Press Boycott for Estrada

Business Asia, August 30, 1999 | Go to article overview

Press Boycott for Estrada


Philippines President Joseph Estrada has always had a rocky relationship with the press.

The 62-year-old former action movie star gets consistently bad coverage. He is regularly portrayed as everything from an ageing Lothario to a tool of corrupt business interests.

Now some of Estrada's friends are fighting back.

And unfortunately for the nation's best-selling newspaper, they're the kind of friends who have advertising budgets.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer was one target bereft of cinema advertising last month as film companies withdrew to protest the paper's irreverent reporting on the President.

And now the paper is accusing some of the nation's biggest firms, including its main phone company, of joining the boycott.

The demise of the Manila Times, recently sold to people with close ties to Estrada's administration, also has journalists worded about the future.

"This seems to be privatised harassment and marginalisation of an independent press," said Times editor-in-chief Malou Mangahas.

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