Palace lauds press freedom in PH; most Pinoys say media doing well

MANILA -- Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar welcomed a study by Washington-based think tank Pew Research Center that found 86 percent of Filipinos believe the local media are doing well and report accurate news.

"Totoo naman 'yan, at tayo'y natutuwa na masigla ang ating press freedom -- freedom of expression dito po sa Pilipinas. At nakikita nga natin, araw-araw ho binabasa ko lahat ng diyaryo, pinapasadahan ko lahat 'yan. (That's true, and we're happy that our press freedom or freedom of expression is robust. We can see that every day in the newspapers)," Andanar said in his radio program "Cabinet Report sa Teleradyo" on state-run radio station Radyo Pilipinas.

He noted newspaper reports consist of positive, negative, and balanced news. He stressed by balanced he means media is not simply subservient to the government.

Andanar said press freedom is vital to "keep the government on its toes," emphasizing that providing checks and balances is really media's role.

The secretary explained that this is contrary to the statements made by critics of President Rodrigo Duterte that the government is suppressing the media.

He said legal measures, such as Freedom of Information and Administrative Order No. 1 for media security, have been implemented by this administration to avoid such oppression.

According to the Pew Research Center's 2017 Global Attitudes Survey covering 38 countries worldwide, 87 percent of Filipinos said the Philippine media are doing well at reporting most important news events, 86 percent said the media are reporting the news accurately, 83 percent said the media are doing well at reporting news about government leaders and officials, and 78 percent said the media are reporting political issues fairly.

The Philippines ranked number 4 in the countries where most citizens think their media are doing well or are balanced at reporting news.

On the top spot was Tanzania, with 92 percent of its citizens thinking their own media are doing well at reporting news of most important events, followed by the Netherlands, 89 percent; and Indonesia at third place, with 89 percent.

Source: Philippine News Agency