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Philippine media environment is likely to worsen

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Subject

The relationship between the president and the media.

Significance

In his July 24 State of the Nation Address, President Rodrigo Duterte again criticised the media for ‘unfair’ coverage. This time, he asserted that the Rappler media outlet was US-owned, an accusation that Rappler denies. Separately, the Inquirer media group said on July 17 that it is in talks to sell a majority stake to San Miguel’s Ramon Ang, a Duterte ally. Duterte has often also accused the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper and ABS-CBN television of unfair reporting. He has also threatened not to renew ABS-CBN’s 25-year operating license when this comes due in 2020.

Impacts

  • Traditional Philippine media face increasing competition from online and social-media-based news.
  • Social media will become progressively more important in Philippine political campaigns.
  • Journalists’ security in the Philippines is unlikely to improve much during Duterte’s administration.
  • Government non-renewal-of-license threats could spread, likely undermining media firms’ share prices.
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