The sloppy journalism of ABS-CBN News has finally caught up with it. In an “open letter”, the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) Student Council (SC) pointedly denounced the “unethical journalism” practiced by the Philippines’ largest for-profit media corporation…
Last Tuesday, 15 September, the Vice President of the Philippines, Jejomar Binay, visited the University of the Philippines Los Baños to speak at a forum hosted by the Department of Social Sciences of the College of Arts & Sciences. It was in this forum inside DL Umali Hall that VP Binay discussed about transparency and good governance. Several news agencies covered the said forum, eventually publishing news articles and releasing reports the following hours and following days.
It has come to the University Student Council’s attention of certain news articles published exclusively by “ABS-CBN News & Current Affairs which drew clamour against the students of UPLB. First, a certain video published online by the Facebook page ‘ABS-CBNNews.com’ on the 16th of September which accused UPLB Students of shouting ‘trapo’ before VP Binay started his speech. The caption has already been updated but its original words were:
“LISTEN: UPLB students shout ‘trapo’ as Vice President Binay starts his forum yesterday. And the vice president’s reaction? Watch.”
Second, a news article was published by the same news agency on the 17th entitled “VP Binay felt disrespected at UPLB forum.” Later that day the title was changed to “VP Binay: I enjoyed UPLB forum.” Besides the inconsistency of the news article’s title, the article itself contained one anomalous statement, which was already edited, accusing UPLB Students again of shouting ‘trapo.’ The original article included this statement:
“The response drew loud cheers from the audience of mostly UPLB students, many of whom had chanted “trapo” at the start of Binay’s speech.”
The statement itself had no relation whatsoever with the previous paragraphs of the article, which narrated an exchange between VP Binay and a student inquiring about the issue of informal settlers in Makati, since the Q&As were done after VP Binay gave his speech. It is odd to know that of all the news agencies that covered the forum, only ABS-CBN published articles accusing UPLB students of the alleged chanting.
A member of the UPLB Perspective hastily corrected ABS-CBN on its allegation, citing live tweets from the [P]’s own coverage of the forum. The students were not chanting “trapo” as what ABS-CBN purportedly heard, but “Sample!” before VP Binay started his speech. There was an intermission number by some faculty members of DSS before VP Binay’s speech, thus the chanting.
These acts of unethical journalism by ABS-CBN have inflicted a negative perception on UPLB students, with misinformed netizens and readers treating and tagging UPLB students as “unmannered,” and of “low breeding.” It is insulting and is unacceptable for the part of the Iskolar ng Bayan to be wrongly portrayed by ABS-CBN’s recently published articles. Even though these articles have already been ‘updated,’ it does not deny the fact that ABS-CBN committed acts that are damaging for the students of the UP Los Baños.
The UPLB University Student Council, the highest governing student institution representing the 12000+ students of the University of the Philippines Los Baños, condemns these acts of unethical journalism that have damaged the credibility of the Iskolar ng Bayan. The USC therefore demands ABS-CBN News & Current Affairs to release a public apology addressed to the students of UP Los Baños for its recent misleading articles and reassure the public of its oath to ethical and responsible journalism.
Gabriel Jeremiah T. Guevarra
Information & Publicity Committee Head
UPLB University Student Council
Ronald Gem A. Celestial
UPLB University Student Council
The letter was posted on the UPLB University Student Council Facebook page. The news article referred to in the statement can be found here and, as stated by the UPLB SC letter, now bears the title “VP Binay: I enjoyed UPLB forum.” However, telltale evidence of the original title of this news report can be found in its link URL. The report was seemingly filed by a certain Jorge Cariño of ABS-CBN News.
Shortly after, ABS-CBN News issued an apology…
ABS-CBN News expresses its sincerest apologies to the students of UP Los Banos for the errors committed by ABS-CBNnews.com in 2 articles about the forum of UP Los Banos students with Vice President Jejomar Binay last September 15.
In our effort to provide a more comprehensive coverage of the forum, one of our writers mistook the word “sample” for “trapo.”
We immediately corrected this right after we were alerted about the mistake on September 16, 2015.
We will be taking disciplinary steps against those responsible for this oversight.
In light of the seemingly astounding editorial carelessness exhibited by ABS-CBN News, few Filipinos are convinced that this gaffe was an honest-to-goodness “mistake” as the media conglomerate’s published apology stated. ABS-CBN has long been observed to have applied an editorial slant in favour of the Aquino-Cojuangco clan and, as such, has been derisively called such monickers as A-bias-CBN.
It is also worth noting that one of ABS-CBN News‘s most influential personalities, Korina Sanchez, is the wife of Mar Roxas who is also currently running for president under the banner of the Liberal Party of the Philippines. He is endorsed by the party as the “successor” to Philippine President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III and is expected to continue the incumbent’s Daang Matuwid (“straight path”) anti-corruption platform after the 2016 presidential elections.
Unfortunately for ABS-CBN in this instance, its amateurish brand of “journalism” had crossed paths with a community that is nothing like the horde of docile ignoramuses that comprise its primary cash cow market for its mediocre media products.
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