Sunday, October 28, 2007

Clinton gets the most positive coverage

Hillary Clinton leads the most coverage of all the U.S. presidential candidates, as well as the highest number of positive statements. And climate change finally makes it on media agenda.

These are among the findings made by Media Tenor, a U.S.-based media research institute. Got this from

The findings on the media coverage of presidential candidates in the United States remind me of the recent media monitoring coverage of the 2007 senatorial and party-list elections in the Philippines conducted by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR). For findings about this project, click here. The page also carries CMFR's findings on the media coverage of the local 2004 presidential elections.

Clinton Generates the Most Good News
By Media Tenor

The most recent data show that Hillary Clinton received the most coverage of all the candidates, as well as the highest number of positive statements. Campaign and fundraising issues composed the majority of each candidate`s media coverage. But Clinton’s personal life and leadership qualities factored in heavily to news reports about her.

John McCain was among the top three most-covered candidates, but his overall rating was negative. Most reporting on him related to his controversial Iraq war policies and trouble fundraising. John Edwards had the highest share of positive coverage of the seven top-tier candidates, with more attention focused on his economic policies.

Read here for more.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Don't count newspapers out yet

A breather from the chaotic political situation we have.

Newspaper industry statistics in the United States may look grim, but it seems a bit premature to put a $60-billion industry on the endangered species list, says Fortune's Richard Siklos.

Newspapers down but definitely not out

Print ads are shrinking and layoffs are legion, but there remains much to cheer in the troubled newspaper business, argues Fortune's Richard Siklos.

By Richard Siklos, Fortune editor-at-large

NEW YORK (Fortune) -- Last week could hardly have been grimmer for the newspaper industry. First off, Gannett (Charts, Fortune 500) and McClatchy (Charts) - the two biggest newspapers publishers in the U.S., respectively - reported diminished revenues and profits. Meanwhile, following the lead of Belo, publisher of the Dallas Morning News, Scripps announced it was splitting its growing television and interactive businesses off from the company's newspaper business so that investors could get excited about the company's slumping stock price.

The kicker of the week was when stock in the New York Times Company (Charts) hit its lowest point in a decade after a Morgan Stanley fund manager who had been agitating for changes at the company sold off the firm's entire 7.2% stake. Also last week, the equity research arm of Morgan Stanley laid off its newspaper analyst and dropped coverage of the industry, the Times itself noted wryly in its pages. This was almost certainly a coincidence. Otherwise, it might be construed as one heck of a kiss off. The present question in newspaperland is not whether the industry can reclaim its glory, but rather how quickly the erosion in business conditions that has accelerated in the past year or so can be slowed and even reversed.

Read more here.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

GMA grants pardon to Estrada

And he walks away a free man.

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has just granted pardon to convicted plunderer and former Pres. Joseph Estrada.

Estrada gets executive clemency over prosecutor's protest
Source: GMANews.TV

MalacaƱang on Thursday granted executive clemency to former President Joseph Estrada.

In a press conference, Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo signed Thursday afternoon the executive clemency for Estrada.

Bunye said it is the administration's policy to release inmates who have reached the age of 70, and that Estrada has already served more than six years in detention while being tried for plunder.

The President's spokesman also noted that Estrada committed not to seek public office, in his application for pardon.

Read here for more. Militants say the pardon is meant to blunt the negative impact of the ZTE controversy, according to this report.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Panties for Peace

As the blame game behind the Makati bombing (whodunit?) continues, the refreshingly interesting "Panties for Peace" campaign against Burma's military junta gains momentum. Panties as a form of protest? And there's another: Putting the junta leader's picture in the necks of stray dogs.

Got this email from a dear Malaysian colleague.

"Panties for Peace" campaign wins wide support
by Violet Cho

You can check the story online here, here, and here.

The "Panties for Peace" campaign aimed at Burma's military regime is gaining momentum, with the establishment of a committee to drum up support in Thailand.

The campaign began on October 16, with women throughout the world sending packages to Burmese embassies containing panties. Burma's superstitious generals, particularly junta chief Than Shwe, believe that contact with any item of women's wear deprives them of their power.

"Panties for Peace" campaigns have sprung up in Australia, Europe, Singapore—and now Thailand, where a Lanna Action for Burma committee has been formed in Chiang Mai to support the feminine protest.

Ying Tzarm, a co-founder of Lanna Action for Burma, told The Irrawaddy that the campaign was aimed at undermining the superstitious beliefs of the military regime.

Click here for more. Photo above from this site.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Mashup? Crowdsourcing?

Is the concept of a "mashup" turning your brain to mush? Does the idea of "crowdsourcing" leave you feeling ... lonely?

A new feature of Poynter Online, WebSpeak, will help you get comfortable with the rapidly evolving lingo of online journalism.

Click here to read WebSpeak's first term. Here are some links where I discussed terms like "crowdsourcing" and "pro-am journalism" (here, here, and here).

It felt like the whole Landmark had just taken a roller coaster ride

Current casualties of the Glorietta blast: Nine people, over a hundred wounded. What a tragedy.

Melissa, a friend whom I was supposed to meet last night, was eating in Via Mare in Landmark when the blast occurred. Had she decided to eat in Glorietta after a physical exam in one of the clinics there, she later told me, she would have been included among the casualties. The impact, she said, was so strong that it was even felt in Landmark. An earthquake, people around her kept saying. No, she said to herself. It felt more like the whole mall had just taken a roller coaster ride, she told me.

If that was even felt in Landmark, I can't simply imagine the impact in Glorietta.

Poor Melissa. Thank God she's safe, although she was shocked by the bloodied faces that passed by her. When she went out, she saw that blood was all over the place.

We decided not to meet last night.

For more information and updates about the blast, go to's section on the incident here. You also might want to read the stories in GMANews.TV and ABS-CBN News. The indefatigable Manolo Quezon III of course had a roundup of the first-hand accounts, reactions, and updates. Malaya's newest reporter, Tonyo, calls for vigilance during these turbulent times. also recognizes the role of citizen journalists in complementing the Glorietta blast coverage of the mainstream media here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Accepting donations for this

Got the announcement. Now all I need are the plane and convention tickets. Sponsorships, anyone? And oh, can somebody take over my work while I'm gone?

Scranton Bets Big That The Office Fanatics Will Convene at Series' 'Branch'

Source: PR Newswire for Journalists
Oct. 10, 2007

SCRANTON, Pa., Oct. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NBC's Emmy-award-winning comedy series "The Office" sparks a fervent cult-like zeal in its fans that brings to mind the kind of fanaticism inspired by "Star Trek" or -- if you prefer the silver screen -- "Napoleon Dynamite." And as "trekkies" have so amply demonstrated, cults will rally around the objects of their devotion.

That's what Scranton, Pa. is betting on when it hosts the first-ever The Office Convention, the weekend of Oct. 26 through Oct. 28. (Tickets are now available via

"The time has come for 'The Office' fans to unite, and the best place to do it is in Michael Scott's home -- Scranton," said Tim Holmes, The Office Convention committee member. "Think of it like a 'Star Trek' convention, but with nerds wearing Dwight Schrute glasses instead of Spock ears."

"The Office" fans will have plenty to rally around. NBC has confirmed the following cast members will be in Scranton during the convention weekend: Angela Kinsey (Angela), Melora Hardin (Jan), Leslie David Baker (Stanley), Brian Baumgartner (Kevin), Creed Bratton (Creed), Kate Flannery (Meredith), Mindy Kaling (Kelly), Oscar Nunez (Oscar), Phyllis Smith (Phyllis), Andy Buckley (David Wallace from Corporate) and Bobby Ray Shafer (Bob Vance -- Vance Refrigeration). Pieces from the series' wardrobe will also be traveling to Scranton for display.

Click here for more.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Sports and the press

Here's an interesting piece on the decline of sports news in US TV. Come to think of it, I rarely see sports news reports in local television nowadays. Well, except when there are major sports events like Manny Pacquaio's boxing matches (which by the way are largely exploited to the hilt by sponsoring TV networks).

Instead, do it better -- or someone else certainly will.
By Kevin Benz (more by author)
Source: Poynter Online

Shane Moreland, of WTKR-TV in Norfolk, Va., is a friend of mine and one heck of a news director. He's also not the first friend of mine to drop sports from its daily slot in a television newscast; another friend, Mike George, did the same thing about seven years ago at KVBC in Las Vegas.

Shane and Mike reflect the frustrations of many news directors and general managers whose market research indicates that sports segments of local television newscasts rank near the bottom of reasons to watch. Considering the money it costs to produce local sports coverage, some stations simply don't think the investment makes sense anymore.

I have a ton of respect for Shane and Mike, who are excellent journalists. I just wonder whether they would have come to a different decision had they approached the issue from another direction. Rather than dumping the sports department, we should change our sports philosophy.

Read more here.

The PJR Reports last July devoted a story on sports writing. Click here to read the piece written by Don Gil K. Carreon and Jose Bimbo F. Santos.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Murdered for doing journalism

It is not the soldier who gets killed for exposing corruption. It is not the soldier who gets slain for reporting on and criticizing other problems in the country, such as illegal gambling and the drug trade.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer published the latest report made by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) on the state of press freedom in the Philippines. CMFR's findings showed that majority of the journalists slain in the line of duty (nearly 90 percent) during the Arroyo administration were exposing corruption. Others were killed for reporting on and criticizing illegal gambling and the drug trade. Click here for the Inquirer story.

Thanks to Ma'am Rachel Khan for the link.

Injustice against the indigenous peoples

What is the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) doing to address this problem? The press can also help in solving this injustice against the indigenous peoples by providing reports explaining the law.

Most IPs don't understand law
Source: Sun.Star Davao
October 7, 2007

Ten years after the implementation of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA), most indigenous peoples in Southern Mindanao still do not have full grasp of the law.

Much worse, they said, the law have become a means to rob them of their lands instead of the protecting their ancestral domain.

Read more here.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Shame on you, Mr. Senator

I don't know if this report is true but if it is, shame on Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile. I wonder: Does he also get angry every time his face appears in the newspapers and television?

Enrile sends college student shaking in fear

The demeanor of Sen. Juan Ponce-Enrile during a hearing at the Senate on Friday sent one student who went to watch the proceedings trembling in fear.

Mark Jemel Galez, 19, a broadcast journalism student of La Salle-DasmariƱas, Cavite, drew the ire of Enrile for taking photos of the senator using his handy video camera.

Enrile got peeved and asked the student: “Who are you? Why are you taking my picture? Come here.”

Galez went a bit closer to Enrile to explain but his voice was too soft to be heard by the crowd. Enrile later reportedly told him “to get out of this room.”

Read more here.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Legal concerns in journalism

The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism held a training workshop on investigative journalism last September.

The training had a session tackling legal concerns in investigative journalism. Session lecturer Jose Manuel Diokno (Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) chairperson tackled, among others:
  • Right to information on matters of public concern
  • Right to be free from prior restraint
  • Right to report on any legislative, judicial or other official proceedings and the statements made in those proceedings, or any other acts of public officers in the exercise of their functions
  • Right to report on matters of public concern and the conduct of public officials and public figures
  • Right to protect your sources
For more about the session, click here. Download Diokno's presentation here. The legal concerns discussed in the session definitely do not just concern investigative journalists but other members of the press as well.

What's wrong here?

What's wrong with this sentence?

Have you heard Coheed and Cambria's song entitled "Wake Up"?

Read here what's wrong. For more grammar and writing tips, click here. Thanks to my dear friend Venus for pointing me to this site.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

What is China's role in the ZTE scam?

The ZTE controversy continues to be in the news, and rightfully so.

But how come there was hardly any local report looking at possible link between the alleged outrageous perks and bribery attempts of Philippine officials by ZTE (which is owned by the Chinese government) and China's problem with its huge foreign exchange reserves as well as the widespread culture of corruption in both the Philippine and Chinese governments?

An insightful piece on China's foreign exchange and corruption woes from the International Herald Tribune.

Monday, March 5, 2007

HONG KONG: In the insular world of China's central bank, they are known as the Three Xiaos — three women with similar names who oversee the greatest fortune ever assembled: China's more than $1 trillion in foreign- exchange reserves.

The Three Xiaos are exceptions in the male-dominated world of Chinese policy making. And after the sharp fall in Chinese stock markets shook financial markets around the world last week, the three women face enormous challenges, including a potential showdown over policy during the meeting this week of the National People's Congress, China's Parliament.

Public pressure is mounting within China on the central bank, the People's Bank of China. In postings on domestic Internet message boards and in conversations among educated urban Chinese, critics are suggesting that the central bank should earn higher profits from its vast hoard by investing in stocks, for instance, and use some of the reserves to help a country where most workers still earn less than a tenth of the wages of the typical American.

Foreign-exchange reserves have soared across much of the developing world, but particularly in China. One reason lies in extensive currency intervention as these countries try to keep their exports competitive in Western markets by curbing the appreciation of their currencies against the dollar.

Read more here.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The people's right to know

Mindanao journalists support the passing of the freedom of information bill. The bill is in accordance with the people's constitutional right to know.

Mindanao journalists push for freedom of information law

By Cheryll D. Fiel
Davao Today

Mindanao journalists are joining the call for the passing of a bill that will require government to release public documents fast and penalize violators of the public’s right to know.

Journalists, some of whom experienced being denied information related to the last elections, have committed to campaign among colleagues and lawmakers for the “Freedom of Information Act of 2007,” which, once passed into law, will require government to release public documents within specific number of working days upon receipt of a request and will eliminate the excessive cost of acquiring these data, which is imposed by government agencies.

Working journalists from all over Mindanao were gathered in Davao last month for the “Access of Information” forum, organized by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) and the Center for Community Journalism and Development (CCJD).

The proposed bill, which was passed in the 12th Congress and has reached the Committee Report Level during the 13th Congress, also provides for clear administrative, criminal and civil liabilities for violators and possible courses of actions for citizens denied of information access.

Read here for more.

ATIN is a network of organizations advocating for the people’s Constitutional right to information. The Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility is an ATIN member.

It is high time that the freedom of information bill be passed now. Not only it is in accordance with the people's right to information enshrined in the Constitution and the international covenants which the country has agreed to follow, it also shows how we value the people's rights in a democracy.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Latin gobbledygook

Need help with Latin expressions and words you often read and hear in the press? Click here.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Free Burma!

Free Burma!

Free Burma!

Free Burma!

Free Burma!
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