Journalism/Media

Kamag-anak, Inc.: Power is family to 5 wannabe prez

VOTERS KEEN in assessing the fitness for office of the five candidates for President in the upcoming elections may want to look at the presidentiables’ political pedigree and blood relations. The five, after all, have occupied elective and appointive posts from a minimum of five to a maximum of 24 years. They spring, too, from […]

Votes by the pint

17 provinces remain vote-poor since 2004

IN A tightly contested election, every vote matters, and even a vote-poor province could mean success or defeat for a national candidate.But that momentary attention may not mean a boost to the province’s revenues after the polls. In fact, among the consistent placers in the list of 20 provinces with the least number of registered […]

News for Sale

news4saleNo one in journalism will deny that media corruption exists. There is contention only in the extent of the corruption and the damage it causes. This book, a sequel to the 1998 publication, which is also entitled News for Sale, documents corruption as it takes place in the single most important political exercise in a democracy: elections.

This study shows both the remarkable continuity of the forms of media corruption as well as the new types of malfeasance that emerged in the 2004 campaign. As in the 1998 edition, this version of News for Sale relies heavily on documentation (such as rate cards of broadcast networks and solicitation letters sent by radio stations to politicians) and in-depth interviews with journalists, candidates, and the media handlers of politicians and political parties.

Cockfight, Horserace, Boxing Match:
Why Elections are Covered as Sport

Media coverage of elections, in the Philippines and elsewhere, has been criticized for its superficiality. Critics have noted the propensity of the media, particularly television, to focus on personalities rather than issues and platforms. The media, it has been said, are consumed by the horserace or cockfight aspect of the campaign. Journalists cover elections as sport: Their reporting focuses on who’s leading and who’s losing out.

The Right to Know: Access to Information in Southeast Asia

PUBLISHED jointly by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) and the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (Seapa), this book examines the state of the media in these countries and the obstacles faced by journalists and citizens who wish to obtain access to public records.

The book includes the findings of a cross-country survey that ranked the countries according to their openness. The Philippines and Thailand rank as the most transparent countries in Southeast Asia. Cambodia is third, although citizens rarely attempt to obtain information from the government, which they think is authoritarian and inaccessible Moreover, the information infrastructure is in shambles after the ravages of the Khmer Rouge.

Drugs, Death and Disease:
Reporting on AIDS in Southeast Asia

THE MEDIA tend to sensationalize AIDS, often focusing on the more scandalous aspects of the private lives of those with HIV/AIDS victims, without shedding light on the complexity of the contagion. Often, those with the disease are portrayed as the culprits behind the spread of the disease, thus contributing to the social ostracism that people with AIDS suffer. Sometimes, reporters even get it wrong, propagating wrong notions about the disease and contributing to the public’s misinformation about HIV/AIDS.

Even when journalists get it right and take a more holistic view, they have tended to look at the epidemic in a one-dimensional way: as a public health problem, or as an issue related to the sex industry, drug use or military prostitution. AIDS is all of these, but also more than all of these. To succeed in the battle against AIDS, the epidemic must be viewed in a multidimensional way, as a phenomenon rooted in society and tightly linked to social ills.

Investigating Local Governments:
A Manual for Reporters

THIS MANUAL attempts to provide journalists with a local governance roadmap that would guide them in their day-to-day coverage of the news. But it is useful to others as well -officials, researchers, activists and ordinary citizens who wish to know more about governance at the local level.

This book begins with a scrutiny of the community press and its unique features and problems. It then dissects how local governments work (or are supposed to work) and includes helpful hints on how journalists can make sense of what is going on at the local level. In a simple but exhaustive discussion on local fiscal administration, one of the chapters shows how reporters and citizens can follow the money trail in their pursuit of wrongdoing. Another chapter focuses on the basic services that have been devolved to local government units, and points out the kinds of leads and sources a reporter can use to explain all these to the average reader.

From Loren to Marimar:
The Philippine Media in the 1990s

Winner: National Book Award for Media (1999)

THIS COLLECTION is must reading for anyone interested in how one of the most influential sectors in philippine society operates: the media. The 35 articles in this anthology examine the structure of Philippine newspapers and television, describe Filipino forays into the World Wide Web, and probes such problems as ethics and ownership. They also trace how, in just a decade, the media in the Philippines have become as powerful as they are now. One of the things this collection explains is why media peronalities have found their way into politics and why politicians are lining up to be news anchors or talk show hosts.

News in Distress:
The Southeast Asian Media in a Time of Crisis

Finalist: National Book Award for Documentation (1999)

WHILE OFFICIALS and experts are still arguing about the real causes of what is now called the “Asian crisis,” one thing seems clear: There was lack of information that would have allowed officials, businesspeople and ordinary citizens to anticipate the crisis, understand its causes, and deal with its impacts.

How such paucity of information could exist in the so-called “Information Age” points to the contradictions in Southeast Asian societies. On one hand, the booming countries of the region had opened their economies to transnational capital flows, encouraged foreign investments and embarked on an ambitious path to growth based on integration into the global economy. On the other hand, in many of these countries, long reigning leaders have tried to keep their citizens on a tight leash, restricting freedom of expression and flows of information that they think would threaten their regimes.

News for Sale:
The Corruption of the Philippine Media

Finalist: National Book Award for Journalism (1998)

MEDIA CORRUPTION is not an easy subject for jorunalistic investigation. In this unprecedented work, Chay Florentino-Hofileña looks at the history of media corruption in the Philippines, probes corrupt practices in the 1990s, and discovers how a free press can be bought.

This study shows that compared to the past, media corruption in the post-Marcos era is costlier, more pervasive, and even more systemic. It is also disturbingly sophisticated, and in some cases, even institutionalized. The organized way in which corruption takes place—through a network of jorunalists reporting to other journalists or to professional public relations or PR people—makes it seem almost like the operation of a criminal syndicate, a mafia of corrupt practitioners.

« Older Entries

In the 15 years since its founding, the PCIJ, has published more than a dozen books and produced several full-length documentaries, many of which have won major awards and citations, including five National Book Awards and a Catholic Mass Media Award.

For more information on our books, email pcij@pcij.org or call (+632) 4319204.

Categories