“We are truth-tellers”
On Press Freedom Day, FNF Philippines stands up with journalists to embolden free press in safeguarding democracy.
“At a time when press freedom is endangered not only the Philippines but all around the world, we hope to reinvigorate truth-telling robustly. With this video, we hope we can draw more attention to the essential role of press freedom in people’s everyday lives,” said FNF Head of Country, Wolfgang Heinze.
This video features Time Magazine’s Person of the Year Maria Ressa, as she spoke to students in Cebu City during the Social Good in the Digital Age Summit. “I think that if you stay quiet and accept (it) without pushing back, then you lose your right,” Ressa said.
To assess the state of and to tell stories about journalism in the Philippines, FNF spoke to journalists Marites Vitug and Isolde Amante, Media Nation Head Convener and artist Bart Guingona, and Commission on Human Rights Chairperson Chito Gascon.
“The threats to press freedom today are two-fold. One, it’s the powers that refuse to be held accountable and are attacking the press frontally. And two, an audience that takes the word of this power structure at its face value,” said Bart Guingona.
Despite the challenges, the storytellers in the video are optimistic that the press can still be free. They shared ways by which ordinary citizens can help safeguard truth-telling and uphold the integrity of this fourth estate.
“Each of us can become participants in the process of uncovering deception and promoting truth. It’s happening now with institutions doing fact-checks, and immediately presenting those fake news as being what they are by challenging them in the same platforms that are available,” Chairperson Gascon said.
“And the best way to do that is, as I’ve mentioned before, the role that institutions like Friedrich Naumann Foundation does in terms of civic education, creating an active citizenship, ensuring that everyone is engaged in the issues, participate actively not just in election time, but in governance,” he added.
Watch the full video here: