Two Philippine online news outfits suffering harassment from various fronts close to the Rodrigo Duterte government have been “long-listed” in this year’s One World Media Awards
Bulatlat and Rappler are two of 10 media outfits in the world listed as possible winners of the special award category in recognition of their independent journalistic outputs.
Along with other critical media outfits in the Philippines, Bulatlat and Rappler are victims of attacks and charges they said are because of critical reports they published on the Duterte government’s so-called drug war.
Bulatlat and other alternative media groups have been the subject of sustained and malicious distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks since December last year.
It has filed a civil complaint against two companies that Sweden-based digital rights group Quirium identified as behind the DDoS attacks.
Rappler on the other hand is facing numerous civil and criminal charges in local courts while its chief executive officer Maria Ressa had been forced to spend a night in jail for being arrested after office hours.
United Kingdom-based One World Media (OWM) is an international group that provides support to independent journalism and recognizes the best global media coverage of developing countries.
It is partners with BBC, Al Jazeera, British Red Cross, the British Council, Save the Children, Sky News, among others.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) congratulated both Bulatlat and Rappler for “being long-listed in the One World Media Awards, which recognize the best media coverage of the developing world, reflecting the social, political and cultural life of people around the globe.”
“The inclusion of the two news outfits is an affirmation of the quality and value of the work they do and a testament to the fierce independence and courage of Filipino journalists in both the mainstream and alternative media who refuse to buckle under the continued assaults by the enemies of press freedom,” the NUJP in a statement said.
The media group added it takes particular pride in Bulatlat, “which houses an NUJP chapter and from where many of the leading journalists in the country today, both in the mainstream and alternative media, come from.” # (Raymund B. Villanueva)