The Press and the Peace Process: A Case Study of the Manila-based Journalists who Covered the Aborted 2008 MOA-AD

Bahillo, M.A. & R.A. Ducut (2011). The Press and the Peace Process: A Case Study of the Manila-based Journalists who Covered the Aborted 2008 MOA-AD. Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication.


ABSTRACT

This study looked into the profiles, prejudices and biases against the Muslims and Moros, specifically the MILF, of the Manila-based journalists who covered the aborted 2008 MOA-AD. Based on the content analysis done by Granali and Lopez in 2009 on the articles of Manila-based and Mindanao-based online news websites on the MOA-AD, an excessive war journalism framing and crude lack of context and historical background were uncovered in the media coverage, especially in the Manila-based reports. The researchers were able to interview 10 Manila-based journalists and four editors from the Philippine Daily Inquirer, The Philippine Star and Manila Bulletin. In line with the findings of Granali and Lopez, biases and prejudices of the journalists emerged in their association of the MILF with terrorism and rebel groups like the NPA and Abu Sayyaf. Moreover, majority agreed to the Manila-based reports’ lack of context and historical background which was a consequence of their failure to conduct in-depth research about the MOA-AD and the conflicts in Mindanao. When it came to their defenses on their shortcomings, it boiled down to their treatment of the MOA-AD and the conflicts in Mindanao as just one of the stories they have to cover to meet their daily quota for articles. The problem in the MOA-AD coverage was multi-leveled—the news decision-making of the journalists then of the editors and the interests of the owners.


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Subject Index: MILF, MOA-AD, GRP-MILF peace process