Manila Times Gets Flak From Mindanao Journalists
The questionable article stems from an AFP release published by the Times on the unannounced Zamboanga visit of US Joint Chief of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen. Mullen, who was with US Ambassador Kristie Kenney was accompanied by AFP chief Lieutenant General Alexander Yano when he visited the Edwin Andrews air base just days after a bomb exploded outside a US project office located near the base.
A lot of news organizations have conducted seminars for journalists on reporting about Mindanao. I and several other Mindanao journalists have attended such seminars but I am not aware if the journalists from Manila and other correspondents were also invited or had the chance to attend such seminars in the past. Perhaps Press secretary Jesus Dureza should make this part of his initial project aside from reiterating equal treatment between Manila and provincial media.
Mindanao is an island composed of several regions and cities. Zamboanga itself is composed of several cities, not all of them war-torn as this paper (and other papers for that matter) want to project. Mindanao includes Davao and I believe (as most people agree with) that Davao is safer than Manila so why not call Manila strife-torn as well? I am giving them the benefit of the doubt that maybe, this is not deliberate but can be blamed on ignorance.
Perhaps, an apology or even just an erratum is in order.