Planet News Views

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Commentary: Gov't allays fear of media gag

By Aurora J. Casimpan

Tacloban City (1 March) -- The overriding intention of the President in implementing the proclamation order is to protect the interests of the state. Nowhere will the state be protected than in media's truthful and unbiased reporting of events.

The President's wish is for media to publish events fair and square and to avoid reporting news which would sow fear and confusion among the citizens.

The President issued this statement to allay fears of some media entities which reacted adversely over the raid of the office of the Daily Tribune newspaper.

The government's appeal to media outlets to maintain fair and factual reporting over events which threaten national security has been viewed by some as curtailment of press freedom.

In Tacloban City, some local media practitioners have expressed fear over the alleged stifling of press freedom. A militant group based in the city has also criticized the issuance of the Presidential Proclamation No.1017 as it would lead to gag order of media.

Over this sentiment, the Philippine Information Agency in the region explained that the government has no intention of gagging the media at all. PIA-8 said that the media in the region has been a partner in development information and it will always look at the media as its partner in the dissemination of information on government programs and projects.

Partnership between the media and the government in delivering developmental news will aid the country in securing the economic gains it had started to harvest. (PIA-8)

Reprinted with permission of the Philippine Information Agency

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