Pressures on the Press


“Social malaises only have visible existence when the media talk about them, that is to say when they are recognized as such by journalists” writes Patrick Champagne (1999: 46). But what happens when journalists themselves are hit by the social malaise they themselves try to expose?

Rowena Carranza-Paraan, secretary-general of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) addresses this pressing issue by contextualizing journalism within the larger social milieu that shapes predominant media practice, one that has not been spared from repression, corruption and violence. This, however, is not the whole picture. The year 2004 saw the participation of media practitioners in a mass action held in the sidewalk of EDSA, in a not-so-ling march along Camp Crame and Camp Aguinaldo. Journalists were waving banners condemning the killings of their colleagues; and how these crimes are committed with impunity.

The following interview sheds light on the killing of journalists and the effort of media organizations like NUJP to promote and uphold press freedom.