#MediaProfessionals Media Professionals First Week: Deadline: every Thursday 5pm (the deadline for this  post is Feb. 14 at 5pm) (Bonus points or double the points will be given to original content, i.e., never published before or  based on your own professional experience: Pls indicate in the title or heading “Bonus” for ease of reviewing it)

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14 thoughts on “#MediaProfessionals 1stWk Deadline Feb14

  1. 3rd Assignment
    Fact-checking News Organizations


    Based on the Wikipedia write-up, PolitiFact.com is a “nonprofit project operated by the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, with offices there and in Washington, D.C..”

    Tampa Bay times created the project in 2007 in response to the growing preponderance of unverified reports and statements by “elected officials, candidates, lobbyists, interest groups involved in US politics.” The Tampa Bay Times reporters, editors from its newspaper and its affiliated media organizations research, check and evaluate the truthfulness of statements released from these public sources, and rated according to their complete accuracy and truthfulness.

    They publish their findings in their website, https://www.politifact.com/personalities/donald-trump/ were these statement are rated from a range of “True” for its complete accuracy to “Pants on Fire” (from the taunt “Liar, liar, pants on fire”) for false and ridiculous claims,” using the website’s “Truth-O-Meter”, a truth gauge of sort.

    An example of this fact-checking and statement evaluation is their feature on Donald Trump’s claims on various subjects such as his Republican pedigree which was rated 95% Pants-On-Fire. Another is his claim on the border city of El Paso that used to have the highest crime rate, has now been declared safe city to inhabitant after the erection of the “wall”. Tye Donald Trump’s statement was rated hogwash with a meter rating of “False”.

    The series of evaluations in the website generally feature issues coming from the Republicans and Donald Trump, primarily since current news in the US is dominated by political activities originating from its government.

    However, other notewirthy issues are featured in its “Truth-O-Meter from time to time, those coming from varied personalities and issues. Example headlines in its website https://www.politifact.com is Corey Booker’s statement on “lower Medicare” which was rated “Half True”; or another item from a Blogger caliming that “NASA has discovered a planet covered with Marijuana” (probably Sagada as seen from the satellite); or from the darling of the US Congress Aexandria Ocasio-Cortes claiming the “…”70 percent of Americans believe in improved and expanded Medicare for All” rated as “Half-True by the proverbial meter.

    For PolitiFact’s valiant search for accuracy in the news, they have been both praised and vilified by “independent observers, conservatives and liberals alike.” They allege that “PolitiFact attempts to fact-check statements that cannot be truly “fact-checked”. Perhaps, the layman may interpret these charges as the accusers affirming the saying that, truly, the “truth hurts.”

  2. [Assignment #3]

    Topic: News Media

    All systems go for 3rd telco player — DICT (Department of Information and Communication Technology)

    The Senate approved the third telco player, Mindanao Islamic Telephone Co. Inc. or the Mislatel Consortium from November 2018 telecom provider bidding to start its operation.

    The company is recently and officially been transferred to a Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy (Udenna Corp.) consociated with Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp., and the state-owned China Telecom after having a franchise problem days after their bidding.

    Mislatel granted franchise on April 1998 in Maguindanao but failed to operate. Also, the company was able to transfer its shares without congress approval. But last week, the Senate approved Mislatel Consortium’s transfer of ownership and operation.

    Aside from its franchise issues, the Mislatel is also facing security worries due to the involvement of the state-owned China Telecom. Chinese has been aggressive in cyber surveillance and internet traffic to monitor other countries. China Telecom owns 40% of the consortium.

    The Department of Information and Communication Technology Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio announced that the “provisional” telco company is big, competitive, and ready to go.

    Dennis Uy is also associated with Global Gateway Development Corporation. The company inked an agreement for the development of Clark Global City in Mabalacat, Pampanga with other Chinese companies.

    Other Sources:
    1. https://www.rappler.com/business/221836-mislatel-aims-best-telco-faces-franchise-issues
    2. https://news.abs-cbn.com/business/02/06/19/senate-approves-mislatel-transfer-of-ownership-to-dennis-uy-china-telecom-consortium
    3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_Philippine_third_telecommunications_provider_bidding
    4. https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/in-depth/219039-dennis-uy-growing-business-empire-debt-year-opener-2019

  3. 3rd Assignment- Bonus
    Feb. 14, 2019
    Topic: Fact Checking News Organizations

    The Integrity of PolitiFact and Snopes.com

    Let’s start with a very controversial story of Hillary Clinton selling 20% of the United States uranium to Russia in exchange for over 145 million dollars to the Clinton Foundation. Throughout this fiasco, it was barely mentioned. Although, it’s 20 times more significant than any revelation found in the special council hearings. If we do a quick search on Google, it is no surprise why millions of people don’t believe it. All of the top searches are saying it’s a complete lie. All of the top searches state: people say that it is a lie that Hillary Clinton sold Uranium to Russia. Two of these top searches are the very highly trusted PolitiFact and Snopes.com. PolitiFact and Snopes brand themselves as fact checkers and truth tellers. However, when one stumbles across their websites one can sense a very biased view. With only 10 minutes of research on PolitiFact’s website, one can find something very interesting. It directly says that the Knight Foundation is putting up $140,000 in new support to help their fact-check claims made about the 2016 presidential candidates. Keep in mind, that’s not fake news or conspiracy. That’s directly from their own website.

    Now, if one would go to the Knight Foundation’s website. One can verify that they’re not only funding PolitiFact. They also gave $200,000 in support to the Clinton Global Initiative University meeting hosted by President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton in Miami. This isn’t their first event either. They’ve been doing that since 2009. One can also search that PolitiFact teamed up with Facebook to “fact-check” fake news. Interestingly, one can also find that PolitiFact teamed with MSNBC.

    While the seemingly integrity-driven Snopes.com was founded by husband and wife Barbara and David Mikkelson who recently had gotten a divorce. In that divorce, Barbara is claiming in legal documents that her husband embezzled $98,000 of company money and spent it on himself and prostitutes. In return, David is blaming Barbara, claiming he was underpaid and demands at least $360,000 a year. So his ex-wife blamed him for spending company money on prostitutes. How does he respond? By marrying a woman named Elisa Young who has herself posted on escort sites. She’s now an administrator of Snopes.com. Not to judge anyone based on their personal lives, but it sounds that this website deserves as few questions before everybody just accepts it as pure fact and truth. In addition, it is very interesting to note that Forbes did a follow-up on this Daily Mail article saying: “Is this true? Or is this another case of fake news?” Forbes journalist, Kalev Leetaru, did his own research. He reached out to Snopes.com and found out that it was a lot sketchier than he thought. The Leetaru went on trying to debunk fake news and came out of it pretty much agreeing with that, and said you know for a site that claims to assert fact and truth they were shrouded in a lot of mystery and weren’t answering certain questions to make him feel otherwise.

    With that being said, let’s take a look at the Snopes.com article. The claim was “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s approval of a deal to transfer control of 20% of U.S. uranium deposits to a Russian company was a quid pro quo exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation.” Snopes.com found that this was “False”. Most people would just blindly trust that and say “Yeah, it’s false,” not even considering all the things earlier mentioned about Snopes.com and PolitiFact. If one dives further in the article, Snopes.com says that it is false because their first reason was that “the Uranium One deal was not Clinton’s to veto or approve.” They say it wasn’t Hillary Clinton’s idea, she was just one of nine cabinet members and department heads that sit on the CFIUS. And despite the transfer of ownership, the uranium remained in the United States. So they’re saying that yes Clinton sold it, but it remained in the United States. It didn’t even go to Russia. However, this fact does not disprove the sale and the intent. The third claim was that “the timing of most of the donation does not match.” So, some completely match. It definitely happened, but some of them the timing doesn’t quite add up, but does that disprove anything? Well, it must disprove something to Snopes.com and its followers; but one can doubt that it does to the critical eye. And their last claim was “the foundation admits disclosure mistakes.” If that’s the case, then that disproves it because they admitted to making mistakes and hiding information, not disclosing certain information.

    Even the New York Times, which is known for its comfortable relationship with Hillary Clinton’s campaign and is also very respected and trusted among Democrats and Hillary Clinton’s fan base, wrote an article titled “Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal”. The article showed how “Uranium One’s Chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million.” It also showed how shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, “Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.” There’s also a whole documentary called “Clinton Cash” where they break down the entire incident and where all the donations came from. So even with overwhelming proof and evidence, the top 8 or so Google searches tell you “No, Hillary Clinton never sold uranium. It’s completely false. It didn’t happen.” So most people would believe it.

    However, if you know the truth about PolitiFact. When you know the truth about Snopes.com. And when you know the truth about the truth, these claims that have never existed seem a lot less credible. This is just one of the many ways that the internet, including Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and many other sites often purposely led people into one direction. It doesn’t mean it’s right. It doesn’t mean it’s wrong. It doesn’t mean they have either good or bad intentions. But one could clearly see these sites intentionally leading people in one direction on many occasions. It’s hard to find real, honest unbiased news today. It’s especially difficult because many corporations and many news publications are accepting millions of dollars or they’re actually owned and controlled by somebody who’s politically involved. The internet can easily mislead anyone who is not paying critical attention.


  4. #MediaProfessionals Assignment No.3

    Topic: Fact-Checking Organisations
    Link to my page: https://juanchito423.home.blog/2019/02/14/mediaprofessionals-assignment-no-3/

    Topic: Fact Checking Organizations

    International Media Integration to counter Fake News

    Facebook together with media organizations from the Philippines and India integrated in taking a higher task for social responsibility and combating fake news in keeping the public interest.

    In the Philippines, Tsek.ph was launched February 11, 2019 through the efforts of media organizations and selected universities that aim to promote factual information and combat fake news, specifically, for this upcoming Senatorial election, through a fact-checking online project.

    Supported by the Facebook Journalism Project, Meedan, and Macanas Journalism Grant, media organizations such as STAR, Philstar.com, Interaksyon, ABS-CBN, Central Luzon TV (CLTV36), MindaNews, Probe productions, Rappler, VERA Files together with the academe from University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila Universit,y and De La Salle University, pursued this project because of 2016’s Presidential Elections which ‘fake news’, and other forms of misinformation and disinformation were rampant via social media accounts to influence voter’s choices and ‘deceive the public and undermine debates’.

    In India, Facebook teamed up with five tech giants, India Today Group, Vishvas.news, Factly, Newsmobile, and Fact Crescendo, to review and filter news stories posted for facts and rate their accuracy. This partnership in widening a fact-checking program was made ahead for the country’s upcoming general elections by May.

    Flagged fake news posts by these certified fact-checking international networks and Facebook will be moved to the bottom part of the posts by users that will decrease their ability for advertisements and monetary support.

    These movements are positive notions for a socially responsible media in keeping the public interest on its right path, not just for a media literate society but, for a building better and hopefully great communities.

    News Article Sources:


  5. Topic: Update on News Media Issues

    Alternative Media Organizations also Under Ongoing Attack

    Just yesterday, Rappler CEO Maria Ressa, a known critic of the current administration, was arrested over a cyber libel case for an investigative report first published in 2012 (notably published before the said law was enacted). Many have condemned the said arrest, pointing out suspicious motives and unlawful actions involved in what appears to be another case of blatant suppression of press freedom and opposition.

    Attacks on journalists have intensified over the past couple of years. Nothing seems to be sacred, and anything is free to use, even the law, in order to cripple news delivering organizations which do not comply or paint the administration in anything less than a good light.

    In a way, Ressa’s arrest adds to the fuel of anger and discontent that many have felt towards the administration. However, it is not only Rappler that is being targeted. Many alternative news organizations in the Philippines have also been subjected to direct assault, receiving a barrage of illicit strategies which range from blatant prohibition from doing their jobs to online hacking and attacks which render their websites and articles inaccessible. Unfortunately, as these are not usually covered by the mainstream media, the organizations receive less support from people and are always potential targets for personal attacks.

    The AlterMidya Network, a national network of over 30 independent and alternative news organizations in the Philippines, released a collective statement last week, condemning the Duterte administration for their “increasingly bold steps to curtail press freedom and the people’s right to know”. However, their statement also makes it clear that alternative media organizations will not stop in delivering the truth about social realities that the Filipinos are facing today.

    As Maria Ressa quoted Malcolm X in a tweet yesterday, “I’m for the truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against.” While the regime has been busy in making sure that free and responsible media practitioners are discredited or curtailed, there are still many who fight hard against these fascist and tyrannical methodologies, never losing hope on the notion and the importance of the free press and the dissemination of the truth.





  6. Assignment #3
    Topic: Fact-checking and Fake News

    With Philippine midterm election coming May this year, Facebook is boosting alerts against false reports to counter the heightened proliferation of fake news online.

    According to director of Facebook’s Global Politics and Government Outreach Team, Katie Harbath, Facebook will be partnering with third party fact-checkers such as Poynter Institute and Rappler in identifying fake news.

    Fact-checkers will be reviewing Facebook posts and rating the accuracy of its information. Those that will be identified as false reports will be labelled “fact-checking” and its reach will be reduced by the social media giant.

    Facebook users who will opt to still share posts that are marked as false will be notified and warned that they are about to share false reports. Users who shared false articles prior to its review by fact-checkers will be notified that they have shared something that has been identified as fake news.

    Furthermore, Facebook will add an “Info and Ads” tab on Facebook pages where one can see all ads that the page is running and information like page’s date of creation and its history of name changes. According to Harbath, this is to prevent Facebook pages from enforcing their political influence to the public. Harbath explained that Facebook pages can be turned into political propaganda, citing “I Love Trump” page as an example. The said page started as “I Love Kittens” and then later on changed its name and started posting manipulative political contents.

    Poynter Institute is a global leader in journalism specializing in ethics and fact-checking. The institute is headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida, United States. Rappler is an online news website based in the Philippines and a member of a global network that is committed to fighting fake news and disinformation online.





  7. Assignment #3

    Topic: News Media Issue

    Maria Ressa arrested and facing news charges over Cyber Libel case

    Rappler CEO Maria Ressa was arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) at the Rappler main headquarters on February 13. The NBI personnel who came to arrest Ressa wore plain clothes and even threatened some of the staff who were recording the incident with their cellphones. According to the arrest warrant, Maria Ressa was being charged with libel in pursuant to the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. The accusation stems from a 2012 article written by a Rappler researcher-writer, Reynaldo Santos Jr, accusing businessman Wilfredo Keng of lending his vehicle to then Chief Justice Reynato Corona, who was at the time, going through an impeachment trial. Interestingly enough, only a few months after the article was published, the controversial Cybercrime Prevention Act was signed into law, which media practitioners and even some lawmakers criticized at the time since they feared it would impede upon our rights to free speech.

    On October 2017, Wilfredo Keng, currently the president of Century Peak Metals Holdings Corp, Century Hua Guang Smelting Inc and other mining corporations, filed a libel complaint with the NBI Cybercrime Division against Rappler, five years after the article was published. However, his libel complaint did not really focus on the accusations made against him in Corona’s usage of his vehicle but rather on the “malicious” statements by the article about his past. Santos, a BA Journalism graduate at the University of the Philippines, describes Keng’s background as “shady” as he writes about an intelligence report they obtained during their initial investigation that details Keng’s past such as, being under surveillance by the National Security Council for drug smuggling and human trafficking, having close ties to lawmakers and US embassy officials and even links to to a murder case of a Manila councilor back in 2002

    What is frustrating about this case is that the accusations could not be verified, as both sides rely on “he said-she said” arguments. Santos, on his part, relies on an “intelligence report” for his investigation, however does not provide more details in his original article regarding where or how he got the information which makes it harder for anyone to verify his claims. Keng on the other hand, focuses more on pursuing criminal charges against Rappler than attempting to clear his name. According to Keng’s 7-page affidavit, the article that was published did not observe the ethical standards of journalism as it only tarnished his “good name” and reputation. He also said, according to GMA News, the article may have even endangered his life. However, one could easily notice the peculiarities in the timing and purpose of Keng’s claims and how it factors in the government’s constant harassment of the media. The fact that the DOJ all of a sudden resurrects the case after the NBI dismissed it could also add to the already growing conspiracy of the government’s attempt in trying to bring down Rappler.

    The complexity of this case even deepens as the legalities of the charges filed against Ressa is questioned. According to Rappler’s legal counsel JJ Disini, a point of contention could be made with regards to the charges made against Ressa, as in the case of ordinary libel wherein the Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) states that “the crime of libel or other similar offenses shall prescribe in one year.” This renders the complaint filed in 2017 null and void since the article in question was published way back in 2012. However, the DOJ still indicts Maria Ressa anyway, proclaiming that the cybercrime law instead prescribes 12 years and according to NBI Cybercrime Division under Manuel Antonio Duarte, the “theory of continuous publication” could supplement the argument that the charges made were still valid and applicable. However this could prove to be a dubious claim as, Disini argues that the DOJ misinterpreted the cybercrime law and claims that as per the Supreme Court, cyber libel still falls under libel in the RPC. In turn and as in accordance with the rules and regulations dictated under the jurisprudence for libel in the country, the validity of the case filed against rappler no longer holds any legal basis as it has already expired beyond the period set by law. Disini also challenges Duarte’s claim about “continuous publication” as Rappler republished the article in 2014, however no charges were made until 2017 which again, renders the charge void because it should have been filed back in 2015 instead. (Ironically, Duarte himself used this argument as the basis for the NBI’s dismissal of the case a few months before it was reopened.)

    The issue regarding the constitutionality of the cyber-libel charge against Ressa is another example of the government’s attempt at cracking down against dissident media practitioners. Unfortunately, Ressa is placed at the forefront of such a crackdown as she is currently facing multiple charges including five tax cases, an alleged violation of the anti-dummy law and even a ridiculous accusation by president Duterte that Rappler is being funded by the CIA. The fact that issues like these continues to be prevalent, even with the condemnation of not only the Filipino public but also the international community, enforces the idea that the country is no longer a democratic one but is slowly evolving into a dictatorship. The harassment of media, as history has shown, is only a prerequisite to the eventual suppression of free speech itself. However, one can say that such a reality is becoming more evident day by day as the government’s harassment of the media continues to be unabated and unopposed despite the opposition of the Filipino people.


    Additional References:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HALRts4PfI (Bandila: Maria Ressa, bigong makapagpiyansa at magpapalipas ng gabi sa NBI)

  8. Fact checking

    Source: https://www.thesummitexpress.com/2019/02/duterte-mulls-changing-philippines-name-maharlika.html?m=1

    According to Summitexpress.com, President Rodrigo Duterte is having a thought of changing the Philippines’ name to Maharlika.
    As what President Duterte wants to free the country from the colonial links. If we look at the history from factanddetails.com, Philippines’ name was originated after King Philip. According to the report, during the ownership award in Maguindanao, he said that Filipinos don’t have the choice in naming the country because we were discovered using King Philip’s money.

    From an article of Sunstar, President Rodrigo Duterte wants to assert the country’s “national identity.” From the article, the proposal was criticized because of its association with Marcos, who also used “Maharlika” as a fake name for a guerilla unit during the Japanese occupation.
    According to the changing a country’s name is possible either by amending the constitution or introducing a new law. Will this be true in the future for the sake of country’s identity?

    This is an interesting idea from the President. In addition Panela said in his interview to Sunstar, “‘Di ba ang style ni Presidente, he floats an idea then somebody gets it sa Congress or kung sinuman. Idea lang ‘yung kanya (The President’s style is he floats an idea then somebody or anyone from Congress gets it. It’s just his idea).

    Sources: https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1787302

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