COMMENTARY: Guided by the language of the Constitution

MARAWI CITY (MindaNews /17 Jan) — The default mode of journalism is to be objective, to be neutral, to be critical.

When news items go unfavorably against a current system, media practitioners must not be vilified nor should they be praised either when they report positive things about a sitting government, rather, they are to be respected, acknowledged and valued for the job they do – the immense contribution they provide to society in guiding us to reach an informed decision about things that matter.

They relay of information to the public based on facts in order that the people are not only informed but ultimately educated in the process. Journalists hold no boundaries when it comes to ferreting out the truth. And I agree. It is the demand of their profession and the expectation of the public that they should not. And while opinions may vary on how a journalist is supposed to conduct his/her reportage pointing out issues of ethical and technical standard and to some extent have generated conflicting positions along the way, the Filipino people must always be guided by the language of the Constitution explicitly upholding press freedom.

If our Constitution speaks of this matter with a degree of importance, then, it is to my humble understanding that the state or any of its instrumentalities shall at all times conduct its affairs respective of Art. 3 Section 4 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. (MindaViews is the opinion section of MIndaNews. Assemblyman Zia Alonto Adiong is the majority floor leader of the Regional Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao)