Moving Beyond “Virgin or Vamp”: Women and Media

Guidelines No Comments

How should the news media cover women and women’s issues? How should women be represented in the media?

The Gender Equality Committee, comprised of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), Philippine Commission on Women, self-regulatory bodies and non-government organizations, formulated guidelines for the protection of women against discrimination in the media. This was in accordance to the Sec. 19 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women.

The committee produced these three documents that “will be integrated in the government and non-government media-related organizations to ensure that women’s needs, issues and concerns in all forms of media, communication, information dissemination, and advertising are appropriately represented” said PCOO secretary Sonny Coloma.

Code of Ethics for Media (Book 1) by cmfrphilippines

Guidelines to Protect Women From Discrimination in Media and Film (Book 2) by cmfrphilippines

Gender Equality Guide (Book 3) by cmfrphilippines

Guidelines for coverage of disasters and catastrophes

Guidelines No Comments
(Philippine Journalism Review, now PJR Reports, first published this guide in its August 1990 issue.)
  • On-site and field reports for radio and television must build on verified facts. Facts of geography, location, population, infrastructure, commerce and industry flesh out the damage with specific detail.
  • Estimates of casualties should be corroborated by various sources. If official counts are available, these should be cited and specifically sourced.
  • At the time of the crisis, broadcast reporters need tone down their delivery, so as not to contribute to public hysteria. Updates and warnings serve the purpose better when issued in a calm and restrained voice.
  • Reporters must beef up their stories with research. Orientation about the issues raised by the particular kind of disaster and rescue operations prepares correspondents to observe the procedures more intelligently without interfering with the conduct of operations.
  • Reporters must bear in mind that rescue operations take precedence over their story. They cannot interfere with the saving of lives and prevention of injury. They must respect the primary obligation of rescue workers which is to save lives.
  • Reporters and photojournalists cannot be to sensitive to the plight of victims and their families and friends. In getting their story or picture, they must respect the victims’ desire for and right to privacy.
  • News directors for radio and TV should aim for balanced coverage with the use of straight news, feature and human interest stories. the latter to provide necessary color but cannot take the place of hard information.
  • Unconfirmed reports should be handled with care and caution. Completely blind reports must be passed off until verified for accuracy.
  • Crisis coverage must be devoid of posturing, playing hero and other kinds of grandstanding on the part of media. It should also guard against the use of media time or space by those pushing for their individual and personal gains. Such gimmickry can get on the nerves and add to the burden of streets.
  • Reporters should prepare a line of questioning for spot interviews. Radio anchors should minimize the chit-chat ordinarily used to protect intimacy with listeners or to fill up idle time. The level of triviality can be disturbing and out-of-synch with the gravity of the situation. Hour-on-the-hour formats to cover developments should use well-informed resource persons who can help to promote understanding by expanding the cast of personalities and voices.

Does self-regulation have a future in the Philippines?

Analysis No Comments

By the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility

The media are not only failing to regulate themselves; more importantly, some media organizations are actually depending on the government to intervene, in effect eroding the very principle of self-regulation itself.

The Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (Association of Broadcasters of the Philippines, KBP) Standards Authority released recently a decision on the Aug. 23, 2010 hostage-taking incident, which included the imposition of fines on member-networks for violating the KBP Broadcast Code. Before it issued the decision, the KBP also revised Article 6 (Crime and Crisis Situations) of its Broadcast Code to help media organizations avoid making the same mistakes they made during the Aug. 23 hostage taking incident should something similar happen in the future. (See sidebar “Approved Amendments to Article 6, Crime and Crisis Situations, KBP Broadcast Code”.)

On that date, Rolando Mendoza, a former police officer, took hostage 25 tourists from Hong Kong and some Filipino staff who were in a tourist bus about to leave Manila’s Fort Santiago the Luneta Park. The incident ended with nine individuals, including Mendoza, dead.

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SIDEBAR: Approved Amendments to Article 6, Crime and Crisis Situations, KBP Broadcast Code

Additional Resources No Comments

The Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (Association of Broadcasters of the Philippines, KBP) approved the following amendments in a general membership meeting on Oct. 20, 2010. The amendments, which are in bold face, are meant to address issues and concerns about media coverage raised in connection with the Aug. 23, 2010 hostage-taking incident.


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KBP scorns, fines networks for hostage crisis coverage

Analysis No Comments

GMA-7 skirts fee but also under fire
KBP fines ABS-CBN 2, TV5, RMN for hostage crisis coverage

By Ed Lingao
Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism

TEN MONTHS, nine lives, and a flurry of finger-pointing and paper work later, the controversy over the media coverage of the 2010 Luneta hostage-taking incident by the country’s biggest and most influential television and radio networks has come down to feeble fines of P30,000, and a virtual slap on the wrist.

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