MANILA — A journalist group on Wednesday called out officials who criticized the media for reporting snags in the country's hosting of the Southeast Asian Games.
Ramon Suzara, chief operating officer of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC), earlier slammed the media for its supposed negative reporting and asked journalists to publish instead positive reports about the regional event.
The press' duty "has always been to report things as they are, based on verifiable facts, and not to pander to anyone's perception of what is, or should be," said the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.
"It becomes ridiculously unacceptable when the officials responsible for the disaster resort to bashing media as well, as if the reports on their shortcomings were to blame for the disaster," it said in a statement.
"Attempting to dictate how the media should report the news has no place in a democracy," it added.
The NUJP also argued that reporting the true state of preparations for the SEA Games would "help ensure that our nation and people be spared from being so humiliated in the future."
Organizers of the the SEA Games have been criticized for troubles in the transportation and lodging of athletes, inadequate meals, unfinished game venues, and the accreditation of foreign press, among others.
This marks the Philippines' fourth hosting of the biennial event that opens Saturday.
For more stories on the SEA Games, visit this page: https://news.abs-cbn.com/seagames2019.