Government media agencies should stop presenting themselves as independent and journalistic, a veteran journalist said Saturday.

Manny Mogato, a Pulitzer prize winner, pointed out that state agencies have been given marching orders to prop up the image of the government amid the pandemic.

“Dapat wag na nila ikubli na independent sila, patas sila, at ang ginagawa nila ay journalism,” he said in the Press Room podcast.

On April 28, the Presidential Communications Operations Office confirmed a directive from President Rodrigo Duterte for state media agencies to report that the Philippines was faring better than other countries in its response to the pandemic.



In a statement, News and Information Bureau Director Virginia Arcilla-Agtay noted that the directive involved “simply amplifying facts.”

Mogato noted that state-run media agencies were not as influential as other news outlets due to low viewership and readership.

“Kasi tayong mga Pilipino, alam natin na pag galing sa gobyerno e propaganda yan,” said Mogato, a columnist and editor-at-large at PressOne.PH.

Mogato emphasized the role of the media to give a voice to the voiceless, comfort the afflicted, and criticize what needs to be criticized.

“Meron po tayong mga journalism ethics na sinusundan na dapat maging tapat tayo rito, para mapangalagaan natin yung ating propesyon,” he said. Charlene Grace Lao