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MOVERS AND SHAKERS – What they’re saying about us: The good, the bad and the ugly (Excerpt)

From:    Philippine Daily Inquirer

Date:     December 9, 2009

By:          Juan V. Sarmiento Jr.

(Editor’s Note: What do you like and what don’t you like about INQUIRER? We posed the question to a number of “movers and shakers” in the country as we mark out 24th anniversary today.)

Government officials, who were expected to be critical of the newspaper, surprisingly appreciated the importance of the role the newspaper plays.

A mayor, who has been accused of abetting summary executions in Mindanao, said he understands why Inquirer is critical of him because that is its mandate. Public officials must take criticisms as part of the job and not be piqued by them, he added.

The official also admires what he calls Inquirer’s “unwavering stand against evils in government,” like the excesses of public officials.

Sensationalizing stories at times, headlines not supported by the body, quoting “reliable sources” or “sources who refuse to be named” are among the things some of the movers and shakers dislike about the newspaper.

A banker notes that Inquirer is now better than it was two years ago, since it is less sensational and it comes out with human interest stories that often do not see print in other papers. He likes the reporting of news without fear or favor and the newspaper’s record in investigative journalism.

For more of what they have to say, read on.

“On rare occasions during our expeditions that I could get a copy of Inquirer or access to the Internet, I really enjoyed reading updates of current events from the paper.

“As an avid fan and faithful reader, I am pleased that you truly tried to be a recorder and, at times because of your opinion writers, an interpreter of events.

“While I root for you in your role as consistent fiscalizer and critic of the powerful, especially those who abuse their powers with impunity, I also prefer to read more positive news and articles about ‘winners’ and ‘best practices’ from our people in order to inspire other Filipinos, and not the typical propensity of Philippine media, you included, to hype the negative because negative news sells.

“In short, I am looking forward to seeing a more balanced reporting of ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’ to allow the readers a broader understanding of events.

“I can only wish you the best as you may have joined the ranks of endangered species recently, but O am really glad that you are undaunted in continuously practicing your craft in what some say as the most dangerous place on earth today.” – ART VALDEZ, expedition leader, the Philippine Mt. Everest Expedition (2004-2008) and the Voyage of the Balangay (2008-2013).