SOGOD, Southern Leyte - “Hindi lisensya para mapadali ang mga prosesong dapat harapin ang pagiging journalist.” (Journalism is not a pass for us to be able to skip due procedures.)
Thus said Ben Domingo Jr. in his discussion about journalism ethics with campus journalists from Eastern Visayas region.
This was how Tatay Ben, as fondly called by his students and colleagues in the academe, described the way many journalists use their position to gain special privileges.
The father of barefoot journalism in the Philippines, Tatay Ben firmly reminded the participants of RTSPC 2016 that journalism is a position of service, and not a state of “godhood”.
Describing journalism as the ‘Fourth Estate’ in our government system (alongside the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial functions), he highlighted the need to protect and preserve integrity, and be clear on the true purpose of journalism.
“Pag mayroon kang kalayaan, may kaakibat din yan na pananagutan (if you have freedom, that entails responsibilities). We are members of the ‘4th estate’ alongside the executive, legislative, and judicial departments. We have to protect our integrity because this position was not established by laws, but bestowed upon us because society believes in us.”
RTSPC 2015 is currently being held in Sogod Southern Leyte. VSU is being represented by 21 students from the Amaranth, the official student publication of the Visayas State University main campus.