Australian envoy lauds PH mainstream media for guarding democracy
MANILA — Australian ambassador Amanda Gorley on Tuesday night hailed the Philippine mainstream media for its role in preserving democracy, freedom of expression, and fighting against fake news.
“I would like to… acknowledge the very important role that you play in a democracy, in supporting freedom of expression and in generating ideas, in checking facts in this era of so called fake news,” Gorley told the journalists at a small gathering organized by the embassy in the run up to Australia Day held every January 26th.
“Mainstream media plays a very important role in getting to the truth of stories. We admire the work that you do here in the Philippines. Australia and the Philippines have been long-term supporters of freedom of the press and I want to commend you for your work,” Gorley added.
Gorley described fake news as a “threat to democracy.”
She said that it is the mainstream media’s role “to tackle fake news” but also emphasized that it is everyone’s responsibility “to be on our toes to address” the falsehoods being spread around.
Gorley said the rise of fake news is also a challenge to politicians, public officials, and all those working for government “to do a better job in getting the truth out there to the people.”
Abundant and easily accessible in social media, fake news is believed to have influenced even the outcome of recent elections.
New administrations have also begun to boldly attack and openly discredit mainstream media as an institution for checks and balance, its traditional role in preserving democracy.
Government spokespersons have offered “alternative facts” to the public or encouraged journalists to use their “creative imagination” in reporting statements of public officials. CDG
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