that the status of media killings in the country is very extensive and alarming. Words such as “deplorable”, “injustice”, “talamak” [rampant] are used to describe the status of media killings. The rampant media killings are also said to be worse in provinces where journalists don’t enjoy the kind of security given to the media practitioners in Manila. Mr. Sonny Fernandez, the Secretary-General of the NUJP, stated “Syempre, kinukundena natin yung tuloy-tuloy na media killings sa Pilipinas. Maraming pinapatay na hindi napaparusahan yung mga mastermind. Ang tawag doon ay impunity. Kaya may panawagan kaming ‘End Impunity’, (na) itigil na yung pagpatay sa mga mediamen ng walang kaparusahan.” In this light, none of the respondents denied the terrible culture of impunity in the country. They also announced its prevalence--emphasizing the threats, oppressions and even murders occurring done to the media practitioners in the country. Aside from these heinous crimes and oppressions, people behind the killings were also still at large. Thus, the working environment of the journalists in the country is,


doubtless to say, not really safe. Moreover, when asked about the problems or the core elements of the continuing culture of impunity in the country, the respondents shared a common answer relating to the government --- corruption, weak law implementation and justice system, insulted politicians, as well as government security forces specifically the police forces as one of the informants, Mr. Jofrey Cagape of Bombo Radyo, answered, ““Sari-sari… lalo na sa corruption. Tapos sensitive na mga issue, yung iba naman ayaw nila mapahiya kaya yun, bilang ganti [sa mga reporters…].” Nonetheless others relate the culture of impunity to the economy and financial status of the journalists being underpaid in their line of work where they are tempted to accept bribes and was also lead to be unethical. Some other interviewees also said that the killings are caused by biased write-ups of the media journalists and reporters. However, there are those politicians who, despite of the fair and transparent reports of the media practitioners, still tries to make a kill so they could continue their unrighteous abuse of power quoting Mr. Christopher Pasion’s answer “Hangga’t merong gustong mag-abuso sa posisyon at kapangyarihan magpapatuloy ang pagpatay sa mga mamamahayag.” It was also supported with the respondent Mr. Roberto Dela Cruz’s answer, “Malakas ang impluwensya ng mga pulitiko na pagka-medyo nabatikos sila ginagawan nila ng paraan para mawala ang media.” From the answers above, there are varied reasons why media men are killed and most of it was related to the government bodies. The threats and work-related oppressions of the respondents and the personal protection they impose upon themselves The key informants have specifically experienced work-related threats and oppression that are, so to say, almost inherent already in their work as media practitioners. Experiences range from just minor threats and symbolic presents, surveillance and monitoring, to a very life-threatening assault including gunshot wounds.


Mr. Fernandez and Mr. Cagape related they had received threats through texts. Cagape also specified the experience of phone calls, and then surveillance whereas the “enemies” would tail him even from his home and as he goes to work. Mr. Aning and Mr. Muli have both received symbolic presents--- gifts which, in their line of duty, denotes a certain meaning that could be deemed worse or threatening. Mr. Aning related his somewhat funny experience of receiving an hourglass while on-duty covering for alocal election. He said they don’t know how it had gotten into their belongings, but still perceived it as a rather serious warning. Mr. Muli also stated he did not identify the giver of the bullet and black ribbon he had received. Mr. Angeles, on the other hand, has been involved in a really threatening and near-death experience where he received seven (7) sustained gunshot wounds. To quote his experience he lamented, “Imagine, 7 bullets, I’m still alive. Actually, hindi nayanig ang national pages dun sa pagkakabaril sa isang newsman. Nayanig ang national pages kasi this one is for the books – sustained 7 gunshot wounds, puro fatal un ah tapos, surprisingly, nabuhay. Pero mind me, nung lumabas ako nang ospital, ganyan (points to the interviewer’s arm), ganyan kataba ang hita ko. I couldn’t even walk. Eto hanggang ngayon meron pa, oh. Kasi mended ung buto ko eh, durog-durog yan. Minsan kahit hindi malamig, kumikirot eh. Minsan nga, kapag kumikirot, di kasi maiwasang mag-skip ng gamot eh. I normally go to our room, tatakpan ko ng unan yung mukha ko tsaka ko isisigaw yung “Aray!”.” He was brutally shot last March 11, 2012. However, Mr. Pasion, who belongs to the alternative media Pinoy Weekly, stated the undeniably true imposition that he has received innumerable threats because of the group he is engaged in, and that it is part of every journalist’ job to be subjected to threats. Because of these threats, these key informants sought to practice certain


protection for their personal safety. The very first thing they related is the term “avoidance.” Aning remarked about “knowing” when it is already safe enough to pursue the assignment. Extra caution was also given as an ideal move. However, some of the key informants frankly said that they do not impose protection to themselves. They’ll just deal with it when it comes, since it is already an inherent and very crucial part of their profession. The awareness of the key informants with the Senate Bill 455 Out of the six key informants, three of them answered and implied that they are quite familiar although have not read the whole provisions stated in the bill. Mr. Jerome Aning admitted that he was not aware with the said bill while Mr. Fernan Angeles responded a confident “yes” when asked. Mr. Jofrey Cagape on the other hand answered “Eto ba yung may kasamang benefit on…. Ng media… yung importance niyan…” which implies that the bill can be interchanged with the bill about Magna Carta for Journalists. From the answers above, half of the key informants are actually not certain about the provisions stated in the bill. Most of the respondents are aware that there is a bill particularly pursuing certain ways to protect media practitioners from the perpetrators but was not aware with the “Senate bill 455 by Senator Jinggoy Estrada” and its specific details. Henceforth, majority of the respondent are aware that there are bills being file in the congress for the welfare and protection of the journalist however the specification of the bill are not within the familiarity and knowledge of the respondents. The Senate Bill No. 455 as Perceived by the Key informants and Respondents When asked about the Senate Bill No. 455 and their perceptions, opinions and suggestions about it, the key informants as well as the respondents recounted different interpretations about the bill. Some of them know and understand the bill fairly well, have known its provisions well enough to provide substantive answers for the researchers to credibly state. Other participants honestly declared they’re unaware of the said bill, that when the researchers explained its provisions they just gave their


perceptions about the strengths and weaknesses of the bill, and if this bill should be pursued or not to impose strong amendment to the criminal justice system. Particularly, Mr. Pasion lamented, “Ang problema kasi sa hinahain na batas ngayon, we have murder sa Revised Penal Code, pero kasi wala pa talagang napaparusahan. It’s not because of the flaws of law but the state lacks the initiative to implement it. Kaya kahit babaan o taasan mo ung parusa sa mga papatay sa mamamahayag, wala. Dahil hindi naman ang batas ang problema. Ang main problem is ung the sincerity of the government to hunt down not just the gunmen but the masterminds.” Pasion significantly denoted that the bill is not the primary answer that the journalists consequently needed; that this “is just one piece of the puzzle,” an aid but not the primary solution to uplift the current sinister status. Just as Pasion commented that the problem lies in the inefficiency of the state to implement its laws, we could add what Mr. Fernandez said, “The problem is the system, sabi nila. Pero it is not the system. It is the political will of our leaders to implement the law.” “Pwede ring makatulong basta siguro political will pa rin kailangan dyan eh. Oo kasi hindi mo rin masabi na mas marami na ring namamatay na media kahit wala pa yan. Yang batas na yan. Meron namang existing na batas na tayo na pwedeng makatulong sa mga media pero parang ano lang din siya kumbaga kung seseryosohin malaking tulong pero pag hindi naman wala pa rin pag hindi maiimplement wala pa rin eh. Andami na nga nating batas kung tutuusin hindi na nga kailangan siguro yan,” Mr Joey Cagape also sufficed. There are some respondents however, that perceived it might still be beneficial, if it still regards the safety of journalists. Ms. Moira, one of the additional respondents, voted for the bill as long as it’s for the media’s benefit. “Kasi sa mga media naman. Para sa akin naman kung ano yung makaka-benefit dun sa mga journalists…” She added though, that it


would really be helpful if it will be implemented successfully (once it is passed). Real implementation is the main problem of the government when regards to the laws of the country. Addressing the concerns towards the government, most of the respondents deemed proposing these kinds of bill a “somehow” beneficial step for the government, specifically the legislative body, to address the problems regarding the safety of the practitioners. Though, as what was already said, full execution of the said bills if passed into a law would be more important. Albeit, there are some who disapproves the filing of those kinds of bill for different reasons: one is that they do not like the members of the media to have what they termed “special treatment,” another reason is that these legislators were only making these kinds of bill concerning the media, more or less, to “adorn” and make a proud name in their office. Similarly, most of the respondents agreed completely that the bill will not be a deterrent against assault to the media, since no matter what, once the practitioners have crossed the line and imbued the names of the perpetrators who are public figures, anyway, these powerful personalities and/or masterminds would not think twice in attacking those who infuse assault against their names. Most of the key informants thought it better that these kinds of situations were unavoidable anyway, especially considering the line of duty the media is in. Plus, these powerful members of the society who hold grudges against them are also the ones who are controlling private armies and security. Now, when it comes to the question of the pursuance of the bill itself, the key informants and respondents held two contrasting impositions--- those who approve its pursuance but prescribed certain conditions regarding its passage; and the other group, where they totally condemned the bill and proposed some indispensable things for the legislative body to


consider. Those who approved for the bill remarked that if it will be for the benefit of their co-professionals, then they agree. But first and foremost, the execution should be improved, and that it is not too urgent to be imposed. To quote Mr. Pasion’s statement, “Why not? Wag lang ma-“waterdown…” The term “waterdown” is used to refer to the reduction of the effectiveness or force of something. A simple message to remind the government to be consistent in materializing such enforced laws successfully. Those who depreciated the Senate Bill 455 have more in mind than the bill, preferring something more than what the bill imposes. Mr. Fernan actually said, “Yang bill na ‘yan, hilaw ‘yan, eh…” more or less referring to the insufficiencies of the bill and its provisions. These key informants and respondents preferred something more appealing, and shared what they think would be more beneficial with regards to the bill, as well as suggestions to help lessen or minimize the media killings and provide more protection to the media practitioners. Mr. Angeles suggested, “Bakit di nila subukang gumawa ng branch ng government na mag-iimplement naman.” He is pertaining to the innumerable laws being implemented to the system by the legislative body. He also shared that since the media killings are perpetrated by these same politicians, of both the lower house and the Senate. The Executive on the other hand is quite reluctant to implement policies because they will run into their allies. He also added there’s the national police, but they wouldn’t think seriously about enforcing the laws against themselves. The respondents shared in unison the idea that what we need is political will--- the will to implement and enforce the laws and subsequently amend the recurring events in our system. Some of them even suggested to bring back the death penalty, and to execute it in all the social


classes. More importantly, these media practitioners further insinuated their remedies to help improve the treatment and conditions of the media practitioners like them. Mr. Sonny Fernandez of the NUJP preferred, “Ang gawin lang nila, ang trabaho ng pulis, trabaho ng gobyerno na panatilihin ang protection sa atin. First, bilang citizen tapos bilang journalist. Maglabas ng resolusyon na i-appeal ng mga may-ari ng media outfits na una, masuwelduhan ng tama ang mga journalists. Paglabas ng reward money kung kailangan. Magkaroon ng isang specific team na maghahanap lang sa mga pumatay sa journalists. Magbigay ng tuloytuloy na training sa mga journalist. At ipatupad ‘yung labor code kasi kahit sa ABS hindi nasusunod ang labor code…” He emphasized these several things to further uplift the living conditions and the safety of his colleagues. Mr. Aning suggested that for the bill to fully compliment the needed proceedings, it should be detailed more, especially about establishing the importance of pointing out the masterminds and perpetrators. The mere problem about the bill, as what he explained, lies with the absence of the provisions clearly defining how it would file the case of murder, that it leaves doubt as to what extent does this bill apprehend the numerous perpetrators, specifically mentioning about the hitman, the lookouts, the driver of the getaway vehicle used in inculcating threats or violence, and of course the mastermind itself. In terms of the potential errors of the results, there may be some underqualified respondents in the study. Those who lack experiences of grave work related violence. The researchers were possibly restrained by time and conflicting schedules to their target respondents. Nevertheless, the assumptions and aim of the researchers are realizedfrom the actual results.Some improvement on the research design might be addressed on imposing more distinct criteria for key informants and respondents.


CONCLUSIONS For this study A STEP TOWARDS ENDING THE CULTURE OF IMPUNITY: An Analysis on the Implications of the 15th Congress Senate Bill No. 455, the researchers come up with the following conclusions: The respondents firmly stated that the rampant media killings in the Philippines are already extensive, alarming and deplorable, and the culture of impunity is still prevalent. And that these sinister and continuing events imposing threats to the safety of journalists are terrible enough that the whole media community condemns it. The rampant media killings are also said to be worse in provinces where journalists don’t enjoy the kind of security, unlike to the protection mostly given to the media practitioners in Metro Manila. Likewise, these problems lie relatively in the government and the officials of the system--- presumably corruption, weak justice system and the inability of the state to fully implement its laws and efficiently monitor such heinous crimes, despite the many laws already referring to the media practitioners and human rights, the politicians themselves, as well as the security forces themselves, such as the police. Unfortunately, threats and oppressions commonly received by the media practitioners range from simple death threats through texts messages and phone calls, to inexplicable presents implicating something bad and implicating threats and sinister plans to the recipients. On the other hand, violence could involve threatening and near death attacks, such as what had happened to Mr. Fernan Angeles, a key informant, who received seven sustained gunshot wounds, but fortunately, still made it alive. This is only one instance depicting gruesome assaults on the watchdogs of the society. With regards to the Senate Bill No. 455, the participants was torn into two sides--- those who approve for the bill but ensured that it should be well-


implemented. That the execution of the bill (if, hypothetically, be passed) should be monitored and not be superficial. The other side imposed doubts and disagreement for the bill, emphasizing the weak provisions of the bill, or rather, the bill itself is not substantial enough to help in imposing what the legislators want to sought in the bill. That it is still lacking sufficient supervisions t and these are not indispensable enough to be a remedy to status quo. In this light, the informants related some recommendations for the bill, such as defining and specifying more of its provisions, as well as identifying certain points that would constitute more to the development of the bill. They expressed certain suggestions for the over-all system, as well, such as the foundation of a new organization to help in the proceedings of the case, as well as to have it impose special media-related laws to help lessen the culture of impunity. They also shared acclaims towards improving the general welfare and safety of journalists. Similarly, the main answer lies in the credibility and sufficiency of the government to implement its laws, to ascertain these laws and help uplift the current status. The political will of the officials and legislators to apprehend the perpetrators, despite the horrid truth that most of these perpetrators were allegedly the politicians themselves. The system which our society embraces is the main source of the deplorable proceedings. And even with this kind of bill, the “deterrent” aim of these could be violated, as long as the masterminds seek to silence these journalists and broadcasters alike who, more or less, do their work with honesty and integrity. Nonetheless, all these conclusions established to aid this research were from the confidants who shared their opinions, knowledge and experiences to the researchers about the country’s status quo for the media practitioners’ safety, of the prevailing media killings and seemingly


endless culture of impunity, and the disadvantages and threats these impose to the media community. At the end of it all, movement to really solve the problems which lie in the system, should be made collectively by the joint forces of all the involved--- the media community, the government, as well as the ordinary citizens, as they are all involved in the continuous call to end the impunity and uplift the measures of press freedom in the country. RECOMMENDATIONS As the rampant media killings imposes a huge liability on how the culture of impunity aggravates today, certain steps have been undertaken to at least lessen the present condition, such as proposal and pursuance of bills by the legislators. However, certain ambiguities allowed the bill to be above reproach. On that note, the researchers formulated suggestions for improvements of the bill and stated recommendations to the government specifically addressing the legislators. These are as follows: (1) Certain provisions should be made where in it tackles on strengthening the witness protection program in media killings cases. As far as witness protection is concern, top witness in the remarkable and recent killings were being slain, too, which should also be addressed in this bill. (2) The bill should also contain provisions requiring top priority support from the proper authority to ensure effective implementation. (3) Aside from the bill itself, the implementation should be prioritized and monitored. No matter how good the bill is, if the implementation unsuccessful, the bill would just be superficial and outcomes will not be better. (4) As most of the participants suggested—a formation of special investigation group that will also look thoroughly into the media killings is deemed important. A special group that will be comprised not of government personnel, but of independent, concerned and cause-


oriented groups and media organizations for the sole purpose of not only making the knowledge about the crimes exclusive for the government, but also both the society watchdogs and the society itself. (5) The trials or hearing regarding media killings should be held public so that perpetrators and masterminds are going to be in constant and serious pressure. (6) For the legislators, they should consult first the concerned parties, for this instance, the different media sectors especially the practitioners themselves, so that the bill that could be made will represent the concerned parties. This way, there would be an active participation from the media sectors and the bill would be more or less effective, whatever the goal is. As to the self-protection of the media practitioners on duty, the fairness and unbiased press should always be apprehended. Through the passage of a more elaborate senate bill on media killings and with the proper exercise of the duties of the journalists, possible positive effect on the culture of impunity and media killings shall be condensed and reduced. With provisions on implementation and certain revisions, may the possible implementation of this bill be the stepping stone towards the improved safety of media practitioners whenever they perform their duties as watchdogs of the country. REFERENCES


system-blamed-unsolved-media-killings Teodoro, Luis V. (2006). Limited Protection: Press Freedom and Philippine Laws. Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility


Compendium of Research Reports in Journalism Volume 2 – 31D ORIGINAL ARTICLE A STUDY ON THE PERCEPTION OF THE METROPOLITAN MANILA RESIDENTS ON OBSCENITY IN TABLOID NEWSPAPERS College of Communication, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Manila (22 October 2013) Obscenity is a controversial issue which has brazened out our age. In a civilized and morally upright country, similar to the Philippines, obscenity is condemned. The controversy lies in establishing what is and what is not obscene. The difficulty in defining obscenity presents no ordinary problem and it should not be dealt with complacency. Everyone has an important role and stake in the search for an appropriate definition for the simple reason that obscenity is not only frowned upon and condemned, it is punishable by law. To do so, however, requires understanding of obscenity, a duty which is just as difficult as defining it. The drive of this study is the key of the understanding of obscenity may lie in the view of the residents of Metropolitan Manila. Findings said that majority of the readers premised on the assumption that obscenity is based on some sort of standard of morality. More than half of the readers that obscenity only deals with nudity and moral corruption. Complementarity between the results on the use of obscene images and stories of sexual activities is a primary engine that those seen images and published stories in tabloids are obscene. And the summary of the results on the worthiness of obscene images to the presentation of news and actions that can be done may be a principal driver in order that obscenity in tabloids will be abated. Obscenity was defined by respondents as to which refers to offensive and sensationalized things which are morally unaccepted for it corrupts the minds and morals of the people through nudity, sex, pornography, self-indulgence, malice and lust that degrades one’s dignity and reputation. This study suggested


courses of action which may help legislators, jurists, policy makers, opinion leaders and media practitioners understand the subject matter in a simple perspective. INTRODUCTION Obscenity has been a controversial topic that evolved throughout our history. The perception of people regarding this matter may have changed from time to time, but its main concept still remained the same. The perspective of people on obscenity varies in line with their personal, social, cultural and religious beliefs. Hence, it’s difficult to distinguish which is and isn’t considered obscene. Furthermore, there are no legal definitions on what obscene or obscenity really means. People’s perception towards obscenity in tabloids is relevant and important because these reading materials nowadays are having unique appeal to readers. Nonetheless, here in the Philippines, certain laws against obscenity have already been proposed and ratified. One of which is during Marcos regime, the Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), amended through Presidential Decree no. 960 which was conducted on July 14, 1976. Another is the Senate Bill no. 2464, or also known as “Anti-Obscenity and Pornography Act of 2008.” This, however, is still waiting to be ratified. Despite the existence of the RPC, circulation of considered obscene is still observed especially on tabloids and magazines. Tabloids which are always deemed as sensational because of its allegedly obscene articles and photographs remain popular between Filipinos. Primarily, it is sold only for PhP 10.00 each, a considerably lesser cost than magazines, which project photographs of naked women, stories and confessions of sexual activities. Moreover, these tabloids are sold on the streets and displayed prominently on newsstands where minors are often found. Pictures of women with limited clothing could easily be seen by the public. Photographs and stories that insist lust that only deprave and corrupt minds can be accessed without difficulty.


These types of publications simply lower the morality and virtue of its readers. Urban-industrial society, as observed, has high patronage on tabloids. Those who buy and read materials disseminated through the mentioned mass media have a perception affected by their personal factors or qualities. This is pointed out on De Fleur and Rokeach’s Social Categories Perspective Theory stating that there are categories in the social strata where human behavior in the face of a given stimuli is more or less uniform. They further state that characteristics such as age, sex, occupation, educational attainment and religion affiliation provide as examples. All in all, the social categories perspective stresses that despite the heterogeneity of modern society, people in the same level of social strata will have virtually identical behavior towards a given mass media stimulus. As observed, it contains human interest events and offers stories which are often accompanied by salacious images. Such morally degrading photographs and articles that are becoming prevalent in every age group are alarmingly dangerous to the virtues of Filipinos. Tabloids are convenient and cheap, thus the common people of all ages are exposed to such materials. Citizens must be aware about obscenity because even a teenager or a child can freely buy tabloids containing obscene pictures and articles that selling in the sidewalk. They may be used to it, and may instill in their minds that obscenity in tabloids are already part of their daily living and they may observe it as ordinary. Furthermore, the findings may contribute on constructing the collective perspective about this matter. Thus, a more concrete definition and set of rules can be formed. This will help publishers know and understand their limitations upon the contents they are including in their tabloids. The research will also give a clear statement on what is obscene to the people in the chosen area. This will give benefit to the residents on moral values in their lifestyle.


The practice of journalists in tabloids, as mentioned, clearly bends the rules of journalism. Journalists should be the ones that guide the public through feeding the messes with right and accurate information. Such principles and responsibilities are being dumped due to the existence of those materials on Philippine publications. The primary purpose of news reporting is being neglected because of the existence of those materials in tabloid newspapers. With this, obscenity is inclined to censorship, the restriction of expression (Riley, 1998). Others may long for freedom on expressing ideas and information, but since exposure of images and articles which is abhorrent to human morality and value have been circulating rapidly nowadays, there must certainly be a form of limitation. This is in order to protect the dignity of an individual. Unlike radio or television, there is no regulatory board such as MTRCB on print media. Thus, these tabloids freely put whatever they want even if it’s already a clear form of obscenity. Therefore, the researchers aim to show the social and moral importance regarding this issue. BRIEF OF RELATED STUDIES The term obscenity comes from the Latin word obscenus meaning filthy, foul or putrid matter, and a moral corruption. Despite the seemingly simple etymology of the term, there is no precise legal definition of obscenity or what is obscene as of today. Obscenity is more subjective and is perceived as having a slight social value and of little advantage and it shows how it clearly dominates the social interest in order and morality. The legal concept of obscenity is radically indefinite. There is no delimitation to what is observed or not. On a study concerning the contributing factors of bold photos on the circulation of tabloid newspaper as perceived by editors and publishers of four selected tabloid newspapers, Bautista (2005) stated that the feedback coming from the readers requesting them to put more feature stories together with nude photos of starlet models. This only means that


their tabloids were acknowledged by the readers because if not so, tabloid newspapers containing this kind of pictures will not prosper. Participants admitted that the use of bold has a great impact on their publications in terms of circulations. Newly opened publications used bold photos to attract readers and also they believe that the right chemistry of a tabloid is a sexy photo of a model. Majority of the participants are aware on pornography or obscene law and according to them there is no clear law stated that one thing such as pornographic. Participants strongly disagreed that the bold photos they are using are pornographic. For them it was only sexy photo. Moreover pornography for the participants are those only moving with sexual contact like what can be found on pornographic CD, videotapes and other films. Another study was focused on the effects of pornographic tabloids to the sexual attitude of COC-PUP 3rd year students, the researchers found out that not all of the respondents are reading pornographic tabloid newspaper. Based on the findings and conclusion the readers generally recommend that there should be knowledgeable department from our colleges, to somehow at least impart awareness to the students that such as pornographic tabloids does not help in any way. Furthermore, we should condemn or banned those pornographic tabloids from being propagated. Regards to the possible options if these bold photos on tabloid will be lost, some of the participants will focused on crime story, feature story novels, expose’ on corrupt officials on government, but some said sexy photo will not be lost. Our existing law on obscenity is not perfect. As long as the law takes into account existing social realities, then it is responsive and practical (Avecilla, 1994). It is most fortunate that the Philippine jurisprudence does not provide much help in resolving the problem in obscenity. It is the aim of the study to evaluate contemporary views on obscenity, so that everyone concerned may have a realistic and up-to-date understanding of obscenity, with a view toward arriving at realistic concept of the same.


Anti-obscenity Law which deals with the offenses of decency and good customs is found under Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code as amended by Presidential Decree No. 960 of Former President Ferdinand Marcos. These include immoral doctrines, obscene publications or exhibitions and indecent shows. This is for a reason that these publications or materials prohibited under this law glorify criminals or condone crimes, serve no other purpose but satisfy the market for violence, lust or pornography, offend a race or religion, abet traffic in and use of prohibited drugs, and encourage acts contrary to law, public order, morals, good customs, established policies, lawful orders, decrees and edicts. In the year 2008, Senate Bill No. 2464, an act prohibiting and penalizing the production, printing, publication, importation, sale, distribution and exhibition of obscene and pornographic materials and the exhibition of live sexual acts, which was introduced and proposed by Former Sen. Manny Villar, is apparently pending for approval. In these bill, obscene is defined as anything that is indecent or offensive or contrary to good customs or religious beliefs, principles or doctrines, or tends to corrupt or deprave the human mind, or is calculated to excite impure thoughts or arouse prurient interest, or violates the proprieties of language and human behavior, regardless of the motive of the producer, printer, publisher, writer, importer, seller, distributor or exhibitor. There seems to be no quarrel regarding the proposition that obscenity, especially in tabloids and magazines where it is often encountered, should be abated. It is the sincere aspiration of the researchers that this study will prove useful to legislators, jurists, policy makers, opinion leaders and mass media practitioners in the quest for a more thorough understanding of obscenity. METHODOLOGY The research is about the perception of selected residents of the Metropolitan Manila regarding the issue of the obscenity in tabloids newspapers. It is suitable to have residents in different age groups as


participants since they are the members of the community who are exposed and frequently buy tabloids. The population of the Metropolitan represents the strata mentioned in De Fleur and Rokeach’s study on Social Categories. Metropolitan Manila is the center of business and different transactions and this is the very reason why it is engaged on buying newspapers. It is the interest of the people to the latest events and trends and social and moral issues in the country made them to subscribe to newspapers. The researchers used the descriptive method of research. Manuel and Medel (1976) state that descriptive research describes what is. It involves the description, recording, analysis and interpretation of present nature, composition or processes of phenomena. According to Best (1970), descriptive research is concerned with conditions of relationships that exists; practices that prevail; beliefs, processes that are going on; effects that are being felt, or trends that are developing. It is a fact-finding with adequate interpretation (Aquino, 1974). The researchers are going to use non–probability sampling. Non– probability sampling is a sample that is not proportion of the population and there is no system in selecting the sample. The selection depends upon the situation (Calderon and Gonzales, 1993). The researchers will specifically employ the purposive sampling where it is based on certain criteria lay down by the researchers. Purposive sampling is determining the target population of those who will be taken for the study. The respondents are chosen on the basis of their knowledge of the information desired (Gorospe, 2011). Criteria laid by the researchers are: first, the respondent should be 18 years of age and above. Next, the respondent should be the one who reads tabloid newspaper and lastly, respondents should be aware of the obscene contents of the tabloid. The method of collecting data to be used is survey. The survey or otherwise known as normative survey is a fact-finding study with adequate and accurate interpretation. It is used to collect demographic data about people’s behavior, practices, intentions, beliefs, attitudes,


opinions, judgments, interests, perceptions, and the like and such data that are analyzed, organized, and interpreted (Calderon and Gonzales, 1993). The instrument for data collection will be questionnaire. A questionnaire has been defined by Good (1972) as a list of planned, written questions related to a particular topic, with space provided for indicating the response to each question, intended for submission to a number of persons for reply. This is a convenient method; not only is it a fast method of data gathering, it is also easier, since there are many participants involved in the process. A questionnaire will be given among the participants to which obscenity in tabloids will be distinguished and other factors affecting the perception of the people with regards to obscenity. Lastly, a question at the last part of the questionnaire will be asked in order that obscenity will be defined, and this definition will directly derive from the respondents’ view of it. RESULTS As a preliminary measure, the researchers compiled the descriptive statistics for all variables in this study. Since it was stated in the theory of De Fleur and Rockeach, we also gathered the respondent’s age, gender, occupation, educational attainment and religion affiliation. Also the researcher compiled the statistics on the regularity of reading tabloid newspapers, tabloids being read and the perception of the readers or respondents on how obscenity circulates in our tabloid newspapers here in Metropolitan Manila and adjacent provinces. AGE

Table 1. Age of Respondents


Respondents in our sample are predominantly young. Thirty-three percent of the respondents were within the 18-22 years of age category, while another 13% were in the 23-27 years of age category. GENDER

Table 2. Gender of Respondents Majority of the respondents in this study are female, a proportion of 56% were included in the sample while 44% of the respondents were male. RELIGION

Table 3. Religion of Respondents There is about 94% of the respondents are affiliated with the Catholic Church and another 2% for both Iglesia ni Cristo and Born Again Christian and 1% for both Baptist and Seventh Day Adventist. OCCUPATION

Table 4. Occupations of Respondents


Majority of the respondents, composing the 29% of all, belong to the Blue Collar Workers having their occupations as driver, teacher, production specialist, vendor, technician, quality control inspector, photographer, graphic artist, seaman, laborer, service crew, sewer, and cook. While 28% of the respondents belong to the White Collar Workers with their occupations as office clerk, dentist, nurse, accountant, foreman, call center agent, government employee, police, bookkeeper, security officer, auditor, saleslady and nurse. Another 28% has no occupation while this study is undergoing and 15% of the respondents are students. EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT

Table 5. Educational attainments of the respondents 67% of the total number of respondents is composed of college graduates while 22% are graduates of the secondary school. Another 3% of the total respondents finished their vocational courses and 2% are done with their master’s degree while 6% did not indicate their educational attainment.



Table 6. Respondents’ regularity of reading newspaper Majority of the respondents composed of 32%, read tabloid newspapers once a week while another 26% read twice a week. A proportion of 21% read tabloid newspapers once a month and an additional 13% read every day while 8% specified that they are reading tabloid newspapers every other day, once a year and whenever there is an available newspaper in their areas. TABLOID NEWSPAPERS BEING READ BY THE RESPONDENTS

Table 7. The Tabloid Newspapers being reads by the respondents 46% of the respondents subscribes to Pilipino Star Ngayon while 30% of them are reading People’s Tonight, 29% read Abante and 21% subscribe


to Tempo. PERCEPTION ON OBSCENITY Table 8 provides the summary of the statistics on the respondents’ perception on obscenity in general.

Table 8. Respondents’ perception on obscenity PERCEPTION OF RESPONDENTS ON THE USE OF OBSCENE IMAGES AND STORIES IN TABLOID NEWSPAPERS Table 9 provides the summary of the respondents’ perception about the use of obscene images and stories in selling tabloid newspapers.

Table 9. Respondents’ perception on the use of obscene images and stories in tabloids


RESPONDENTS’ PERCEPTION ON THE RELEVANCE OF OBSCENE IMAGES AND STORIES TO THE NEWS PRESENTED IN TABLOID NEWSPAPERS Table 10 provides the summary of statistics of the respondents’ perception on the relevance of obscene images and stories to the news presented in tabloid newspapers.

Table 10. Respondents’ perception on the relevance of obscene images and stories to the news presented in tabloid newspapers ACTIONS THAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT OBSCENITY IN TABLOID NEWSPAPERS Table 11 provides the summary on the respondents’ proposed actions that can be done about obscenity in tabloid newspaper.

Table 11. Actions that can be done about obscenity in tabloid newspaper


RESPONDENTS’ DEFINITION OF OBSCENITY The researchers had gathered the different views of the respondents on how they define the term “obscenity” on their own perspectives. This is the summary of what the respondents say about obscenity. Thirty-one percent of the respondents say that obscenity is a corruption of mind and morals in the sense that it abuses sexual morality, diversifies people’s moral obligation, and destroys one’s reputation. Others say it is corruption because it can proceed to lewdness, it can degrade a dignity of a person, and it is a sin and not a good influence. Also, it can corrupt people in the way people think and when applied into action, therefore, it should be avoided. A proportion of 25% of the respondents state that obscenity is something immoral or morally unaccepted. They declared those things as immoral because it was exposed to the eyes of the youth and as Filipinos it is against our tradition for it is against decency. Another 22% of the respondents say that obscenity is all about nudity, that several persons disclose their nude photos, their flesh and their sexual organs. Another eight percent of the respondents defined obscenity as malice and lust. It is all about sex and kissing. These are offensive thoughts and actions and sensationalized words which often proceed to vulgar and form of disrespect. Six percent of the respondents say that obscenity is all about sexual activities and self-indulgence. The rest says, composed of 6%,









pornography and they say it depends on how people perceive, and others, still unclear for them of what is obscenity. DISCUSSIONS Newspapers, nowadays, are still considered one of the most effective medium of news around the country. The reality of having the newspaper as an effective medium is also the reality on how the publishers think of their unique selling proposition, even obscenity is used. Broadsheets and tabloids are different. Broadsheets are usually in English while tabloids are in our vernacular language and oftentimes it is being sensationalized. The focus of this study is upon the tabloid newspapers. It is much identified that tabloids are cheaper than broadsheets that’s why it is more patronize by ordinary people with ordinary occupations and incomes. Tabloids are traditional media that most of the times exhibit police beat news where crimes and apprehensions are included. But now, it is very noticeable that with the emergence of additional tabloids that competes with the others, is also the coming out of different strategies in order that these tabloids will be marketable. One of these strategies is the incorporation of obscene images and stories to tabloids. These images were found in the middle of the tabloid, most probably, in the Showbiz section and the worse at the front page. Beyond this fact is the reality that the youth will became the most crucial group of our society whenever they see or read these contents of the tabloid. The awareness of the youth about these things can affect their discernment about morality. Findings of this study show that the majority (46%) of the respondents are members of the youth, that’s why it was very alarming


that our youth today are very much aware of the pictures and stories that being mixed in our tabloids today. A quick capture on obscenity: it is a controversial issue which has confronted modern man time and time again. In a civilized and morally upright society, obscenity is condemned. It has no place in respectable publications and programs, as well as in polite company. Here in the Philippines, free speech and press freedom are cherished rights, obscenity is not entitled to any constitutional protection. Accordingly, free speech and press freedom may not be lawfully invoked in order to afford protection to obscene publications, programs, materials and exhibitions because of the huge influence of the Revised Penal Code particularly the Article 201 that speaks about prohibitions on obscene publications. Then again, the controversy lies in the difficulty in determining what is and what is not obscene. That’s why, the researchers present the results of this study wherein majority of the respondents are coincides with the statement that obscenity is based on some sort of standard of morality, that it only deals with nudity, sexual activities and perversions and it is a moral corruption. And also, their analysis on obscenity considered that the perception of obscenity lies with the personal, cultural, social and religious belief of a person. It simply means that respondents still consider obscenity as issues regarding morality of a human being. These results of the study proceeds with the veracity that people in different social strata, how heterogeneous they may be, they still stand with a single declaration based upon their personal, cultural, social and religious views.


With the use of images and stories, it’s quite superior that despite of the liberal principles that people often relate themselves, they are more distinct that images and stories found in tabloids are obscene. Images of women showing cleavage, in an erotic pose, those who are naked and touching each other are obscene. An additional, stories and confessions of sexual activities of man and woman are obscene and sexual perversion as well. The mechanism of today’s ideology about obscenity is encompassing almost all; there is social media, the audio and visual media and the print media. This entails that people are in high risk of seeing and internalizing these obscene things in tabloid newspapers. Views of the people about the images and stories are purely accounts of what they got from their culture and religious outlook and also from their education and nature of occupation. In fact, majority of these respondents has an integral response that these kinds of contents of tabloids should be altered and improved. They insist that publishers should be responsible of incorporating images and stories and it should be relevant to news. Obscenity in tabloids, especially in news presentation, is neither relevant nor significant. Viduya (2010) once stated that news has a strong impact to the lives of the people and this will measure the interesting subject of the news. Precisely, when presenting news, the lives of the people cannot be ignored by the reporter and his editor. Therefore, these obscene images and stories in tabloids have great impact to its readers and it doesn’t maintain the relevance of news. Findings of this study may say that these pictures and stories may be related or connected to the news presented and to the readers but these are not worthy of news. That’s why majority of the respondents became unified that obscenity in


tabloid is an offense to Filipinos good customs and decency. As a result to











sensationalized words, obscene images and stories and confessions of sexual activities in tabloids should be stopped. And respondents which are composed of more than half of the total agreed that obscenity in tabloids should be abated. This shows that people’s view of what is seen in tabloids is based on their perception, that obscene images, words and stories can be abated because it doesn’t help the public to understand and recognize the true value of news. Faulty attributions if often rooted in unethical practices of media practitioners in tabloid newspapers. CONCLUSIONS Newspapers have molded our minds about what we perceived on the news and other contents of it. Our perception on obscenity lies with the people’s decision and assessment which are rooted from their personal, social, cultural and religious beliefs, together with the influence of their education and nature of their occupation. Both distil the essence of an individual down to a set of their demographic and other characteristics such as age, gender, religion, educational attainment and occupation. The respondents appears to be active in reading tabloid newspapers for majority of the readers read tabloids once a week exhibiting that they are merely exposed with the contents of tabloids. Majority of the readers premised on the assumption that obscenity is based on some sort of standard of morality. More than half of the readers that obscenity only deals with nudity and moral corruption. Complementarity between the results on the use of obscene images and stories of sexual activities is a primary engine that those seen


images and published stories in tabloids are obscene. And the summary of the results on the worthiness of obscene images to the presentation of news and actions that can be done may be a principal driver in order that obscenity in tabloids will be abated. Together with the answers gathered from the respondents, the researchers came up with a definition of obscenity. Obscenity refers to offensive and sensationalized things which are morally unaccepted for it corrupts the minds and morals of the people through nudity, sex, pornography, self-indulgence, malice and lust that degrades one’s dignity and reputation. One of the limitations of this study is that it just analyzed the perception of the people on obscenity. Future studies can focus more on the limiting policies and actions that publishers can do with their publishing houses. Analysis on obscenity doesn’t make the publisher nor the public to act clearly for the exclusion of obscenity in tabloids. Secondly, this study just examined the state of obscenity only in tabloid newspapers. Obscene materials are not seen in tabloids alone, it can be found also in magazines and other publications in which the youth are often engaged. Exposure of the youth to these kinds of publications can be the subject of the future studies in order that obscenity with these publications will be defined. And lastly, the researchers didn’t make the appropriate statistical treatment for choosing the sample in this study. Composition of 100 respondents is not adequate to represent the whole Metropolitan





representativeness of the response dents.





Studies to be done in the

future can expand their scope in means of their sample.


RECOMMENDATIONS Thus, our analysis seems to suggest first, to our lawmaking body that amendments on laws regarding obscenity in different publications should be done. Amendments to laws will be helpful to media practitioners in order that they have definite policies to adhere with. It’s about time to end those kinds of obscene images and stories circulating in our print media industry. Secondly, to the publishers and editors of tabloid newspapers that are circulating throughout Metropolitan Manila and adjacent provinces, putting of obscene images and incorporation of stories and confessions of people having sexual activities can corrupt the minds and morals of the people, especially the youth. The researchers are expecting responsibility and credibility to this organization of editors so that a more substantive and trustworthy news reports will be propagated in our society. The marketing strategy of having those obscene materials in the tabloid is inferior to the principles that we mold here in our society. And lastly, to the readers and subscribers of tabloid newspapers, the researchers are hoping these readers to be more intelligent and critic about the contents of tabloids. Contents of those tabloids with obscene materials can divert the readers into corruption of mind as stated by the respondents of this study. Negative influence of obscenity to the people who are reading those tabloids can lead them to division and separation or greater problems in the future.


REFERENCES Aquino, G. V. (1974). In G. V. Aquino, Essentials of Research and Thesis Writing. Quezon City: Alemars-Pheonix Publishing House, Inc. Avecilla, V. C. (1994). The Perception of Obscenity in Cinema and Television by the Youth, Professionals ans Non-Professionals. In V. C. Avecilla, The Perception of Obscenity in Cinema and Television by the Youth, Professionals ans Non-Professionals. Manila. Baets, A. (1999). In A. Baets, Censorship of Historical Thought: A World Guide. Best, J. W. (1970). In J. W. Best, Research in Education: Second Edition. New Jersey City: Prentice-Hall, Inc. Blanshard, P. (1955). In P. Blanshard, The Right to Read. Boston City: The Beacon Press. Calderon Jose & Gonzales, E. (1993). In E. Calderon Jose & Gonzales, Methods of Research and Thesis Writing. Mandaluyong City: National Bookstore. De Leon, H. S. (1999). In H. S. De Leon, Textbook on Philippine Constitution. Quezon City: Rex Printing Corp. Florin, J. M. (2010). Manila Tabloid Sued Over Obscene Columns. Cebu City. Good, C. V. (1972). In C. V. Good, Methods of Research: Educational, Psychological, Sociological. Manila: Applenton-Centur-Crofts, Inc. Gorospe, N. B. (2011). In N. B. Gorospe, Statistics and Probability Theory. Manila. Green, J. (1990). In J. Green, The encyclopedia of Censorship. Facts on File Inc. Malinao, A. L. (2011). In A. L. Malinao, Handbook on Basic Media Laws and Ethics. Mandaluyong City: Echanis Press.


Manuel, B. &. (1976). In B. &. Manuel, A Practice Guide to Methodology of Research and Thesis Writing. Manila: GIC Enterprises and Company, Inc. Riley, G. B. (1998). In G. B. Riley, Censorship. Facts on File Inc. Treece, E. &. (1973). In E. &. Treece, The Elements of Research in Nursing. Saint Louis: C.V. Mosby Company, Inc. Viduya, F. V. (2010). In F. V. Viduya, Basic Journalism Handbook. Manila: Booklore Publishing Corp. Villar, M. (2008). Senate Bill No. 2464. Pasay City.


Compendium of Research Reports in Journalism Volume 2 – 31D ORIGINAL ARTICLE Case Study on the Salaries and Benefits of Print Journalists in the Philippines College of Communication, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Manila (22 October 2013) Journalists face the greatest threats of deceptions and ignorance; and the everyday confrontation of societal issues. However, behind the glitz and glamour of this arduous and noble profession lies an age-old problem on the status of their salaries and benefits where many suffer from lack of job security and benefits and low wages and constantly facing the risks that come with the job and continued threats from enemies of press freedom. The study seeks to implore an analysis of the current status of the salaries and benefits of Print Journalists in the Philippines, which aims to create a baseline data on the matter. To achieve the goals of the study, the researchers will use the qualitative research approach, which is defined as a research concerned with nonstatistical methods of inquiry and analysis of social phenomena. It draws on an inductive process in which themes and categories emerge through analysis of data collected by such techniques as interviews, observations, video tapes, and case studies. Samples are usually small and are often purposively selected. The tradition of inquiry will be a Case study, which excels at bringing us to an understanding of a complex issue or object and can extend experience or add strength to what is already known through previous researches. Case studies emphasize detailed contextual analysis of a limited number of events or conditions and their years across a variety of disciplines.


INTRODUCTION The modern world is bound by deceptions and ignorance; and we are all living together with the existence of various societal issues. Thus, journalists are the one that help us to cope from all of these circumstances for us to go along with knowledge into all societal flow. These journalists are people who are willing to risk their life for truth and cost everything even their own life. Even the profession is undoubtly risky, low wages and benefits is its biggest problem. Indeed many from the print media are paid only by the stories that are run, not for the stories they submit (Delizo, et al. 2011). Furthermore, salaries and benefits are not applied to correspondents since they are not considered as company’s regular employee thus, their salary is based on how many of their stories are published which usually ranging from Php 3000 to as high as Php 25000 while the seniors can earn Php10000 to Php 15000 depending on the newspaper they write for. (Valderama, 2010) In the Philippine Daily Inquirer, company pays Php 35 per inch column while tabloids, which have low rates pay as low as Php 5 per inch column. In Manila Bulletin, correspondents are treated as talents and are paid on per article basis. Some correspondents though may receive certain benefits only after meeting certain criteria like Inquirer: correspondents may receive transportation, interests and cell card allowances after reaching 50 columns inch minimum each month. As for photographers in newspaper broadsheets pay only Php 150-250 per picture, Php 500 if it used in front page. In tabloid they only pay Php50 per picture. Last May 2011, NUJP, the country’s largest organization for journalists called for a better pay and some work conditions. NUJP stressed that many of the media practitioners in the industry suffer from lack of job security and benefits and having low wages. Because of this poor salary condition, some journalists are forced to look for “income extenders”, some do it legitimately by officially taking multiple roles in a company (Valderama, 2010) whereas others are


forced to lead themselves to what we called today as ‘Envelopmental Journalism’ which involves an envelope of cash paid to journalists to sway their reporting. The National Union of Journalists (NUJP) once stressed “Many of those working in the media industry suffer from lack of job security and benefits and low wages even as they constantly face the risks that come with the job and continued threats from enemies of press freedom.” In the effort to lift the journalists from the grounds of reality where there they struggle for both physical and financial survival, there are proposed bills for the “charity” for journalists. Mr. Bill Snyder, Vice President of Pacific Media Workers Guild, said that being a journalist is about earning a living while producing the important stories that affect the world. This statement proves that being a journalist is really a tough job. Journalists spent their whole day “working”; they have no “required working hours”, because if they do, they might miss a great big story they’ll ever cover. They dedicate most of their time “in the field” and much of the time got one of their feet buried underground because of the hazards they “usually” face each and every time they cover for a story. Long and unpredictable hours are common in Journalism. Being a journalist sure requires a lot of determination and perspiration. Journalists contribute awareness to the society, without them all people will either be ignorant or clueless about the current events. However considering what they can do, these journalists fail to receive the right amount of salaries and benefits despite the dangers and risks that they encounter every day. The study is undertaken to seek a baseline information on the current situation of the salaries and benefits of print journalists in the Philippines. BRIEF REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE AND STUDIES The longstanding issue on the issue of salaries and benefits of journalists has been an issue for decades. Roselle B. Miranda, a former reporter of


PJR Reports notes that “The low salaries Philippine newspapers pay their employees including their reporters are legendary. Many Philippine journalists have the perennial problem of earning enough money to make ends meet. This often leads them to go into various money-making sidelines to augment their incomes. Journalists still believe they’re underpaid. The situation of journalists as far as wages are concerned has not changed much over the passing of time and the growth of the inflation rate. The salaries and benefits journalists receive today have improved, but journalists still believe that they should receive more for their work.” Another pressing problem of media in the country -- the lack of public uproar over the unabated media murders -- can also be linked with the low salaries journalists get as a result of corruption in the corruption. Many practitioners, especially those who are paid very little, see nothing wrong to be on the take or under the payroll of a certain official or businessman. For them, it is just a way of living -- not thinking that this undermines the integrity and credibility of the profession. As a result, people look down at journalists whom they know or perceive as corrupt. Unfortunately, they begin to regard the whole media community as corrupt or can easily be bought. This thinking is partly a reason why there is lack of public uproar over the killings. Globally, a Journalist may attend press launches, courts, council meetings and other important events, interview prominent people by phone or even in person, respond to tip-offs, calls and news releases and commonly, record notes in shorthand or in tape and write stories up on a computer. The long and unpredictable hours are common in journalism. Journalists generally work 39 hours a week, but they may work shifts including early starts, nights and some weekends. They have to travel to where to the news is, and may sometimes work outdoors. Salaries starts from around £12, 000 for new journalists, rising up to £80, 000 or more for more foe top journalists in national news. These figures are only a guide, as actual rates of pay may vary, depending on the employer and where people live. New journalists in a local news organization may start on


around £12, 000. But with experience, senior reporters can earn around £22, 000. While the top journalists in national news operations can earn £80, 000 or more. The Wage Indicator Foundation, a non-stock, non-profit organization conducted the first Wage Indicator Global Report on Pay Gap in Journalism to give a comparison in international and gender wage differentials for the journalist workforce. In addition to wages comparison, other important areas of journalists’ employment conditions are studied, namely: (a) Employee benefits, (b) Working hours, and (c) Satisfaction with various aspects of work. The common concern among Journalists worldwide are (1) Wages and Gender Pay Gap, (2) Employee Benefits, (3) Long Working Hours, and (4) Satisfaction in work detail. The Wage Indicator Global Report enabled to compare wages of the journalist workforce from various countries of the European Union (EU), the former Soviet Union and Central and South America. Also taken are a sufficient number of observations from wages of journalists from a number of additional countries were studied, specifically from South Africa and Indonesia. Best-paid journalists can be found in the EU, where the median wage reaches the level of US$3103 adjusted for purchasing power parity ($). The former Soviet Union offers more modest wages at around 30% (886$) of journalists’ wages in the EU. Somewhat better wage conditions are experienced in Central and South America where median wages are 1.5 times higher (1322$) than in the former Soviet Union, but still less than half of those earned in the EU. Employee benefits are reported as the proportion of employees with the following benefits: holiday allowance, end-of-year bonus, Christmas bonus, 13th month pay, 14th month pay, profit share, festival bonus, performance bonus, arrangements regarding expenses, transport


arrangements (lease car, company car, commuting costs), health insurance arrangements, pension schemes, share options arrangements. Among all the 14 reported benefits, holiday allowance (42%), Christmas bonus (38%) and pension schemes (31%) are most common for journalists in the European Union; holiday allowance (28%), performance bonus (14%) and festival bonus (13%) are most common in the former Soviet union; and end-of-year bonus (38%), holiday allowance (37%) and health insurance arrangements (29%) are most common benefits in Central and South America. An interesting fact is that a greater percentage of journalists receive performance bonus in the countries of the former Soviet Union than in the EU. This type of benefit is uncommon in Central and South America. Lastly, a permanent contract is the most common type of working contract among journalists in the EU (79%), Central and South America (69%) and also in the former Soviet Union, where only 58% of the journalist workforce reported a permanent contract. A larger share of journalists reported shifts or irregular working time (60%), work on Saturday (38%) and work in the evening (60%) in the former Soviet Union than in any of the other main regions. There are more journalists working on Saturdays, Sundays and in the evening in Central and South America than in the European Union. Telework is the most widespread mode of working in the former Soviet Union, where 28% of journalists do teleworking at least one day a week. In the Philippines, media companies — print, broadcast, or online — have varying salary rates. Many print journalists for community newspapers are paid only for the stories that are run, not for stories that they submit. Some journalists thus take home as little as Php 3000 a month. The more senior ones make Php 10000 to Php 15000, depending on the number of newspapers they write for. Because of the inadequate salary, some journalists are forced to look for “income extenders.” Some do it “legitimately” by officially taking on


multiple roles in the company. Others do public relations work for politicians or government offices. Sometimes, the part-time work even gives journalists bigger pay than their main job. But there are those who do not have to work extra to earn more. According to a radio reporter in the Visayas, these journalists merely wait for their monthly “allowance” from the local government.E“Our view is to put premium pay on senior writers we barely can afford to lose by multitasking them between, say, print with radio and administrative work,” Zoilo P. Dejaresco (owns a radio station and publishing newspapers in Visayas) said. “So, instead of hiring one more warm body, the writer will be earning more take-home pay.” Safety is another issue worrying journalists, especially those in the provinces. On 2012, a GMA news report cracked with a headline (August 3): Deadly week for PHL Press: Three journalists gunned down in Manila, Gensan. One of the victims is a freelance photographer, Mario Sy, who was killed in front of his wife and child by two suspects who broke into his home in General Santos City. The attack was followed by the death of two tabloid columnists in Manila, Richard Kho, 47 and Bonifacio Loreto, 59. According to the New York-based committee to Protect Journalists noted that at least 73 Philippine journalists have been killed in direct connection to their work since 1992, to make Philippines as the second deadliest country in the world for the press. Unfortunately, only 3 people have been convicted of murdering journalists in the Philippines since 2010. (Conde, Carlos) In reaction to the deadly issues facing by the journalists and broadcasters, two major television networks ABS-CBN and GMA have finally begun equipping their reporters and camera teams with bulletproof vests and ballistic helmets for coverage that could be dangerous, most media agencies, even those in Manila, are content to send their reporters out with nothing


more than a press card and a prayer. The situation is all the more deplorable in the provinces, where correspondents live with the rebels, bandits, or soldiers that they also cover. Even before the 2009 Maguindanao Massacre, the Philippines was already one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists. The murder of 32 media workers in Ampatuan town pushed the death toll for Filipino journalists to 137 – about a third killed in the line of duty or for their exposes on local crime and corruption – since the freedom of the press was restored in 1986. In the end, journalists have to realize that while the profession is inherently fraught with danger, there are day-to-day decisions that they make that could make the difference in just how much risks they would be forced to face. “The pen must continue to be mightier than the sword,” said another journalist from Central Luzon. In line for the concerns of journalists – especially the benefits and wages, a bill has been refiled at the Senate which seeks to require journalists to take an examination for accreditation (which will brought a two-type journalist: accredited and non-accredited) but National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) commented that it is “unnecessary” while Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas said that it is, “unconstitutional”. Senate bill 380 or Magna Carta for Journalists which is filed since 2011 by Senator Jinggoy Estrada stated that, “It is necessary for the enactment of a law that will ensure a living wage, an atmosphere conducive to productive journalist work, reiterate value of ethics, provide for the development programs that will deepen the practice of their profession, and promote the defense and protection of freedom and human rights of journalists and their organizations.” Under the notion, only accredited journalists will be issued identification cards are the only people who can carry the benefits and privileges


which are accorded to the law. But, NUJP Chairperson Rowena Paraan said, “it is a window for discrimination among journalists.” According to an editorial made by Philippine Daily Inquirer released on August 15, 2013, which is regarding to the issue of accreditation and the flaws of Magna Carta for Journalists noted that, “A citizen does not need a license to exercise the freedoms of speech and the press guaranteed in the Constitution. The notion that accreditation, through a government imposed system of licensing involving private journalists associations themselves, will end up “promoting the welfare and protection of journalism in the country” is as outrageous as it is insidious.” “Journalists should remain independent from any kind of control.” Paraan also added that the accreditation system is “not applicable” for the “context and environment” in Philippine media, since the country doesn’t have a strong democracy. “Itong bill na ito siguro applicable lang sa mga bansa na may high regard for freedom of the press and freedom of expression. Dito kasi sa atin marami pang threats sa mga iyan,” she said. After all the criticisms on the bill filed, Senator Jinggoy Estrada admitted that he is willing to drop the proposal which seeks the journalists to take the accreditation examination. METHODS The study focuses on the analysis of salaries and Benefits of Journalists in the Philippines, which aims to create a baseline data on the matter. To achieve the goals of the study, the researchers will use the qualitative research approach, which is defined as a research concerned with nonstatistical methods of inquiry and analysis of social phenomena. It draws on an inductive process in which themes and categories emerge through analysis of data collected by such techniques as interviews,


observations, video tapes, and case studies. Samples are usually small and are often purposively selected. Qualitative research uses detailed descriptions from the perspective of the research participants themselves as a means of examining specific issues and problems under study. (Delizo et al. 2011) Moreover, the study is a descriptive research of study according to purpose. It describes and interprets what is. It is concerned with conditions of relationships that exists; practices that prevail, beliefs, processes that are going on; effects that are being felt; or trends that are developing. (Best, 1970) The research used Case Study refers to the collection and presentation of detailed information abo9ut a particular participant or small group, frequently including the accounts of subjects themselves. A form of qualitative descriptive research the case study looks intensely at an individual or small participant pool, drawing conclusions only about that participant or group and only in that specific context. Researchers do not focus on the discovery of a universal, generalized truth, nor do they typically look for cause-effect relationships; instead, emphasis is placed on exploration and description ( Case study research excels at bringing us to an understanding of a complex issue or object and can extend experience or add strength to what is already known through previous researches. Case studies emphasize detailed contextual analysis of a limited number of events or conditions and their years across a variety of disciplines. Social scientists, in particular, have made wide use of this qualitative research method to examine contemporary real-life situations and provide basis for the application of idea and extension of methods. Researcher Robert K. Yin defines the case study research method as an empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context; when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident; and in which multiple sources of evidence are used. This study is focused on determining the current conditions of the salaries and benefits of print journalists. The criteria in choosing the participants


are the following: (1) Presently working as a print journalist; (2) working in the print medium for at least five years; and (3) they all have graduated from communication-related courses. The instrument consists of an interview guide to gather accurate and precise data from the participants in order to satisfy the objectives of this study. Interviews vary in style and format, from the structured interview based on a questionnaire (which is typical in sample surveys), to the unstructured interview based on a list of topics to be covered, to the indepth interview or qualitative interview which may last for hours and range widely around the topics in an interview guide. The first part of the interview discussed the socio-demographic profile of the journalist which includes the name, age, gender and so on followed by the question proper. Interviews were open-ended and semi-structured and lasted between thirty minutes and one and a half hours, with the average interview being just over one hour. Participants were asked about all aspects of their connivance to the topic, including their role in the organization, their opinion on their salaries and benefits, and their worldview on the issues affecting the profession. Participants could declare any statement in their interviews “not for attribution” (i.e., directly quoted but anonymous), “on background” (i.e., not directly quoted), or “off the record” (i.e., not to be reported), at their discretion. Interviews were conducted in-person on the discretion of the respondent. RESULTS The study represents six respondents of different background in the print industry, with varying working years of the journalists ranging from 6 years to 26 years. Thus, fitting the criteria given by the study. The journalists who have been subject for interview admitted that they are enjoying their profession despite of libel, death threats and the stressful nature of journalism. One of the respondents noted, “Gusto ko rin ‘tong trabaho na ‘to… yung nag-eenjoy ako kase, wala naman gaanong problema na naencounter ko … mga libel, mga death threat … mga kung anu-ano… pero kaya ko kase, love ko yung trabaho ko! Kaya, kaya ko siya! Kase ang pangarap ko lang, kung hindi maging pulis, abogado, o maging


reporter. Maraming challenge.” 4 out of 6 journalists admitted that their salary can support their basic needs but these people are working for publications that are having well-off salaries for their employees. While on the other hand, two of the journalists confirmed that their salaries and even benefits cannot comply on the needs of their families. In short term, they are not satisfied to the wage given to them. In solution to the problem addressed, one of the respondents claimed that he also works to other publications. Thus, the concept of ‘income extenders’ made by the journalists is vividly clear especially on the part of correspondents, stringers. When respondents asked the amount of their salaries, two of them said that they are not relying on their profession’s salary alone. They have their extra income such as from doing PR’s which resulting to violation of Journalists’ Code of Ethics. Some journalists confirmed that their salaries are sustainable enough. While one journalist admitted that she is above minimum which is ranging from Php 12,500 up and another stated that after the long years of expertise he had P25000 – Php 30000 as his per month salary being regularly employed in a publication. Two journalists claimed that they experienced some delays on their salaries – one because, from cash it is now on check basis. While the other said that, being in the industry for few years means that journalists cannot complain on the payment that would be given to them. When the respondents asked about the problems they encounter in relation to their current salaries and benefits on their profession, they admitted that fortunately, their salaries and even benefits are given ontime by the publications they are working for. Many of the respondents when asked about the issue or the problems addressed to their wages and benefits said that many journalists made some solutions to make their income be enough for their needs. Some are doing ‘income extender’ jobs, while others are into Public Relations.


According to the journalists when asked if there are any attempts by their company or publication to improve the system of compensating them, they answered that the management they are working for will impossibly had the attempt to improve their wages for many of them are being justifiably paid. DISCUSSION In their results of the study, it is assumed that Media companies — print, broadcast, or online — have varying salary rates. Many print journalists for community newspapers are paid only for the stories that are run, not for stories that they submit. Some of them don’t receive any amount of allowance or any kind of benefits. While those working for established publications like The Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer and Manila Bulletin receive a sustainable salary ranging from Php 14000 – Php 20000. Thus, the concept of journalism as a lucrative job depends on the system of the management they are working for. CONCLUSION Based on the answers of the respondents, the satisfaction with the compensation that they are receiving is based on the company that they are working for. Broadsheet companies offers bigger and better salary and benefits. Broadsheet companies are more often unionized so the employees are assured of salary increase most of the time. Their employees, whether regular or not, receive benefits such as allowances like transportation allowance and load allowance, subsidies like gadget subsidies and insurances like health insurance and house insurance. Meanwhile, Tabloid companies give smaller salary compared to the compensation given by the broadsheet companies. The amount of salary of the employees depends on the status of their employment. The employees that are not yet regular in tabloid companies do not receive benefits, unlike in broadsheet companies. Only the regular employees receive such benefits. Regular employees have higher salaries than those employees who are not yet regular. For those not yet regular in their work, their salary is based


on their output or the write-ups that they produce. In some cases, their salary is per column or per clippings that will be published. In broadsheet companies, if you are not a regular employee and your clippings were not published, you will still be able to receive your compensation. Unlike in tabloid companies, if your clippings were not published, you will not receive any compensation at all. Meanwhile, for the regular employees, whether your clippings are published as long as you were able to produce them, you will still receive your compensation, without any reduction. Most of the journalists see their work as a passion, regardless the compensation that they will be receiving. In the world of journalism, if you do not love your job, chances are you will look for another source of income instead of staying as a journalist where you will be receiving a small income not enough to sustain your needs. The respondents admitted that they were not satisfied with their salary when they were still new in the industry. But because of their passion, they remained dedicated to their job. Journalists always chase after no story no matter the time or the place. They find an angle, package it neatly for the public’s consumption and broadcast it via TV, print or web. Whether done for love or money, it can be dangerous, frustrating, thankless job. What emerges is a picture that is alarming as it is sad, as reporters who work for national news agencies live and deal with problems that are far removed from the struggle for physical and financial survival of their cousins in the community press. A mid-level reporter in Mindanao says he survives by working as a stringer for a local and a national television network. Both pay little, and only for stories aired that are few and far between. So the reporter works double time by acting as a producer and an anchor in another private radio station. To top it all off, our intrepid and industrious reporter also works as a marketing and advertising person.


It’s a situation that exposes journalists to risks that range from physical to moral ones. Commiserating with the multi-tasking reporter, a provincial paper editor also based in Mindanao admitted candidly, “I learned that all along I was wrong in some ethical practices. Countryside journalists continue to be vulnerable to bribery due to factors of their outfit’s survival.” The Philippines may have the distinction of having one of the freest presses in Asia, but the freedom still comes at a steep price. Corruption, low pay, and extrajudicial killings remain the top issues that Filipino journalists have to deal with aside from the daily deadline that they have to meet. RECOMMENDATIONS As for the Lawmakers, it is apparent that their duty is not that easy. But still, they should be keen observer and sensitive in order for them to know what the problems to be solved are, and what things to change. The Officials should give the journalists a regular salary even the ones who are working in tabloid newspaper publications. Given that the broadsheet emerged as the most popular format for the dissemination of printed news, they should also have to contemplate the skills of the journalists working in tabloid newspaper publications. Although tabloid newspapers are not as popular as broadsheets, it is also necessary that they should be given a considerable amount of payment in return for their imparted services. The publication itself has to ruminate their employee’s reimbursement in order for them to “stay in their side”. They should give their employees benefits and a reasonable payment to make their employees, contented and well-compensated. In that sense, the workers will establish an enthusiasm in their duties as journalists. Thus, their labor will not be in vain and will be better than ever. For the journalists, being one is not an easy task. It requires great determination in order for them to flourish in their chosen field. Given that


being a journalist is hard, they should perform well in their profession. Success depends on the person himself. Change starts with one’s self. Being focused may bring a journalist to the peak of his success. A journalist should strive to do noble on their duty in order for them to be proficient enough to be prosperous. They should help themselves to improve for their own benefit. REFERENCES %2c_Journalism/Vacation_Weeks %2c_Journalism/Bonus



Compendium on the Research Reports in Journalism Vol 2  

Compendium on the Research Reports in Journalism Vol 2 Bachelor in Journalism 3 - 1D Dr. Angelina E. Borican