NOTE: The following story is the winning entry for the news writing competition of the 21st Inkblots, the annual UST national campus journalism fellowship, held Jan. 6-8, 2020.

RAPPLER managing editor Glenda Gloria on Monday deplored the growing practice of tagging legitimate media practitioners and organizations “fake” and “bearers of propaganda,” as a way of discrediting them.

Fake news has become the “new defense of the incompetent, corrupt and those who do not want to be held accountable,” she said in her keynote address during the 21st Inkblots, a journalism conference organized by the Varsitarian, the 91-year-old official student publication of the University of Santo Tomas, on Jan. 6.

“Every news that displeases power, officials brand as fake. Every news that exposes wrongdoing, officials call fake. Every news that gives discomfort to the comfortable, officials call fake,” she noted.

Gloria recalled Rappler’s experience with being branded as biased and fake because of stories that displeased the Duterte administration.

“If you’re Facebook friends with many Duterte supporters, for instance, chances are you will get on your feed the words biased and fake attached to Rappler,” she said.

President Rodrigo Duterte had branded Rappler a “fake news outlet,” after it released a story claiming that then special assistant to the president and now senator Christopher “Bong” Go interfered in a multi-billion-peso project to secure two brand-new armored vessels for the Philippine Navy.

“For your information, you can stop your suspicious mind from roaming somewhere else. But since you are a fake news outlet, then I am not surprised that your articles are also fake,” Duterte said during the inauguration of a new air traffic management system in January 2018.


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