UP professor urges PCOO to issue guidelines for bloggers covering Malacañang

Jasmin Romero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 27 2022 12:23 AM

MANILA - A University of the Philippines journalism professor warned the Presidential Communications Operations Office that it should set guidelines for the accreditation of bloggers.

Prof. Danny Arao of the UP College of Mass Communications said non-journalists, like social media influencers and bloggers who will be allowed to cover events at the Malacañang along with with the legitimate press, need to adhere to standards.

"Sa unang tingin walang problema dito basta’t malinaw ang guidelines pero kung malabo ang guidelines at di malinaw ang pamantayan at akreditasyon, pwede rin itong gawing instrumento para i-discredit ang lehitimong media at tunay na nagtataguyod ng katotohanan. At yun ang dapat nating labanan," UP Journalism professor Danilo Arao.

Aside from moves to discredit, Arao believes de-legitimatization of media outfits is one of the challenges Philippine journalism is currently facing right now, as this is supported by the latest move from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to shut down some news media websites.

He urged incoming National Security Adviser Clarita Carlos to take a stand on this.

"Bagama't wala pa siyang posisyon sa gobyerno, crucial parin eh yung magiging National Security Adviser by the afternoon of June 30 kasi kailangan ma-rescind, kailangan ma-rescind ang order ng NTC.. na batay dun sa letter request ng National Security council. Dapat may malinaw na siyang framework at gagawin sa unang araw ng panunungkulan para ma- restore kahit papaano yung kalayaan sa pamamahayag...at maibsan ang chilling effect ng letter request ng NSC at inimplement naman ng Nat Telecommunications Commissions," Arao said.

Bloggers played a huge role during Marcos Jr's presidential campaign, with some given priority access during UniTeam sorties. 

Access to Malacañang coverage or Palace events was traditionally limited to journalists from TV and radio networks, online news outfits, and newspapers. But PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar in 2017 allowed the accreditation of select social media users through a department order. 

The policy permits social media practitioners 18 years old and above with at least 5,000 online followers to cover Palace events.

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