Baguio media tackles barriers to poverty reporting

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet — Local media practitioners tackled issues and concerns on reporting about poverty in a media training, here, Wednesday, and identified possible solutions on why the issues related on poverty are less covered, written, published or aired.

Human Rights and Poverty Reporting Seminar resource persons (L-R) Rori Fajardo of IWPR; Cye Reyes of Nordis, Rod Batario of CCJD and Rowena Paraan of the NUJP and PCIJ. Photo by Kathleen T. Okubo/NORDIS

According to Rowena Paraan of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), journalists should take more initiative in covering poverty stories to give voice to the powerless.

“There is a need to reflect the actual situation of the people by writing stories on poverty,” added trainer Paraan, who also heads the Research Department of the Philippine Center for Investigative Reporting (PCIJ)

She said however that journalists are usually hindered in tackling poverty stories due to various editorial barriers.

The participants identified editorial barriers like the lack of interest of the journalists themselves, un-saleability of poverty stories, non-priority of the editor, cosmopolitan orientation of news outfits, lack of resources to cover poverty situations like in the provinces, untimely and in-availability of necessary data from concerned government agencies, lack of ability to interpret data, and its (poverty issue) being non-controversial.

Participants also raised that journalists who can write interesting stories related on poverty are tagged as anti-government or pro-leftist. They agreed that the solution on this “tagging” is the journalists presentation of the issue with fairness, accuracy and with objectivity.

The basic concepts on human rights were also tackled in the training including the various international instruments that defines civil and political rights; economic, social and cultural rights; and, environemntal and development rights.

The training objectives are the understanding of human rights, understanding the issues on poverty, and enhancing knowledge and skills in writing poverty.

The training was organized by NUJP Baguio-Benguet chapter and sponsored by Institute of War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), Center for Community Journalism and Development (CCJD), Minda News and NUJP.

It was participated by local journalists from radio and print outfits. # Cye Reyes and Art Allad-iw(NorDis)


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