Online journalists’ responses to Duterte’s administration attacks on press freedom

Jesus Valverde Carnerero, Cohort 2018

Abstract

The practice of free journalism in the Philippines is guaranteed under Article 3 of the Philippine Constitution. However, the threats that the Duterte’s administration is carrying out against online journalists that critically report the government’s actions on the war on drugs are weakening that guarantee. In that sense, this study aims to shape the responses that critical online journalists keep on creating in the given context.

 Through the existing literature review, this paper has explained online journalism in a whole, which has been later applied to the current situation of the Philippine online journalists in the country. A theoretical approach has also been complemented with in-depth interviews conducted with 8 online journalists based in Manila who indeed report about the government’s measures on the issue. It was scheduled in 8 different face-to-face sessions.

Therefore, in the Philippines, the responses take the form of in-depth reports, which are published in news sites including the name of the author. They contain data from NGOs, public officials, and reliable informants. Regarding the role of online journalists when creating such responses, they normally write about the war on drugs with the intention to control those in power and expose their actions to the general public, as a way to perform the historical “fourth estate” role of the media. The responses could improve their impact if different media outlets came together and collaborated more assiduously.

Further researches could address different types of journalism under the same scope, such as citizen journalism or social media journalism so their type of responses could also be shaped.

Key words: online journalism; attacks on press freedom; role of journalists; professional responses

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