Aquino cites media's contribution in nation building

November 24, 2012 5:12 am 

MANILA, Nov. 23 — President Benigno S. Aquino III is ready to work with the media to address corruption and move the country forward for the benefit of the Filipino people.

In his speech during the 9th Media nation Summit in Tagaytay City on Friday, the President said like the bureaucracy, the media industry also suffers from corruption and this problem must be addressed.

The President, however, acknowledged the efforts within the media industry to rid itself of corruption. Like the reform in the government, he said he is glad to see the beginnings of similar measures in the media industry.

He lauded the adoption of the summit theme “Corruption in Media,” noting it’s an acknowledgement of an existing problem.

“While the lack of standards that apply throughout your industry does not directly lead to corruption, it does make it easier for corruption to take place,” he stressed.

“The more discretion you give someone, the more leeway they have to make decisions—not necessarily based on a common set of rules and regulations, but on their own desires," the President said.

To address corruption in the media, the President said, reporters must be given decent compensation to make it commensurate to the highest standards of integrity demanded of them.

This way there is less temptation for corruption among media men, he noted.

According to the President, this is the thrust being carried out by his administration in the government sector: by ensuring that government workers receive decent pay through rationalization and reform in the government system of pay, benefits, and bonuses.

The President said he always believed that the media is both the bulwark of freedom, and an instrument for empowering the people to take responsibility for their actions, and achieve positive change.

He pointed out that the government also wants to work with the media towards the advancement and protection of media practitioners, adding it is focused on reforming the country’s justice system to achieve this.

The President also invited the members of the media for a dialogue with the government in order to address issues like libel and media freedom.

“Instead of shutting the door, let us engage in respectful dialogue, so that we can reach a consensus that is fair to all concerned,” he said.

At the same time, the President likewise exhorted the media members to work with his administration to address other concerns.

“My door is always open, and I am here to listen to you, and to work with you. I have said nothing that your own readers, viewers, and listeners have not already said themselves,” he concluded. (PNA)

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