Gov’t, media reps gather to update guidebook towards gender-fair media

At least 38 representatives from private-owned and government-run media organizations, as well civil society organizations (CSOs) and educator’s groups that deal with mass media gathered in a co-creation workshop of the media guide to implement Section 16 of Republic Act 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women (MCW).

Organized by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) and the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) last August 22, the workshop paved the way for the validation of the impact assessment of the three documents titled “Towards a Gender Fair Media” containing Code of Ethics, Guidelines to Protect Women from Discrimination in Media and Film and Gender Equality Guide, which was launched in 2013. 

Said activity also became an avenue for the participants to present their ideas and suggestions on how to make the guidelines relevant with current time. PCOO chairs the Gender Equality Committee for Media (MGEC) created by virtue of the MCW.

Attendees to the workshop included representatives from ABS-CBN News, ABS-CBN Publishing Incorporated, ABS-CBN Entertainment, TV 5, Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA), Philippine Association of Communication Educators (PACE), Ad Standards Council (ASC), Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Philippine Broadcasting Service (PBS), Radio Television Malacañang (RTVM), Malacañang’s Media Accreditation and Relations Office (MARO), Peoples Television Network Incorporated (PTNI), Philippine News Agency  (PNA) and Office of the Presidential Spokesperson.

In her opening remarks, PCW Commissioner for Media and Arts Noreen B. Capili said that the workshop hopes to enjoin media producers and workers to have ownership of the Code of Ethics and to likewise become the Gender and Development (GAD) champions in their respective organizations.

“We would like to understand what we need to do to take the kit to the next level and to account for recent developments such as online and social media. You are here because we recognize your crucial role in building and sustaining a gender-fair and gender-responsive community,” said Capili.

“With your active participation and critical inputs in this workshop, we hope to come up with a revised gender-fair media guidebook relevant to our current situation. It’s a continuing learning process because the media landscape changes so fast. Media is a powerful tool in shaping the culture of this nation, in changing the way we think and do things. We must shift our mindsets and instill a more progressive development-oriented and gender-fair perspective among our audience. As media practitioners or as producers of content, may we all remind ourselves of this power,” she ended.

Also present during the workshop were PCOO Assistant Secretary Marie Banaag and PCW Executive Director Emmeline Verzosa who reiterated the responsibilities and of MGEC member agencies and media personalities in implementing said provision of the MCW. Ms. Verzosa also narrated how Filipino women have shaped the global agenda and challenged the audience to do their part in creating a non-sexist society through gender-fair media. 

Results of the workshop will be collated and incorporated in the revision of the guidebook and shall undergo pretesting and validation among other media organizations including print, broadcast, radio, television and online.