Protect campus journalism, CHR urges people on National Campus Press Freedom Day

Published July 25, 2020, 11:08 AM

by Czarina Nicole Ong Ki

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has urged the people to protect campus journalism and listen to the voice of the youth in light of the observance of National Campus Press Freedom Day Saturday.

CHR spokesperson Atty. Jacqueline de Guia said that the observance was only declared last year on Aug. 28 through Republic Act (RA) No. 11440 or the National Campus Press Freedom Day Act. The law was enacted to recognize the importance of campus press in promoting and protecting press freedom and freedom of expression.

But ever since it was declared, De Guia lamented that the state of press freedom continues to regress.

“The reality in many key universities was in stark contrast to what the law aspires to cultivate. It was signed at a time when campus journalism and student protests were confronted with intimidation and harassment and universities were labeled as breeding and recruiting grounds for rebels and subversives,” she said.

“In fact, journalists and media workers continue to experience individual attacks and harassment. Sadly, they continue to live in an environment of impunity and face policies that curtail fundamental freedoms.”

De Guia said campuses are meant to be safe places for intellectual discussions. “Students should be free to tackle social issues without having to face intimidation and harassment.”

Given these issues, the CHR is calling on the government and educational institutions to make sure that the first observance of National Campus Press Freedom Day would be an empowering one for youth journalists.

“Campus journalism captures the pulse of the youth on social issues and conveys the response of students to the call of the times,” she said. “Press freedom on campuses cultivates future leaders that promote truth, accountability, and social good. To truly commemorate this day, let us listen to the clamor of the youth as expressed in student publications and campus activities.”

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Protect campus journalism and listen to the clamor of the youth, CHR urged
By: Czarina Nicole Ong Ki

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has urged people to protect campus journalism and listen to the voices of the youth in light of the observance of National Campus Press Freedom Day this Saturday.

CHR Spokesperson Atty. Jacqueline de Guia said that the observance was only declared last year on August 28 through R.A. 11440 or the National Campus Press Freedom Day Act. This was done to recognize the importance of campus press in promoting and protecting press freedom and freedom of expression.

But ever since it was declared, de Guia lamented that the state of press freedom continues to regress.

“The reality in many key universities was in stark contrast to what the law aspires to cultivate. It was signed at a time when campus journalism and student protests were confronted with intimidation and harassment and universities were labeled as breeding and recruiting grounds for rebels and subversives,” she said.

In fact, journalists and media workers continue to experience individual attacks and harassment. Sadly, they continue to live in an environment of impunity and face policies that curtail fundamental freedoms.

De Guia said campuses are meant to be safe places for intellectual discussions. Students should be free to tackle social issues without having to face intimidation and harassment.

Given these issues, the CHR is calling for the government and educational institutions to make sure that the first observance of National Campus Press Freedom Day would be an empowering one for youth journalists.

“Campus journalism captures the pulse of the youth on social issues and conveys the response of students to the call of the times,” she said. “Press freedom on campuses cultivates future leaders that promote truth, accountability, and social good. To truly commemorate this day, let us listen to the clamor of the youth as expressed in student publications and campus activities.”

 
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