NTC Sets Rules on Media Coverage; KBP Reminds TV, Radio Outfits on Reporting of Troop Movements
Byline: JC BELLO RUIZ and IVY LISA F. MENDOZA
Urging for a more sober and balanced reporting to "prevent things from getting worse, " the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) yesterday staged a "constructive consultation" with representatives of broadcast media outfits on guidelines to be implemented in the wake of the state of national emergency that President Arroyo declared yesterday.
NTC commissioner Ronald Olivar Solis said violating these guidelines set by the NTC during "abnormal times" may prompt the government to take over or shut down broadcast media outfits, both radio and television stations.
"Weare addressing an abnormal situation. The President, upon her analysis of the situation, deemed it necessary to declare a state of emergency. Therefore, this is an abnormal time. The standards that we will have to use under these present circumstances are not the same standards during normal times," Solis said.
One memorandum circular of the NTC under these kinds of situations states that aaduring a time of national emergency, the broadcast industry, which means radio and television, is prohibited from broadcasting or telecasting anything which is tantamount to a false information will confuse the presentation and anything that tend to incite rebellion or sedition.aa
Solis stressed that this is by virtue of the power of the President to aaprosecute public utility companies violating the law including broadcast companies, both radio and television, under these situations.aa
The NTC has been tasked to evaluate and make recommendations regarding the erring broadcast media outfits.
Alarmed by this turn of events, members of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkasters ng Pilipinas (KBP) raised questions on protocol and coverage guidelines.
The crackdown on erring broadcast stations was one of the reasons cited for the declaration of the state of national emergency.
A provision of the Proclamation Declaring a State of National Emergency No. 1017 states "Whereas, the claims of these elements have been recklessly magnified by certain segments of the national media."
Luchie Cruz Valdez, vice president for current affairs of ABS-CBN, pointed out that in a way, media is a part of the reason why the declaration had been made by the President.
aaIt is like an accusation and this is alarming,aa Valdez said.
Solis however assured the government will not immediately close down media outfits without due process. …