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COMMENT | Media in the Philippines bite back against Duterte

COMMENT | Threats, assault, “red-baiting” – even deaths: the Philippines is a dangerous place to be a journalist.

Ahead of the May elections, journalists are moving to restore public confidence in the media after six years of President Rodrigo Duterte’s (above) punitive populist rule.

More than 400 journalists and 50 media organisations have pledged to provide critical coverage of the elections, hold themselves to high standards of journalism and stand together if “harassed by state agents, political parties, candidates, or private groups”.

Two fact-checking coalitions, Tsek.Ph and FactsFirstPH, sift through the election-related falsehoods, disinformation and conspiracy theories that overrun social media platforms.

Released before the start of the election campaign, the pledge represents the media’s attempt to reposition itself as a credible and authoritative source of information, after losing ground to trolls, hate-speech mongers and other bad-faith actors who support Duterte.

The multi-platform, multi-format fact-checking initiatives are intended to counteract a firehose strategy of... 

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