Mar 31, 2017

New York U alum to NUJP: 'Your response to Duterte was undignified'

New York U alum to NUJP: 'Your response to Duterte was undignified'
An international writer criticized the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines  after the latter released a statement saying that President Rodrigo Duterte was abusing his immense power, after he called the Philippine Daily Inquirer and ABS-CBN “garbage”.

Krizette Laureta Chu, who is an alumnus of New York University, in her Facebook page wrote an open letter to NUJP; said that the organization's response to President Duterte attacks vs INQ and ABS-CBN was 'undignified'.



Below is the full open letter of Ms. Chu:

Dear NUJP,

I have so much respect for you as an organization and for veteran editors (well, not all), and to be sure, I am not worthy to shine your boots, but for the benefit of future journalists, let me just say that you were just a teeny-tiny bit carried away in your sort of undignified response to Duterte's attacks against ABS CBN and Inquirer.

First of all, you called him a "petty tyrant." In the interest of fairness, and so we could all continue to claim that you have no biases and are fair, you shouldn't have let your slip show. If you already said he is a petty tyrant, how could people expect you to be fair to him moving forward? That was sort of a bad call, don't you think?

Second of all, you said "community of independent Filipino journalists." Independent would be a misnomer. Maybe you were trying for fair, balanced, unbiased? But independent? If journalists are hired by mainstream media companies, they are not "independent." If a journalist has to answer to an editor, who has to answer to an editorial board, who in turn answers to the publisher, who in turn answers to the CEO or president of the company, who in turn deals with external companies like advertising companies, media buyers, and the like, because most mainstream media are businesses even if they are advocacies--then you are not independent. If you the writer are in any way, shape, or form, at the mercy of anyone higher than you, you are not independent.

Independent publications are by definition free of corporate interests or government influence, so if you have someone to approve of your work, then you really aren't working independently.

You cannot also hijack the term "independent media" because alternative media sources have created, well, alternatives and have termed their media as "independent" as a backlash against mainstream media (which NUJP's members are part of.)

An example of independent media is this little magazine I love called Mother Jones, based in the US.
Here's a short profile to see how you and MoJo are different, and why they are "independent":
"Mother Jones is a READER-SUPPORTED nonprofit news organization and the winner of the American Society of Magazine Editors' 2017 Magazine of the Year Award. Our staff does independent and investigative reporting on everything from politics and climate change to education and food (plus cat blogging).



We are headquartered in San Francisco and have bureaus in Washington, DC, and New York City. We don't answer to stockholders, a corporate parent company, or a deep-pocketed donor. Instead we're accountable to, and funded by, you—our readers.

Why should readers give Mother Jones money?

We believe (and if you've read this far, odds are you do, too) that a free, independent, muckraking Fourth Estate is a key part of a vibrant democracy. It's the one thing that can call the powerful to account, especially in a system where money increasingly dominates the political process. But that kind of reporting can't rely on deep-pocketed special interests to pay the bills. It only happens because readers like you step up. For the last 40 years, you've done that—and in the process, you've built the only reader-supported, investigative, national news outlet in America. Thank you!"

See the difference? They are run mostly using reader donations. While MoJo accepts advertising, they have stringent advertising policies, which include the clause that advertisers must agree to: We will investigate you and you have no right to ask about editorial content."

MoJo's writers can maybe just go to town ripping apart mining companies or power companies or whatnot if they so want to, because the readers are the ones who pay them.

More power to you and the Fourth Estate!

With much respect,

A nobody who believes that mainstream media is still the shiznit as long as used properly and with the readers' best interests at heart.


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