Jinggoy’s media accreditation bill-A A +A
Saturday, August 17, 2013
SEN. JOSE "JINGGOY" ESTRADA has filed Senate Bill 380 or the “Magna Carta for Journalists” requiring reporters, editors and photographers to take professional journalism examination in order to be accredited.
Estrada, in pushing for the measure, said that it is necessary to enact a law for journalists that would ensure living wages for them and provide them with an atmosphere conducive to productive journalism work, reiterate value of ethics, provide for development programs that will deepen the practice of their profession and promote the defense and protection of freedom and human rights of journalists and their organizations.
The accredited journalists will be issued identification cards that would entitle them to all benefits and privileges that maybe accorded to them by law.
The examination will be administered by the Philippine Council for Journalists (PCJ) composed of media groups. It will be created to “act as self-regulatory body” for journalists and the journalism profession. It will also craft a code of ethics.
Any violation shall be ground for revocation of the accreditation.
I think Jinggoy patterned his bill after existing practices in the broadcast industry.
The Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) is the industry’s self-regulatory body. It has its national governing council and local chapters, although, not all broadcast stations/networks are its members.
The KBP conducts accreditation examinations for new broadcasters yearly. It has tapped
the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Mass Communication to prepare the questionnaires.
Once accredited, a broadcaster is issued an identification card that entitles the members to some benefits, like accident and death insurance.
The KBP can impose sanctions against a member that violates the Radio and Television Code. The exercise of such power was upheld by the Supreme Court in the Nation Broadcasting Corp. (NBC) versus KBP case.
Despite this, KBP has failed to exercise its mandate to the fullest because there are still members that violate provisions of the broadcast code not only in programming contents (especially in block-time programs) but even in commercial loads.
Air lanes are owned by the government, so the latter has the power to regulate their use. One cannot operate a radio or TV station/network without securing a congressional franchise and permit from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).
But the print media is different. It is not regulated by the government that is why there are many fly-by-night newspapers. While it has the Philippine Press Institute (PPI), the group has no control over newspaper publications. It is only a sort of coordinating body to promote journalists’ welfare.
Once the Philippine Council for journalists is created, will newspapers be forced to affiliate? What if they are not willing to become a member like those networks that are non-KBP members?
If I were Jinggoy, I would rather support the media through other measures, like the one re-filed by Cebu City north district Rep. Raul Del seeking to amend the Sotto Law.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 17, 2013.