Meralco's Predicament is Testing ABS-CBN's Independence & Integrity

We Are Journalists First
By Maria Ressa
Editor’s Take - ABS-CBN News Online

How independent is ABS-CBN News & Current Affairs?

In the past week, several people have alluded to Lopez control of the news agenda on ABS-CBN. On May 14, Secretary Eduardo Ermita hinted that an ABS-CBN story on the NBN-ZTE deal was being used as a "diversionary tactic" by the Lopezes, who are also the majority shareholders of Meralco. He said, "it is highly probable given players of issue which is electricity." That was followed by strong words by presidential son and Congressman Mikey Arroyo effectively questioning the integrity of ABS-CBN News. Over the weekend, the Philippine Daily Inquirer ran a quote from an anonymous source who said that the prize for a dialogue between President Arroyo and Meralco Chairman & CEO Manuel Lopez would be "ABS-CBN’s cooperation." How independent is ABS-CBN News & Current Affairs? [...]

I point to our track record: let’s look at our coverage of the Ultra Stampede. On that day, our reporters asked us, "How do we handle the people angry with ABS-CBN? How do we deal with those who are grieving and blaming ABS-CBN?" I said, "put them on air." We asked our journalists to go after the most critical voices and to get the worst evidence against ABS-CBN they could find. Treat the story as if we aren’t ABS-CBN because we are journalists first. [...]

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Read also, "Santiago says ABS-CBN out to sabotage bid for ICJ seat", by Dona Pazzibugan of PDI.

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