PH joins in celebrating World News Day

Published May 4, 2019, 12:24 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza & Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

E CARTOON MAY 4, 2019The world observed World News Day this week, with newspapers around the world celebrating the value of news reporting at a time when there is so much misinformation  that  threatens press freedom and  democracy.

The  celebration  on May 2 was on the eve of the anniversary  of  the Universal Declaration of Human  Rights, which underscores the  importance  of a free press in today’s world. Newspapers and professional  news organizations around  the world  joined in the celebration which stresses the need for media to carry on with its distinctive role in  reporting the news, and “in challenging the status quo, holding those in power to account, and in supporting freedom and democracy.”

Except  for the dark years of martial law in the seventies and eighties, the  Philippine press has zealously carried on this mission, inspired  and protected  by the Bill of Rights in the Philippine Constitution  which provides: “No law shall be  passed  abridging the freedom of the speech, of expression, or of the press….”

The  Philippine press, along with other media, especially the  fast-growing on-line and social media networks, are a  vigorous part of the national  life, reporting on the activities of Philippine communities, along with events in the outside world that are inevitably affecting us in the highly connected world of today.

With  10.2 million  Filipinos now living and working  in all countries of  the world – about a tenth of the total Philippine population of 108 million — we are part of the world community,  affected  as much  by the immigration disputes in the United States as by China’s development program in the South China Sea and the escalating war in Libya.

The Philippine press has  long been closely reporting —  but also  getting actively involved  in — crucial  national political,  economic, and social affairs, such as the ongoing election campaign, in the anti-drugs drive, and even in alleged ouster plots against  high government officials.

The  Philipine press continues to carry on its role in sharing stories  that matter to ordinary people. It is  countering  misinformation  with accurate reporting. And it asserts  the freedom  of the press,  as it joins in  the international celebration of World News Day.