Friday, July 17, 2015

Deles urges media to “tell better stories of hope and optimism”

From the Website of MILF

Deles urges media to “tell better stories of hope and optimism”

Deles urges media to “tell better stories of hope and optimism”

Amidst the various challenges confronting the peace process, Sec. Teresita Quintos Deles of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) urged members of the media  to “tell better stories of hope and optimism” 

“The challenge now is to continue expand the discussion on the realities of conflict and broaden the options for peace,” she said duringthe Awarding Ceremony of the EU Peace Journalism Awards held at Intercontinental Hotel in Manila on July 8, 2015.

She lauded members of the media who won in the awards in different categories. “Tonight, we will give due recognition to and celebrate people whom we consider as ‘craftsmen/craftswomen of peace’ who, with their hands, hearts and minds, brought out stories that contributed to the triumphs of peace,” Deles quoted in an article posted at the OPAPP website.

“I extend my congratulations and appreciation to the European Union Delegation in the Philippines and its partner organisations for affirming their long-standing commitment to the Philippine peace process by seeking to inspire Filipino journalists to be a positive force in conflict transformation—through their fairness, 
impartiality, and reliability, bolstered by their commitment to conflict sensitivity and peace promotion in their stories,” she said. 

“We used to note what happened with the Al-Barka incident in 2011 as an example of the extent of the influence the media hold in terms of shaping mindsets and forming public opinion. This year, that example faded into the background, overtaken by what happened with the Mamasapano tragedy in January, 2015.”
Deles said, “The situation we faced with the Mamasapano clash was a number of times worse than the Al-Barka incident, and the role of media, as recorded and reviewed, was also stronger in its intensity and frequency.”

“The Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), in its comprehensive review and assessment of the media coverage of the Mamasapano incident, concluded that (I quote) ‘Misinformation and even disinformation, sensationalism, as well as lack of context characterized the coverage,’ inflaming an already volatile situation that it, in fact, helped create.

“Until today, there are many who continue to think that the ongoing peace process is at fault, turning it into a culprit that brought harm to the people it sought to protect. The incident opened a Pandora’s Box filled with deeply-held prejudice and antagonism against our Moro brothers and sisters,” Deles added. 

The secretary said, “Peace cannot thrive without the support of the people. And so we appeal that you, our friends from the media, to share our vision—for what we hope for transcends the now and aspires to offer a life free from harm, from fear, from prejudice for future generations.”