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Press freedom and the "new normal"



These are the slides I used for my presentation on press freedom under the "new normal."
Danilo Araña Arao
Danilo Araña AraoDanilo Araña Arao
Danilo Araña Arao
Associate Professor, UP Diliman
Associate Editor,
Media Asia
Facebook, Twitter and YouTube: dannyarao
Cornerstone of democracy
Allows journalists to report and interpret issues
and events based on professional and ethical
Allows news media organizations to operate free
from government intervention
Key elements
Editorial independence
Ensures informed, critical and empowered
D. A. AraoCOP (19 June 2020) 2
“Virtual pressers” with screened questions
Sec. 6 of RA 11469 – penalty for spreading
“false information”
Push for Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020
Mass arresting instead of mass testing
Critique tracing instead of contact tracing
Mass detention instead of isolation and treatment
Red-baiting of journalists, media groups
D. A. AraoCOP (19 June 2020) 3
May 5, 2020
NTC’s forced closure of ABS-CBN
Killing of Cornelio Pepino, a radio journalist in
Dumaguete City
June 15, 2020
Cyberlibel conviction of Maria Ressa and Rey Santos
D. A. AraoCOP (19 June 2020) 4
Chilling effect (i.e., who’s next?)
Targeted harassment
ABS-CBN - leading network
Rappler - leading website
Attack on one is an attack on all
Weaponization of laws and the bureaucracy
Attacks become “legal” and “systematic”
Culture of impunity
Reign of tyranny
D. A. AraoCOP (19 June 2020) 5
“Creative” actions due to pandemic
Parliamentary (e.g., Congress, SC) and extra-legal
Online and offline (with physical distancing and other
safety measures)
Sustained public pressure
25-year franchise for ABS-CBN
Push for acquittal of Ressa and Santos
Decriminalize libel
Denounce Red-baiting
End impunity
Fight tyranny
D. A. AraoCOP (19 June 2020) 6
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