Danish Ambassador blasts 'systematically negative' PH media in forum on journos' safety - The Daily Sentry

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Danish Ambassador blasts 'systematically negative' PH media in forum on journos' safety

Ambassador-designate of Denmark to the Philippines Jan Top Christensen / photo from Inquirer

Manila, Philippines - Danish Ambassador to the Philippines Jan Top Christensen said on Wednesday said that some media organizations tend to be negative in the way they deliver their news, particularly with the issues concerning the government.

While Christensen acknowledged the importance of the press in a democratic country, he said that they tend to be “systematically negative.”

“I read many different media everyday and I must say some of these media are systematically negative,” Christensen said.

Journalism standards

Speaking before a multi-stakeholder gathering on the safety of journalists, an event spearheaded by the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication and International Media Support, with funding from the European Union and Denmark's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ambassador stressed that media are not able to present what the government is doing, a practice attributed to poor compliance with journalism standards.

“To me, it’s lack of ethical standards, lack of professionalism,” he said

Safety first

On the other hand, Christensen also pointed out that security and safety of journalists should not be overlooked as he recognized that impunity is still a problem in the Philippines.

 “Media is seen as the fourth power in Denmark. Media is extremely important for [a] checks and balances system in a democratic society,” Christensen said.
Meanwhile, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) for its part stressed its concern on cases of assassinati0ns and harassment of journalists and other media personalities.

NUJP Chairperson Nonoy Espina pointed out that there should be no distinction on cases, whether if a victim is suspected being involved in corrupt journalism practices.*

National Union of Journalists (NUJP) chairperson Nonoy Espina / photo from Rappler

Columnist and former University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication Dean Luis Teodoro also suggested the establishment of an industry-wide union.

“It has never left our minds, but the kilIings are happening, we want to prioritize the safety of our colleagues first,” Espina said.

Low wages in the industry, the rights of campus journalists, safety courses in colleges and universities, and government response to issues surrounding the security of media workers, are among other issues discussed during the forum.

Danish Ambassador to the Philippines (middle) poses with the panelists and other guests at the forum on Nov. 7 / photo from ABS CBN News

Source: ABS CBN