PPI Stalwart Lauds Negrense Journalists for their Courage in Exposing Corruption

Negros Daily Bulletin - July 28, 2012

Executive Director Ariel Sebellino of the Philippine Press Institute (PPI) called on Negrense journalists to be more vigilant and uncompromising in their task as society’s watchdog.


New set of officers of the Negros Press Club being sworn in by guest speaker Ariel Sebellino of the Philippine Press Institute.*(Owen S. Bayog/NDB photo)

He urged them to be always alert by exposing the Executive Director Ariel Sebellino of the Philippine Press Institute (PPI) called on Negrense journalists to be more vigilant and uncompromising in their task as society’s watchdog.

He urged them to be always alert by exposing the the downtrodden.

Here’s part of the keynote address of the PPI Executive Director during the Negros Press Club’s 76th Induction at Bascon Hotel last night:

"It is indeed a remarkable feat. To be able to survive this long, notwithstanding the many challenges and problems that the media industry has faced through the years, is noteworthy and worth emulating. To be able to prove its worth and relevance is another story, given the many criticisms and issues that are also hurled against media practitioners."

Sebellino inducted to office the new officers of the NPC headed by Arman Toga of the Negros Daily Bulletin and challenged them to use the power of the fourth estate to report all forms of corruption and anomaly that lurks in the convoluted midst of day to day survival and discontent."

He went on to say that the media has always been hounded by its own action — be it wrongdoing or little successes that continue to re-define the landscape of reporting and journalistic function. To quote media critic and seasoned newspaperman Vergel Santos: Ours is a business of a long haul.


Newly Inducted members of the Negros Press Club being sworn in by Negros Press Club President Arman Toga during the 76th Induction ceremonies.* (Owen S. Bayog/NDB photo) see gallery...

He said, as the freest in Asia and at times the rowdiest (pun intended), our media is not an ideal one but rest assured," it is the quickest to spot and report whatever form of corruption and anomaly that lurks in the convoluted midst of day to day survival and discontent.


Ariel Sebellino of the Philippine Press Institute (PPI) administers the induction of the new set of Negros Press Club officers...In the photo are NDB Editor Arman Toga NPC President and DYRL’s Edgar Lucasan vice president. * (Owen S. Bayog/NDB photo)

"Our power as a fourth estate is not from the very pen that scribbles newsworthiness but from the public or people who we serve tha0t set the news agenda, and whose thirst for truth and information is incessant and vary from time to time, depending on the turn of events.

"Not to mention, the future of the print (which for some quarters say, is dying) lies in the community press and the brand of journalism that it dishes out to remain steadfast to its critical role of preserving democracy and protecting press freedom, all in the name of nation-building.

It is presumptuous to say that we will be a force to reckon with in the future but it is safe to take pride that we have always clung to the noble intention of letting the public make sense of the news — the very product of our journalistic fervor and commitment of shaping the minds of Filipinos, he pointed out.

"I have no doubt that community newspaper, radio and television will remain for as long as the many stakeholders that co-exist with them continue to engage them in a manner that sustains accountability and prompts responsibility.

"In the words of our beloved Isagani Yambot: There is no doubt that in this Age of News and Information, the media is a very powerful institution. In a democracy, the free media plays a very important role in promoting and protecting the public interest.

"So no matter the influx and "noise" of social media (that for some, is a threat), I think we are versatile and smart enough to embrace this kind of development and make it work to our own advantage. The job will not be easy for we will be more than challenged to outdo ourselves and even give the public more than what it deserves.

"We are learned and savvy enough to utilize ‘technological rage’ that by merely being able to re-invent when it comes to packaging news, will give us the edge, simply because we have the basic tenets of journalism to boot. There is no discounting or dismissing its presence for we ourselves are slowly being consumed by this tool, that not to use it will perhaps slow down our ability to be critical or adept.

"It is slowly coming to our fold — and the very idea of allowing it to work for us — impelled us to re-structure our workings and operations in the newsrooms. To make it congruent to our traditional adversarial stance should not in any way confuse us or the public in the performance of our duty.

"We ourselves are also a product of journalistic character whose credibility and integrity reside in the professional and ethical practice of journalism. What we make of ourselves and what we put out for public discernment spell the uniqueness of our duty as truth-bearers, compared to other professions.

"Excellence will always be our tool in confronting issues and challenges - and ethics our guiding principle in doing what we ought to do. For those of you who are familiar with the Philippine Press Institute, we do not get tired reminding ourselves of this demand. "It is a tough order for us to make a change. Yet it is not upon us to solve the apparent and intrinsic problems of this country. "As journalists and media practitioners, we rise above oddities...ONE STORY AT A TIME.*