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CHAPTER I

Introduction
The Philippines ranked third as Southeast Asias freest press in a press
freedom index report issued by Reporters Without Borders on October 27, 2009.
Freedom of the press has been guaranteed since 1946 and is enshrined in the
1987 Constitution. In Section 4, Article III, of the Bill of Rights declares that No
law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the
press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the
government for redress of grievances (The Chan Robles Group, 2006).
Given the law, there is a Right of Reply Bill being proposed in the Senate.
Carlos Conde (2008) in his blog Right of reply, wrong premise claimed that
there has never been a proposal such as the Right of Reply Bill that has
audaciously attempted to defy the Bill of Rights. This proposal is going through
heated discussion in the Senate and in the House of Representatives as well as
in our country as a whole.
The Right of Reply Bill requires print and broadcast journalists or
publishers of various media outlets to publish the reply of those persons they
accused of a crime or criticized in their news stories printed in newspapers or
aired over radio and television.
Since those who will most likely be affected by the passage of the said bill
are journalists, this study is focused on the perceptions of Cagayan de Oro print
and broadcast journalists towards the Right of Reply Bill. It illuminates on the
stand of these journalists and the possible impact of the Right of Reply Bill on the
practice of journalists in Cagayan de Oro.

Background of the Study


House Bill No. 3306, An Act Granting the Right of Reply and Providing
Penalties in Violation Thereof was principally authored by Senator Aquilino
Pimentel in the Senate. According to Mariano (2008) of the Philippine Press
Council on his blog Senate OKs Right of Reply Bill, the Right of Reply Bill was
principally authored by Senator Aquilino Pimentel in the Senate. The bill states
that persons whether natural or juridical, accused directly or indirectly or else
criticized by the media in its stories or commentary published in newspapers,
televised or broadcasted on radio have the right of reply to the issues charged
against them, as mentioned in Section 1 of House Bill No. 3306, An Act Granting
the Right of Reply and Providing Penalties in Violation Thereof (Pamaos, 2009).
The strong demands of the bill include that journalists be fined or worse
imprisoned if they fail to publish the reply of the subjects of their news and
commentary as declared in Section 7 of the said bill. In addition to this, the
penalties for the first and second offenses are P10, 000 and P30, 000
respectively. For the third offense, the fine is P50, 000 and imprisonment of not
more than 30 days. The fine charged would double up to the fourth and
succeeding offenses. The 30-day imprisonment may lead to the shutting down or
suspension of the media outlet on the fifth offense (Pamaos, 2009).
Moreover, Section 4 states that once the indicted has replied to the issues
thrown by the media and the latters report is proven inaccurate, it is the duty of
the same media organization to amend its previous report through publication or
broadcast of the reply to regain the integrity of the person concerned (Pamaos,
2009).
If the bill is approved, journalists of media organizations would be greatly
affected since the bill is aimed at the media. Hence, this study was conducted to

find out the perceptions of Cagayan de Oro print and broadcast journalists
regarding the proposed Right of Reply Bill.
Statement of the Problem
The research aims to know the perceptions of Cagayan de Oro print and
broadcast journalists towards the Right of Reply Bill.
Specifically, it aims to answer the following questions:
1.) What are the socio-demographic characteristics of the Cagayan de Oro
print and broadcast journalists when grouped according to age, gender,
knowledge, and years of professional experience?
2.) Do the Cagayan de Oro print and broadcast journalists know that there is
a Right of Reply Bill?
3.) What do they know about the Right of Reply Bill?
4.) Will they support the bill?
5.) What are the perceptions of the Cagayan de Oro print and broadcast
journalists on the Right of Reply Bill?

Objectives of the Study


The following are the specific objectives of this study:
1.) To determine the socio-demographic characteristics of the Cagayan de
Oro print and broadcast journalists including age, gender, knowledge, and
years of professional experience.
2.) To determine if the Cagayan de Oro print and broadcast journalists know
about the Right of Reply Bill.
3.) To identify what the Cagayan de Oro print and broadcast journalists know
about the Right of Reply Bill.
4.) To know if the Cagayan de Oro print and broadcast journalists will support
the bill.
5.) To determine the perceptions of Cagayan de Oro print and broadcast
journalists towards the Right of Reply Bill.
Significance of the Study
The Philippines is a democratic country where freedom of speech and
expression is practiced and freedom of the press is greatly valued. Thus, the
proposition of a law which could possibly tarnish the right to this freedom is
definitely a matter of growing concern to all most especially to the media as
the watchdog of the government. In addition, the Right of Reply Bill is alleged
to infringe the Bill of Rights.
The results of this study could provide some ideas and information to new
or future media practitioners most especially college communication students
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in our country who might want to venture into a career in media after
graduation as well as the lawmakers or future legislators in our country. One
example would include giving the future journalists or those who would like to
pursue a media profession an insight on abiding with the canons of good
taste in news writing and in broadcast. Moreover, this could provide valuable
information to erring lawmakers who tend to abuse their parliamentary
immunity. Further, this study would enlighten future journalists to not abuse
freedom of the press and do their duties responsibly
Scope and Limitation of the Study
The study is concerned with the perceptions of journalists towards the
Right of Reply Bill. It involves specifically the professional print and broadcast
journalists of various media organizations in Cagayan de Oro City. The print
journalists in this study are limited to those who work for newspaper
publications while the broadcast journalists are those who broadcast on AM
radio stations only. The study does not seek to include citizen journalists, TV
hosts, and those who utilize modern media platforms. This is not an
evaluation study but a descriptive study only. The duration of this study is
from June to October 2010.

Operational Definition of Terms

Perception

The understanding of Cagayan de Oro print and broadcast journalists


on the Right of Reply Bill.

Cagayan de Oro Print Journalists

The journalists of newspaper publications in Cagayan de Oro City.

Cagayan de Oro Broadcast Journalists

The AM radio broadcasters in Cagayan de Oro City

Right of Reply Bill

Refers to a proposed law principally authored by Senator Aquilino


Pimentel in the Senate which states that persons whether natural or
juridical, accused or criticized by the media in published news stories
and commentaries or issues aired over radio and television shall be
given the right to reply to the allegations of the media. In addition, if a
certain media outlet fails to publish or broadcast the reply of the
affected party, the same media organization shall be fined or worse
imprisoned or it can lead to the shutting down of the media outlet or
publication.

CHAPTER II
Review of Related Literature
This chapter presents the review of related research on the Right of Reply
Bill including its history and status in the Philippines, reactions towards it and the
Right of Reply in other countries.
Right of Reply Bill in the Philippines
The Right of Reply Bill is a proposed law currently being deliberated in the
Senate and in the House of Representatives. As stated in Section 1 of House Bill
No. 3306, An Act Granting the Right of Reply and Providing Penalties in Violation
Thereof, the said bill mandates that anyone, whether natural or juridical who is
accused directly or indirectly of a crime or bluntly criticized in news stories printed
in newspapers, magazines or other publications as well as those stories aired on
radio and television, shall have the right to reply to the allegations of media
(Pamaos, 2009).
Section 3 of House Bill No. 3306 states that the reply of the party involved
in the accusations of the media shall be published or broadcast not later than one
day after it has been sent to the station or media organization being replied to.
Aside from this, the publication or editor-in-chief or the station manager or owner
of the broadcasting network may be fined or imprisoned upon failure to publish or
air the reply of the person involved in the allegation. In Section 7, the fines are as
follows: P10, 000 for the first offense, P30, 000 for the second offense, a fine of
P50, 000 and imprisonment of not exceeding 30 days for the third offense. The
amount of penalty doubles up to the succeeding offenses but the 30-day
imprisonment may lead to suspension or total closure of the media organization
on the fifth offense (Pamaos, 2009).
Philip, Tubeza of Philippine Daily Inquirer in his article Young lawmaker
warns Right of reply bill to cover bloggers (May 30, 2009) that the Right of Reply
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Bill will not only cover print and broadcast journalists but it will include bloggers,
texters and iPod users as well. Tubeza also claimed in his article that Kabataan
Party-List Representative Mong Palatino said that the bills sponsor in House,
Manila Representative Bienvenido Abante asserted that social networking sites,
e-mails and other websites are also incorporated in House Bill No. 3306. He also
argued that the more than five million bloggers and internet users would be
affected by the said bill as well as the more than 60 million mobile phone and
iPod users in the Philippines. He also noted that if ever the proposed law will be
enacted, it would possibly lead to internet censorship and repression of freedom
of speech and expression (2009).
History of Right of Reply Bill
According to an article by Calica (2009), Sen. Francis Escudero claimed
that the Right of Reply Bill in the Philippines was proposed even before martial
law was proclaimed in 1972. At that time, it was Senate Bill No. 903, which was
sponsored by Senators Ambrosio Padilla, Rene Espina and Mamintal Tamano.
He also stated that it was rejected particularly by the National Press Club, which
presented a paper on their stand regarding the bill, arguing that the legal action
that could be taken by political officials offended or accused by the media is to file
criminal charges of libel or slander. In addition, Escudero pointed out that the
details of the Senate Bill filed in 1972 are just similar to Senate Bill No. 2150 that
was filed by Senator Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. With the declaration of Martial Law
that time in 1972, Senate Bill No. 903 was not realized.
Reaction on the Right of Reply Bill
The Philippine Press Institute in its statement (2009) considers the Right
of Reply Bill unconstitutional since the 1987 Constitution in its Bill of Rights
guarantees freedom of the press as well as of speech and expression.

Right of Reply in other countries


In the UK, as part of BBCs Editorial Guidelines on fairness, contributors
and consent, whenever they accuse an individual of a crime or criticize someone
that could possibly damage the reputation of the person concerned, the
assumption is that the person charged with such issues will be given the chance
to respond or a right of reply to the accusations. If a certain journalist of the said
organization chooses to not give the accused the chance to respond to the
allegations, he or she should consult it first with a senior editorial figure (BBC,
2006).
Declan McCullagh, chief political correspondent of CNET News.com in his
article Why Europe still doesnt get the Internet (June 16, 2003) stated that The
Council of Europe is concluding a proposal that requires news organizations from
the internet, websites or even blogs to grant a right of reply to those they
accuse or criticize in their stories. Some passages from the said proposal include
submitting the reply in no less than 24 hours; it is considerable to hyperlink to a
reply and it is all right to provide long replies.
The United States on the other hand used to have a rule similar to the
above mentioned called the Fairness Doctrine but it was only applicable to
broadcasters. Yet, the US Supreme Court did not take the Doctrine seriously
because it never tolerated the thought of requiring publications to offer a right of
reply to those who are criticized by media, including prominent people.
These related studies and articles served as reference for the researcher
to strengthen her study.

Theoretical Framework
This study made use of the Social Judgment Theory formulated by
psychologist Muzafer Sherif in 1961. This theory deals with the way people
decide or make judgments on a certain issue. Krebs (1999) claimed in her article
Social Judgment Theory Research that there are varieties of points available on
a given issue. Social judgment theory suggests that a person gives a strong
judgment on an issue based on ego-involvement. Ego-involvement is referring to
someone's being "involved with an issue." A person might be said to be egoinvolved when the issue has personal significance to the individual, when the
person's stand on the issue is central to his or her sense of self, when the issue
is important to the person, when the person intensely holds a given position,
when the person is strongly committed to the position, and so on. One example
she cited was the subject of legalizing marijuana. One might suppose that using
marijuana should be illegal or another stance would be that it should only be
allowed if it is utilized for medical reasons. Alternatively, it could be that one
would believe that marijuana use should be legalized for everyday consumption.
Thus, this theory can be applied to the study on the perceptions of Cagayan de
Oro print and broadcast journalists on the Right of Reply Bill. It may turn out that
the perceptions of print journalists vary from those of the broadcast journalists.
One journalist may find the position of another journalist as acceptable,
objectionable or perhaps neither acceptable nor unacceptable. As seen from the
Social Judgment Theorys point of view, the reaction of a person to persuasive
communication on a certain issue or topic is dependent on the persons judgment
of the position that is being promoted in the message. (Krebs, 1999).

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Conceptual Framework

Perception of
Cagayan de Oro
print and broadcast
journalists

Right of Reply Bill

Independent Variable

Dependent Variable

Age
Gender
Years of
professional
experience

Intervening Variables

The researcher considered the Right of Reply Bill as an independent


variable because it remains constant even if there is a change in the dependent
variable. The perception of Cagayan de Oro print and broadcast journalists are
taken into account as the dependent variables of this study, influenced by their
socio-demographic characteristics such as age, gender and years of professional
experience.

CHAPTER III
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Methodology
Research Locale
The study was conducted in Cagayan de Oro City, particularly in the
different media organizations within the city. These were selected as the study
sites because most media practitioners can be found in their offices when they
are not in the field reporting.
Research Design
This research is a descriptive type of study describing the perceptions of
Cagayan de Oro print and broadcast journalists regarding the Right of Reply Bill.
The study employed qualitative and quantitative research method to explain the
relationship of one variable with another. Furthermore, the researcher made use
of primary and secondary research. In the article What is Primary Research and
how do I get started? (2010) primary research is any type of research that you
go out and collect yourself. This was conducted by giving out survey
questionnaires to print and broadcast journalists in Cagayan de Oro. Hence, the
questionnaires were used in collecting quantitative data. On the other hand,
secondary research is when you acquire a summary or collection of existing
data. Examples of this type of research are previous reports, magazines, content
from journalists or newspapers, government or NGO statistics (Driscoll & Brizee,
2010). Qualitative and quantitative insights were provided through in-depth
interview and survey.

Data Gathering Procedure


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The sampling procedure utilized in the study was convenience sampling.


Data were gathered from those respondents who were available and willing to
participate in the study. The researcher collected opinions from the Cagayan de
Oro print and broadcast journalists through survey questionnaires. These
questionnaires contained a filtering question in order to select who will proceed to
the in-depth interview (IDI). The respondents for in-depth interview were chosen
based on the criterion that he/she must have 10 years or more of professional
experience in the print and broadcast field. According to an article in
www.wapedia.mobi, at a minimum usually 10 years of consistent practice,
sometimes more for certain fields is one characteristic of someone developing to
be an expert (Anonymous, 2010).
Analysis of Data
The researcher used frequency and percentage in analyzing quantitative
data collected from the survey. In addition, the respondents attitudes in
answering the questions including their reactions during the in-depth interview
(IDI) were observed by the researcher. The results from the in-depth interviews
(IDIs) were evaluated through coding.

CHAPTER IV
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Presentation, Analysis and Interpretation of Data


This chapter presents the results of the data gathered and its
corresponding analysis and discussion. These data were based on the answers
from the survey questionnaires distributed to the different media outlets in
Cagayan de Oro.
I.) Respondents involved in the study
Table 1.0 Journalists involved in the survey
Journalists
Print
Broadcast
Total

Frequency
10
18
28

%
36
64
100

As shown in Table 1.0, 28 journalists from print and broadcast participated


in the study. More than half (64%) of the total respondents are broadcast
journalists from different AM stations within the city, while 36% are print
journalists from local dailies.

II.) Profile of Respondents

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Table 1.1 According to Age


Age
21-26
27-32
33-38
39-44
45-50
51-56
57-62
Total

Frequency
5
5
5
4
4
4
1
28

%
18
18
18
14
14
14
4
100

Respondents of the following age ranges: 21-26, 27-32 and 33-38 were
equally distributed among the respondents (18%) as well as those (14%) of the
age ranges 39-44, 45-50 and 51-56 while only 4% or 1 out of 28 journalists is of
the age range 57-62.
Table 1.2 According to Gender
Gender
Male
Female
Total

Frequency
15
13
28

%
54
46
100

More than one-half of the total number of respondents (54%) are males
while 46% are females.

Table 1.3 According to years of professional experience


Number of Years
Less than 10 years

Frequency
11

%
39
15

More than 10 years


Total

17
28

61
100

Table 1.3 shows that majority of the respondents (61%) have more than
10 years of professional experience and the rest (39%) have less than 10 years
of professional experience.

III.) Respondents knowledge on the Right of Reply Bill


Figure 1.0 Print and Broadcast Journalists

More than three-fourths (93%) of the print journalists know that there is a
Right of Reply Bill, while only 2 of the 28 print journalists dont know about the
bill.

Means of knowing about the bill


Figure 1.2 Print Journalists

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When asked how they knew about the bill, newspapers and television
were both cited by more than three-fourths (88%) of the print journalists, while
63% cited the internet. Another 25% mentioned that they learned about the bill
through friends.
Figure 1.3 Broadcast Journalists

Majority of the broadcast journalists (72%) also said that they knew about
the bill through newspapers and television, followed by the internet (44%) and
friends (22%).

What they know about the bill


Figure 1.4 Print Journalists

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When they were asked what they know about the Right of Reply Bill, all print
journalists (100%) claimed that the bill requires journalists to air or publish the
reply of the persons they accuse in their news stories or commentaries. Onefourth (25%) said that the bill violates freedom of the press; while only one
answered that it attempts to infringe the Bill of Rights.
Figure 1.5 Broadcast Journalists

Among the broadcast journalists more than three-fourth (89%) also said
that the proposed law requires journalists to air or publish the reply of the
persons they accuse in their news stories or commentaries while a meager 11%
answered that it violates freedom of the press, attempts to infringe Bill of Rights
and other reasons were also cited.
Further, most respondents who submitted themselves to an in-depth
interview said that the Right of Reply Bill was authored by Senator Aquilino

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Pimentel which requires media practitioners to air or publish the replies of those
that they attack in their news stories or commentaries.
One respondent said, ...what I know is that the former senator wanted a
law that would compel media to publish or broadcast the replies coming from
citizens or politicians who felt that they were unfairly treated by media. So thats
what Right of Reply Bill is about.
Others said that the bill is a curtailment of press freedom and as
something which only politicians will benefit from. Another respondent declared
that it is intended for block timers.
Actually ang gi-igo ani ni Pimentel ka yang media block timers, he said.

V.) Print Journalists who know about the bill


Figure 1.6 According to Age

More than one-third (37%) of the print journalists who know about the bill
are of the age range 45-52, while one-fourth (25%) are of age ranges 21-28 and
37-44. Only 1 out of 8 is of the age range 29-36.

Figure 1.7 According to gender

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Figure 1.7 shows that more than one-half (62%) of the print journalists
who know about the bill are males while the rest (38%) are females.
Figure 1.8 Years of professional experience

More than one-half (62%) of the print journalists who know about the bill
have more than 10 years of professional experience, while more than one-third
(38%) have less than 10 years of professional experience.
V.) Broadcast Journalists who know about the bill
Figure 1.9 According to Age

Majority of the broadcast journalists (28%) who know about the Right of
Reply Bill are of the age range 22-29, while 22% are of the age ranges 30-37 and
54-61. Another 17% are of the age range 38-45. Only two are of the age range
46-53.
Figure 2.0 According to Gender

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More than one-half (56%) of the broadcast journalists who know about the
bill are males, while 44% are females.
Figure 2.1 Years of professional experience

More than one-half (67%) of the broadcast journalists who know about the
bill have more than 10 years of professional experience while one-third or 33%
have less than 10 years of professional experience.

VI.) Willingness to support the bill


Figure 2.2 Journalists who will support Right of Reply Bill

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Figure 2.2 shows that majority of the respondents (62%) will not support
the Right of Reply Bill while the rest (38%) are in favor of it.
a.) Print Journalists
1.) According to Age
Figure 2.3 Who will support Right of Reply

Figure 2.3 shows that among the print journalists who are willing to
support the bill one-half (50%) of which are of the age range 21-28 while another
50% are of the age range 45-52.

Figure 2.4 Who will not support the Right of Reply Bill

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Among the four print journalists who are not in favor of the Right of Reply
Bill, one-half (50%) are of the age range 37-44, while there is an equal
percentage (25%) of those of age ranges 29-36 and 45-52.
2.) According to gender
Figure 2.5 Male

More than one-half of the males (60%) said that they will not support Right
of Reply while the rest of the print journalists (40%) said yes when asked if they
will support the bill.

Figure 2.6 Female

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Among the female print journalists, only one (33%) will support the bill
while the remaining two (67%) are not in favor of the Right of Reply Bill.
3.) According to years of professional experience
Figure 2.7 Less than 10 years

Only one print journalist (33%) with less than 10 years of professional
experience is not willing to support the bill while the rest (67%) will support the
bill.

Figure 2.8 More than 10 years

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In the table above, data shows that majority of those print journalists
having more than 10 years of professional experience (60%) are not in favor of
supporting the Right of Reply Bill, while 40% will support the bill.
b.) Broadcast Journalists
1.) According to age
Figure 2.9 Who will support Right of Reply

Figure 2.9 shows that among the broadcast journalists who are willing to
support the Right of Reply Bill, there is an equal percentage (33%) of those who
belong to the age ranges 22-29 and 30-37 as well as those of the age ranges 3845 and 46-53 with 17%.

Figure 3.0 Who will not support Right of Reply

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One-third of those broadcast journalists who are not in favor of the bill
(33%) are from the age range 54-61, followed by those of the age range 22-29
(25%). Broadcast journalists of the age ranges 30-37 and 38-45 are of the same
percentage (17%), while only one (8%) is from the age range 46-53.
2.) According to Gender
Figure 3.1 Male

Figure 3.1 shows that majority (70%) of the male broadcast journalists will
not support Right of Reply while the rest (30%) said yes when asked if they will
support the bill.

Figure 3.2 Female

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More than one-half of the female broadcast journalists (63%) are not in
favor of the Right of Reply Bill while another 38% said yes when asked if they are
willing to support the proposed law.
3.) According to years of professional experience
Figure 3.3 Less than 10 Years of professional experience

In the figure above, data shows that theres an equal percentage (50%) of
broadcast journalists with less than 10 years of professional experience who are
in favor and not in favor of the Right of Reply Bill.

Figure 3.4 More than 10 years

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Among the broadcast journalists with more than 10 years of professional


experience, three-fourth (75%) said no when they were asked if they are willing
to support the Right of Reply while the remaining 25% said they will support the
bill.
Respondents who proceeded to in-depth interview were asked about their
stand on the bills provisions.
All of them agreed that anyone who is accused or criticized by the media
has the right to reply to clear his/her name from all allegations. They believed
that it is the medias role to give the people a chance to reply and its included in
the code of ethics of journalists. They also added that the provision is already
being practiced with or without the existence of the Right of Reply Bill.
If you look at our code of ethics, if you examine that, theres a provision
there about rectification; pag nagkamali kami we are obliged to correct the
mistake the moment we realize that we committed a mistake. And theres also a
provision there that says we will respect peoples right to reply. So, in other
words we are already practicing it, said one respondent.
Another respondent stated, The way I look at it whether theres a bill to
that effect or not they have the right without necessarily passing a bill because
media are supposed to present a balance presentation of events.
However, majority of the respondents disagreed when asked if they agree
that the reply of the person so accused or criticized shall be published in the
same space of the newspapers or aired over the same program on radio or
television. According to them, it is already dictating media what to do. Likewise,
they added that publishing or airing replies on the same space or time may affect
lay-outing and programming.

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Ideally ing-ana unta noh pero i-consider man gud nato nga kanang mga
newspaper or kanang mga radio stations naa na silay mga program..we cannot
impose on these outfits nga during that specified time, a respondent argued.
In addition, a respondent asserted, Technically, tama ano? Pero dito
yung..Someone who wants to react, wants to reply to this, so he wants his reply
to have the same space..ibig sabihin yung reply niya yun yong banner ko for
tomorrow? Kasi yun yung sinasabi ng law? What happens to news values now?
Only one respondent agreed that replies shall be published on the same
space in the newspaper or aired on the same time on radio for the purpose of
being fair.
Its just right kung what time siya gibirahan, what time siya gi-atake it
would also be at that time siya mu-reply. If he was attacked in the front page so
its just right to give him my space at the same page, he stated.
Most of the respondents also argued that replies should be published or
broadcast not later than 3 days because the reply may not be properly edited,
and it is imposing something to media which is supposed to be an independent
entity.
A respondent emphasized, Dili lage na pwede, gibut-an na ka, ikaw na
media gitudloan ka nila..wah nay nada, dili kayo ma-edit..walay mga reaksyon
makuha...
Moreover, the weekly newspapers may have difficulty in adhering to this
provision since weeklies only publish once a week. However, the rest of the
respondents agreed to this provision. They believed that the reply should be
published or aired not later than 3 days while the issue is fresh to immediately
clear any allegations.
Agree man ko ana, Naa pa gane usahay nga din a maabtan og three (3)
days. Okay na siya, maybe because while the issue is fresh, a respondent
declared.

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When asked regarding the shorter length of reply which was stated among
the bills provisions, majority said that the reply may even be longer than the
accusation. In addition, the length of reply depends on the person involved. They
added that longer replies will have no quality at all if they will be shortened for the
sake of adhering to this provision. Another respondent said that the length of
reply must be the same with the length of the news story or criticism to satisfy
both sides.
One strongly opposed, Ako, I dont agree ana nga impositions kay it
would be longer pa gane.
..Eh minsan yung reply mas taas pa don sa criticism eh..ibig sabihin we
would be violating the law if the reply would be longer than the mistreated article.
Di ba? said another respondent.
The Right of Reply Bill also states that the publication or broadcast of the
reply shall be free of charge, payment or fees. All of the respondents agreed to
this provision because attacking a person on news stories, columns, editorials or
commentaries is done freely so replying to accusations of media shall be free as
well and giving people the chance to reply is already being practiced by media.
Further, they added that its the ads that are being paid not replies.
One respondent stated, Dapat free. Kay pagbatikos niya gidawat niya
ang news item, gi-air nimo ang news item, libre man pud. Kung mutubag siya
libre pud.
A respondent reiterated, Actually free of charge mana kay naa mana sa
mga news, sa mga public affairs. Its being done.
Replies to articles, to columns, to editorials hindi pinababayaran yun. Ang
pinababayaran ng newspaper yung advertisement, said another.
Everybody also agreed that a reply shall be edited if it contains libelous
statements because it is medias right to edit and most especially an editor would
never allow libelous stories to be published in the newspaper. Another
respondent also specified that editing is adhering to code of ethics in journalism
which says that journalists must avoid using foul language.

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I-edit na nimo kay naa bayay ethics in journalism nga dili ka pwede muuse og mga foul language, kanang mga libelous... she pointed out.
Besides, it was added that if a certain journalist will write or air something
libelous, the production staff or the whole publication will also be charged with
libel. Thus, editing is also to protect the newspaper publication or the station. It
was accentuated that part of the risk of being in media is to identify what is
libelous and what is not. Thus, it is more of their judgment but under the law, its
really the court who determines libel.
Regarding the imposition of fines on media outfits due to failure of
publishing or airing replies, most of the respondents believed that imposing
penalties will scare media.
A respondent explained, If we allow that proposal to pass, why would we
publish stories that are critical or that would expose wrong doings? Dili nah mi.
We might as well publish stories about development. Wala na. We forget about
the watchdog role of the media if thats the case kasi ipapapreso mo, ipapa-fine
mo.
Having said that, he also clarified that the audience or the people will not
get the kind of information that they deserve because theres no truth anymore.
Most respondents also added that media is responsible enough and theres no
need to impose such penalties because its curtailing the freedom of a media
outlet. If there are penalties then replies may not be free as well.
In addition, people may abuse the imposition of penalties when in fact
they can always file for libel if they feel aggrieved. Nevertheless, one respondent
believed that it depends on the intention of the journalist whether he exerted
effort or not to get the side of the person accused.
It depends..for example, ang usa ka reporter really exerted effort to get
the side of the person and then he refused, he cannot be seen, he cannot be
found..so kana imu i-justify. But if its intentional meaning you did not really exert
effort to get the side of the person of his reply, maybe the fine should be
imposed, he said.
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On the other hand, all the respondents agreed that block timers shall be
subjected to the code of ethics of journalists because there are certain rules in
broadcasting that they have to follow given that they use the station as their
medium for saying something on air or catering to the public. If they say
something libelous they may endanger the mother station or network. Thus, they
have to be bounded by some laws and ethics in journalism.
I agree bahalag block timer sila covered japon na sila whatever, in house
ba na nga code of ethics kay on the air gud sila... said one respondent.
She added, ...kay kuan man japon na, ga cater man japon sila sa public.
When asked about the bills sunset clause provision, most of the
respondents believed that it is like experimenting whether Right of Reply Bill
works or not.
Trial and error yan eh. So what the Senate wants is a law that would be
for trial and error. If congressmen and senators are very sure that we need this
law bakit may sunset clause na seven years lang? said one respondent. Another
respondent stated that seven years is too long.
When asked about the possible consequences if the bill will be enacted,
most of the respondents agreed that there would be a curtailment of press
freedom and the public will suffer. A respondent stated that media will be
operating under fear so the people will not know the truth anymore.
The public will suffer because media will be operating under fear, he
claimed.
Another one affirmed, Madisrupt na ang normal nga programming kay
mag sige nalang tubag. kada atake tubag. Samot na sa newspaper.
On the whole, nearly everyone believes that the Right of Reply Bill violates
freedom of the press because it is already dictating what media should do and it
would cause media to lose its effectiveness in being the watchdog of the society.

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..Thats a law abridging the freedom of the press. Eh, our Bill of Rights
says no law shall be passed abridging the freedom of press and speech, said
one respondent.
They also added that it is unconstitutional because the Bill of Rights states that
no law shall be passed abridging the freedom of the press and of expression. In
spite of this, one respondent believes that it doesnt violate freedom of the press
since it is only intended for pseudo media men because genuine media men
will get the side of the aggrieved party so they should not be affected by the bill.
The bill only sets standards to keep the media from going overboard.
I think wala na naka-violate sa freedom of the press. Sa ako lang gi-ingon
the law is for the benefit of both sides: the one whos always complaining and the
one who is being complained. Im supporting this bill., he said.
Moreover he added,

Actually ang gi-igo jud ani na bill kay ang pseudo

media men, if youre a genuine media man I think wala kay problema ani.
Then again, when asked what other options can be taken if there is no
Right of Reply Law, most of the respondents answered that the aggrieved party
can always file for a libel case against any media outlet if they think they were not
fairly treated by media or theyre deprived to reply to issues concerning them.
A respondent stated, Pwede nila file-an og kaso. Libel.
The rest of the respondents said that if there is no Right of Reply Law and
a publication or program fails or refuses to release the reply of an aggrieved
person, people should start a boycott against that specific media organization.
Thus, people should stop patronizing the newspaper or station that doesnt
publish or air replies of aggrieved parties.
If you hear something being said on radio na bastos na bakit hindi niyo
sulatan yong radio station niyo?, a respondent said.
Then he added, ..i-boycott niyo yong media organizations na unethical. A
newspaper thats unethical should not be patronized. Huwag basahin. Huwag
bilhin. Huwag magpa-ads.

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The in-depth interview conducted has raised varying points on the bills
provisions and the journalists gave their stand on the different provisions. Based
on the answers to the in-depth interview, majority of the journalists are against
the Right of Reply Bill.

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CHAPTER V
Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

Summary and Conclusions


This study was conducted to find out the perceptions of Cagayan de Oro
print and broadcast journalists towards the Right of Reply Bill.
From the data gathered, the researcher came up with the following
findings:
1.) The respondents were journalists of Cagayan de Oro of which ten (10) are
print journalists and eighteen (18) are broadcast journalists with a total of
28 journalists. The journalists of the age ranges 21-26, 27-32 and 33-38
were of equal distribution as well as those of the age ranges 39-44, 45-50
and 51-56. Only one journalist belongs to the age range 57-62. More than
one-half of the total numbers of respondents are males while the rest are
females. Majority of the respondents have more than 10 years of
professional experience in the field of media.
2.) More than three-fourths of the respondents know that there is a Right of
Reply Bill, while only 2 of the 28 print journalists dont know about the bill.
3.) Moreover, majority of the respondents know that the Right of Reply Bill
requires journalists to air or publish the reply of the persons they accuse in
their news stories or commentaries.
4.) However, most of the respondents are not willing to support the bill while
the rest are in favor of it.
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5.) The respondents have given their stand on the Right of Reply Bill and
most of them agreed that for the most part the said bill violates freedom of
the press, of speech and of expression.
Moreover, most of the journalists believe that any person who is criticized by
media and feels aggrieved by issues presented in news stories or commentaries
can always file for a libel case. Just like when the Right of Reply Bill was first
proposed in 1972 as stated in this studys review of related literature (Chapter II),
the National Press Club rejected the bill and argued that those officials who are
accused and by media can file criminal charges of libel or slander.
In relation to the Social Judgment Theory (which was mentioned in
Chapter II- Review of Related Literature), the journalists have a strong stand
towards the Right of Reply Bill since the bill is aimed at media. As the theory
suggests, people are most likely to give their judgment on an issue when the
issue has personal significance to the individual, when the person's stand on the
issue is central to his or her sense of self or when the issue is important to the
person.
Based on the findings of the study, the researcher concludes that this study
reveals that majority of the Cagayan de Oro print and broadcast journalists
perceive the bill as a curtailment of press freedom just the same thing that
happened to USAs Fairness Doctrine which was rejected by the US Supreme
Court. The Right of Reply Bill is just similar to the Fairness Doctrine in the United
States (which was also mentioned in Chapter II- Review of Related Literature)
but the latter is notably different from the former because is only applicable to
broadcast media. Thus, the Right of Reply Bill was perceived as something that
dictates media and violates their freedom of speech and expression.

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Recommendations
Based on the findings of this study, the following recommendations are
given:
1.) That lawmakers review the provisions of the bill to justify if media really
needs a Right of Reply Law.
2.) That to provide more concrete and substantial results, communication
students who may want to delve into a study about the Right of Reply Bill
can include journalists who broadcast on television as well as those who
utilize social media.
3.) That those media regulatory bodies should expand the journalists' code of
ethics to social media practitioners on Twitter, Facebook or blog sites to
boost ethical use of social media because their practice might be affected
if ever the Right of Reply Bill would be enacted.

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