Squeezing Substance Into the 'Sensational and Superficial.'

Coronel, Sheila S.
March 2008
Nieman Reports;Spring2008, Vol. 62 Issue 1, p73
The article relates the efforts of some journalists to introduce investigative reporting to the Philippine media culture that put a premium on the sensational and superficial. They established the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) in 1989, which had a full-time staff of two. Some of the initial stories tackled by the PCIJ were the plight of banana plantation workers and logging practices. Their efforts to develop a database on Congress found that most congressmen were members of families that had been in public office for two or more generations, which raised questions about the status of representative democracy in the Philippines. According to the author, an investigation into the wealth of incumbent President Joseph Estrada was a scandal waiting to happen.


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