Cebu Citizens-Press Council

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Minutes of June 2007 meeting

September 20th, 2007 · No Comments

Minutes of the 2nd Quarterly En Banc Meeting
June 27, 2007, MBF Cebu Press Center, Lahug, Cebu City

Presiding Officer : Dr. Pureza Onate

Present : Ruben Almendras (alternate of Sabino Dapat)
Atty. Jonathan Capanas
Mario King
Jose Rafael Ferreros
Mayette Q. Tabada
Mia Embalzado
Edward Abad,
Leo Lastimosa
John Rey Saavedra (alternate of Juanito Jabat),
Eileen Mangubat
Pachico Seares and
Anol Mongaya

Sabino Dapat (in Victorias City),
Jerry Tundag,
Fr. Aloysius Cartagenas (fever)

1. Juan Mercado, Trustee, Philippine Press Institute
2. Bobby Nalzaro, Sun.Star Cebu columnist and anchor of GMA 7’s Balitang Bisdak
3. Michelle So, Executive editor, Sun.Star Cebu
4. Alex Badayos, Photographer, Sun.Star Cebu
5. Connie Fernandez, Executive editor, Cebu Daily News
6. Bernadette Parco, Editorial assistant, Cebu Daily News
7. Roger Vallena, News editor, Sun.Star SuperBalita
8. Ian Manticajon, Coordinator, mass communications, UP in the Visayas Cebu College
9. Bejay Villaflores, STC student, part of election coverage evaluation team
10. Bai Hayde Quiñanola, STC student, part of election coverage evaluation team
11. Atty. Elias Espinoza, Columnist, Sun.Star Cebu
12. Atty. Pedro Rosito, Cebu Media Legal Aid (Cemla)
13. Atty. Eddie Barrita, Bureau manager, Philippine News Agency and Cemla
14. Atty. Rosemarie Olaño-Versoza (Cemla)
15. Piedad “Bingo” Y. Gonzalez (Cemla)
16. Fr. Carmelo Diola, Coordinating steward, Church-based movement Dilaab
17. Jolen Lim, Manager, MBF Cebu Press Center
18. Max Andrino, Acting manager, RPN 9
19. Frannie Abellana, cameraman, RPN 9
20. Jessie Tabanao, Bombo Radyo
21. Ruphil Bañoc, dyHP, RMN
22. Ike Durano, dyRF
23. Daniel Guden, dyRF
24. Cherry Ann T. Lim, Assistant to the acting executive director of the CCPC
25. Carlito dela Calzada, Information technology staff member

A. Call to Order

The presiding officer, Dr. Pureza Onate, called the meeting to order at 12:45 p.m. after the invocation as well as the introduction of CCPC members by Mr. Leo Lastimosa and the introduction of guests by Mr. Mario King. The council proceeded to take up the business for the day after council secretary Jonathan Capanas declared having a quorum.

B. Updates

Cherry Ann Lim, assistant to the acting executive director, gave this update:

(a) House Bill 77, which limits the venue of civil and criminal libel against community print and broadcast journalists and newspapers and broadcast stations to the principal office of business of the publication or station, was passed by the Lower House and transmitted to the Senate in the 13th Congress. But the 13th Congress adjourned in early June 2007, so the bill will have to be re-filed in the House when the 14th Congress opens in July. It is expected to face smooth sailing there. But the Senate will be a different story.

(b) As a follow-up to the Church-media dialogue held last March, the CCPC, as part of the Cebu Press Freedom Week celebration in September, may hold a seminar-forum led by the Archdiocese to enlighten the media on how they can deal with the Church. Or the media could educate the future spokesmen of the Church by teaching seminarians/priests how to understand media.

There are also plans for a documentary with the working title “Priests in
Crisis,” for screening during the Cebu Press Freedom Week.

(c) The CCPC accepts advertising in its website. Sun.Star Cebu paid for the hosting of the CCPC website for May 5, 2007 – May 5, 2008, which is why its ad appears in the site. Others may host the website in the years ahead.

(d) The CCPC has not received any new complaints since its last report in March.

C. Evaluation of Cebu print media’s coverage of the 2007 elections

Mia Embalzado and Ian Manticajon presented the initial interpretations of the research work of their masscom students on how the five Cebu daily newspapers covered the last election campaign. The team studied 44 issues—from March 31, 2007 to May 13, 2007.

Mayette Tabada, who coordinated the effort, explained that while the study looked into the themes tackled during the election campaign period and their treatment, as shown by their placement in the newspaper, e.g. Page 1 top story or second story, inside news story or editorial, the findings do not show who set the media agenda (whether it was sources or politicians), or whether the media content influenced voters. A final report will be produced in time for Press Freedom Week 2007.

Salient reactions:
(a) The research team was asked to take a second look at the definition of election-related stories. The controversies surrounding the CICC construction and the lamppost purchases had not been considered as election-related stories if they were not directly linked to the elections in the stories concerned. John Rey Saavedra agreed that they should not be counted as election stories if they were mere Ombudsman stories, for instance. But Leo Lastimosa and Eileen Mangubat argued that even if there is no mention of elections in the story, they were considered election-related stories since they affected the chances of victory of those running in the elections, coming as they did during the campaign period.

(b) Other suggestions were (1) to also look at the photos published during the period concerned, (2) to consider column inches, rather than mere number of stories, in analyzing the frequency of publication of stories, (3) to make voter education (the ones not initiated by Comelec) a separate category rather than lumped into “other categories,” even if the number of stories is few, (4) to look at whether media was fair in giving someone the right to answer a charge raised against him in an issue in that same issue, (5) to look at whether candidates were given equal exposure, (6) to use pie chart aside from bar graphs for comparison, (7) Redefine the criteria like how should “election-related stories” be defined.

Ian Manticajon said they would take the suggestions into consideration when fine-tuning their research.

D. Other business

KBP-chairman Edward Abad asked if CCPC could make a resolution to request the KBP National to lobby for the support of HB 77.

CCPC Acting Executive Director Pachico Seares did not think it was necessary, saying the CCPC had already made a resolution last year expressing support for this bill and HB 4835, amending the Sotto Law. In addition, letters were sent to each senator last year requesting that the two bills be acted upon.

He added that the Cebu Media Legal Aid, an adjunct of the CCPC, will eventually issue a statement in support of the bill.

Reacting to concerns that a possible change in House leadership may affect the bill’s chances there, Seares said Rep. Raul del Mar, sponsor of HB 77, does not expect any problems at the House, and that the media could count on Aquilino Pimentel to shepherd the bill at the Senate.

Seares said that when the bill is re-filed in the Senate, then the CCPC could just follow up on its lobby, and this could also be the time that all parties who stood to benefit from the bill together made their voices heard.

E. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at about 2:30 in the afternoon.

Prepared by:
Dean Jonathan P. Capanas
Council Secretary

Tags: Announcements

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