Pernia’s response to Tulfo’s column
I was surprised that Ramon Tulfo mentioned my name in his Oct. 17, 2017, column: “Some Inquirer editors part of destabilization effort?” as I had resigned from the Inquirer as of June 2016. (I was Readers’ Advocate of the Philippine Daily Inquirer from June 2012-June 2016.)
Guided by the PDI’s BlueBook “Manual of Editorial Policies,” written by former publisher Isagani Yambot, I was as thorough, research-based and professional as possible, in all situations regarding fairness and accuracy.
In the situation mentioned by Tulfo, I had simply reminded him about PDI’s policy regarding endorsements (April 22, 2016):
“Section VIII of the Manual of Editorial Policies of the PDI states: While columnists are
expected to advocate a certain point of view, they may not serve as propagandist for any
political party or candidate, business interest or any other entity.
“Columnists in the various sections of the PDI have been similarly reminded to avoid serving as or even sounding like propagandists, such that their columns have been edited or simply not published by their editors. Where the columnist writes about an individual, institution, or business interest for which s/he has a strong advocacy, her/his editor allows an unofficial two-column limit. In your case, Mr. Tulfo, you have exceeded this limit…”
Tulfo, thereupon, replied in an e-mail on April 24, 2016:
I admit I’ve exceeded my limit as a columnist.
Thank you for reminding me.
ELENA E. PERNIA, PhD, professor of communication, dean, College of Mass Communication,
University of the Philippines
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