By FMA MANILA, Philippines, 27 November 2004
In line with its goal of helping empower communities through information and communications and advancing the agenda for Communication Rights, the Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA) has joined some of the most active NGO stakeholders in Philippine mass media to launch a campaign for reforms in governance within and through media and communications.
"Media and Governance: Engaging Media in Governance Reforms" is a national campaign which aims to bring together media practitioners and civil society organisations at the local and national levels, and to share ideas on their roles in contributing to governance reforms. It also aims to provide a venue for the media to reflect on their roles in governance (including media governance) within a media-saturated "Philippine information society", and seeks new ways for media stakeholders to contribute to a healthy public discourse on governance reform.
A core initiative within the campaign is a series of regional consultation workshops in the island regions of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, culminating in a National Multisectoral Forum on "Media and Governance: Engaging Media in Governance Reforms" on 9 December 2004. FMA seeks to mainstream the framework of "Communication Rights" within the media/governance discourse, and will be a presentor in the regional and national forums on the theme of "Communication Rights and Governance in the Philippines".
Joining FMA in the Media and Governance Civil Society Working Group are the major media-related NGOs in the country: Center for Community Journalism and Development (lead convenor); Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ); Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC); National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), OFW Journalism Consortium, Womens’ Feature Service (WFS), Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP), and the Philippine Press Institute (PPI).
This initiative is a component of the broader national campaign dubbed "Tapat-Palakad, Bayang Maunlad" (Good Governance for a Progressive Nation) — a multisectoral campaign-festival on governance reform in the Philippines, sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Philippine Government, and a broad range of CSOs. Its overall theme is "Engaging People and Communities: Advancing Governance Reform towards the Realization of the Millenium Development Goals". The campaign started on 10 October and will culminate in International Human Rights Day, 10 December.
(Contributed by Cheryl Ingles/FMA)