NUJP pleads: 'Don't blame media for SEA Games woes'

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—The National Union of Journalists in the Philippines, through a statement on Wednesday night, hit out at PHISGOC COO Tats Suzara for "attempting to dictate how the media should report the news," which according to the group "has no place in democracy."

Earlier in the day, Suzara, in a press conference called by PHISGOC at the World Trade Center in Pasay, expressed his displeasure on the "negative" reports coming in four days into the Southeast Asian Games, calling on the media to just post positive news instead.

"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," the NUJP further said in the statement with the headline "Don't blame media for SEA Games woes".

The union continued, "The NUJP wishes to remind Mr. Suzara that the duty of the press 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. The truth is, even if media chose to distort the image, this would do nothing to hide the gargantuan mess the whole world already knows about."

The NUJP then also aired its sentiments on the backlash the reporters—and those being interviewed too—are getting for the not-so-good news.

"It is bad enough when trolls are let loose upon media reporting on the disastrous preparations of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) for the 30th SEA Games," the NUJP added.

The organization further stated, "If anything, shining the light of truth on the state of the SEA games preparations can only help ensure that our nation and people be spared from being so humiliated in the future."

The NUJP then praised "the community of independent Filipino journalists who have insisted on reporting on what is happening without fear or favor, despite the heavy online harassment and trolling."

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