Literary journalism can combat fake news, veteran journo says



VETERAN JOURNALIST and author Joel Pablo Salud championed literary journalism’s role in combating fake news in a forum held Tuesday.

The Philippine Graphic magazine editor in chief said the literary form is “richer and more in-depth” than the straight news style, which he claimed can fail to give readers the complete picture.

“Journalists are guardians of the national memory. I hear journalists complain about how feeble and short our memories are, but how do you expect people to remember stories not worth remembering?” Salud said.

He also challenged the role of journalists as the fourth estate, claiming that it is journalism’s duty to guide readers in the age of fake news.

“It’s not enough for journalists to inform their readers. The mere mention of facts does not change the situation […] Journalism, to be true to its calling as the fourth estate, must goad, spur, provoke, even badger the public to decision and to action,” he emphasized.

Mr. Howie Severino. photo by KRISTELA DANIELLE S. BOO/THE FLAME

GMA News reporter Howie Severino said journalists are being demonized and misrepresented as people who harm the government and society whenever they raise questions.

“We’re all being demonized and that’s also creating a strain. But […] we always have to remind ourselves this is the time to step up. You don’t run away from a crisis just because it’s a crisis,” Severino said.

He applauded journalism coordinator Felipe Salvosa II for his resignation from his managing editor post at The Manila Times after the publication released a front-page story that linked several news agencies to an alleged ouster plot against President Rodrigo Duterte.

READ: Journ coordinator quits as Times editor over ‘matrix’ story

“I think that’s why a lot of us under attack have maintained our courage: because of people like him who are basically communicating to the public that this is not a profession that just caves,” Severino said.

“We’re not gonna cave. We’re gonna survive this, and we’re gonna win,” he added.

The event titled “News Mio!” was organized by the UST Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies and held at the Benavides Auditorium in celebration of National Literature Month. F

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