More than 300 Filipino journalists, media workers, journalism academicians and media organizations signed a pledge calling on the news media in the country to commit to an impartial, credible, fact- and issues-based coverage of the 2022 elections.
Released on Saturday, the full text of the Election 2022 Pledge for Journalists and Media Organizations is available below:
EVERY ELECTION is a reckoning for democracy. As journalists reporting on another critical moment for our country, we have a duty to provide accurate, reliable and essential information that will empower voters and encourage public discussion and debate.
Election integrity is not just about credible counting of votes, but about clean, level, legal, transparent, and accountable campaigning;
Credible elections need credible media; conversely, corrupted media can further corrupt politics;
Citizens need issues and debates to be clarified, not simply amplified.
We pledge to:
- Put voters and the integrity of the electoral process at the center of our reporting.
- Focus on issues not just on personalities.
- Examine the track record and qualifications of candidates and political parties vying for public office and hold them accountable for the veracity and honesty of their every statement and promise.
- Cover as responsible and accountable the institutions mandated to ensure an even, orderly, and credible electoral playing field.
- Stand in solidarity with each other when any journalist or news organization is harassed by state agents, political parties, candidates, or private groups for their evidence-based journalism.
- Be accountable to the public. We will hold each other to higher standards of impartiality, credibility, and integrity.
In line with these principles, we commit to:
- Challenge and correct statements and claims that have no basis in fact.
- Avoid highlighting or amplifying falsehoods, hate speech and incitements to violence.
- Report on the partisan activities of government officials, including those working for national and local agencies, the courts, law-enforcement and the armed services.
- Monitor the independence of the Commission on Elections, the courts, the military, the police, teachers and all other individuals and entities involved in the conduct of the election.
- Highlight the efforts of the public and private sectors to uphold the honesty and integrity of elections.
- Monitor vote buying, campaign spending and the use of public funds to win elections.
- Contextualize reporting on surveys and the winnability of candidates. We will not report on surveys without verifying the source of the polling data, the track record of the companies conducting the polls, the methodologies used, and the questions asked.
- Focus on voter education, citizen participation and empowerment.
- Organize and report on town halls and debates and encourage candidates and citizens to take part in them.
- Uphold codes of ethics and professional conduct and disclose potential conflicts of interest.
- Make a clear distinction between reportage and opinion.
- Promote safety, public health and security protocols for and among journalists and be mindful of the impact of our work on the safety and well-being of the people and communities we interact with in the course of our reporting.
- Share best practices, knowledge, and experience, and raise our individual and collective capacities and competencies in covering elections – as well as the politics, issues, policies, leaders, and people beyond the elections.
Full names of signatories can be accessed here. – Rommel F. Lopez