READ: Alliance for Journalists' Freedom letter of support for ABS-CBN


Posted at May 14 2020 09:35 AM | Updated as of May 14 2020 09:46 AM

Editor's note: We are publishing in full statements issued by various groups and institutions in support of ABS-CBN Corp., which went off the air on May 5, 2020 following a cease and desist order from the National Telecommunications Commission. The company's franchise expired on May 4, while bills for its franchise renewal, some filed since 2016, continued to languish in Congress.


Alliance for Journalists' Freedom
Level 3 
1 Bligh St 
Sydney 2000 Australia 
 11 May 2020 
 To President Duterte 
 Regional Coalition calls on Duterte Govt to re-open ABS CBN and ensure Press Freedom in the Philippines. 
 At times of crisis, reliable information is a key part of society's ability to cope and respond. In the context of the Covid19 pandemic, the closure of broadcaster ABS-CBN is unconscionable. 
Lack of a free media makes democracy vulnerable, fractures societies and undermines trust in institutions especially in Government. 
The Filipino public greatly needs reliable information. This is particularly the case given the well documented vulnerability of the Philippines to fake news spread through Facebook. 
We cannot beat this virus without knowledge through transparency, and cooperation through communication. 
Governments have a responsibility to maintain their democratic and social systems, and a free media plays an essential role within that. 
The closure of ABS-CBN makes the Philippines a less healthy society, and also undermines the ability of the region and the world to respond to this crisis. 
We, the undersigned journalists, press freedom groups and media organisations have come together to call on you to urgently reinstate ABS-CBN's operating license and make an ongoing commitment to press freedom. 
Join us in maintaining a regional and global standard. 
Peter Greste 
Alliance for Journalists' Freedom 
UNESCO Chair of Journalism & Communication at the University of Queensland 

Margaret Simons,
freelance journalist and author 

Alan Soon 
Co-founder, Splice Media 
Dr Alexandra Wake 
President, Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia 
Anna Draffin 
Chief Executive Officer, The Public Interest Journalism Initiative 
Dr Cait McMahon 
OAM, PhD, MAPS Managing Director, Dart Centre Asia Pacific 
Chris Feik 
Editor, Quarterly Essay 
Gaven Morris 
Director, News, Analysis & Investigations at Australian Broadcasting Corporation 
Gary Dickson 
Press freedom researcher and writer 
Helen Garner 
Associate Professor Jason Bosland 
Centre for Media and Communications Law, Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne 

Jean Ker Walsh 
Moderator, Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership 
Johan Lidberg 
Deputy Head Journalism, Monash University 
Jon Bisset 
Chief Executive Officer, Community Broadcasting Association of Australia 
Dr Joseph M Fernandez 
Adjunct Associate Professor, Curtin University 
Karen Mahlab AM 
Publisher, Pro Bono Australia, Founding Director The Public Interest 
Journalism Initiative 
Lenore Taylor 
Editor, The Guardian Australia 
Lisa Davies 
Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald 
Lisa Waller 
Professor of Digital Communication, RMIT University 
Marcus Strom 
President of MEAA Media 
Mark Ryan 
Executive Director, The Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas 
Maria A. Ressa
CEO and Executive Editor, RAPPLER 
Misha Ketchell
Editor & Executive Director, The Conversation, Australia and New Zealand 
Nick Feik 
Editor, The Monthly 
Professor Helen Sullivan 
Premesh Chandran 
CEO, Co-Founder of Malaysiakini 
Sabra Lane 
President, National Press Club of Australia 

Professor Susan Forde 
Dean (Academic), Arts Education and Law Group, Griffith University