JOURNALISTS are called to promote greater transparency and “stick to the facts” as critics continue to attack their credibility, said Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Manuel “Manny” Mogato.

Mogato, the Manila-based reporter of Thompson Reuters, was himself the target of vicious online attacks for his reporting on President Duterte.

He received this year’s Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting, as part of the Reuters team that included Clare Baldwin and Andrew R.C. Marshall.

The team was feted for their “relentless reporting that exposed the brutal killing campaign behind Philippines President Duterte’s war on drugs.”

Mogato acknowledged that public trust on the traditional media “has gone down sharply” given greater scrutiny on their work and credibility.

“There is an urgent call for journalists to restore trust and credibility by sticking to facts, not opinions, avoid taking sides and by being transparent,” he told a gathering of some 100 campus journalists attending the 20th Inkblots press fellowship last Dec. 4.

‘Journalists should only be biased for truth’
A significant part of the training begins in school, he said in his keynote address, because “journalism is at its purest in the campuses.”

“Journalism is practiced in the school papers without vested interests and influence,” he said. “Please protect, preserve and promote campus journalism.”

Mogato urged aspiring journalists to think more critically “about how digital technology and social platforms are used as conduits of the information disorder.”

Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist John Nery cited the importance of verification as “the most important element of journalism.”

Verification means testing the truth,” he told campus reporters during his talk on opinion journalism, which he described as “opinion that is based on a bedrock of facts.” LOUISE CLAIRE H. CRUZ, ALYSSA CARMINA A. GONZALES, J.C.W. UY and F.E. SEÑA


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