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Practice regional sensitivity

05:01 AM December 26, 2017

This is in reference to the front-page story “Davao boys lead drug kills in QC” (12/21/17) by Claire Baldwin and Andrew R.C. Marshall.

In the first paragraph, the “language” mentioned was “Visayan.” If you consider the headline and the text, the report is actually referring to the language which is Cebuano—spoken in Southern Mindanao where Davao is located.

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Of course, the matter of killings is an important matter you should continue to cover.

However, we hope that the Inquirer, being a national newspaper, should observe more regional sensitivity and veer away from a “Manila-centric” perspective that national media tend to have. There are actually three major Visayan languages: Cebuano, Hiligaynon (or Ilonggo) and Waray. Please be more accurate or specific when reporting these matters.

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This is just the same with what media (and media practitioners) do when referring to “Mindanao” as one whole area, e.g., “binomba ang Mindanao,” “barilan sa Mindanao,” etc. Mindanao is just too big. Why is there no reference to “Luzon”?

Reporters should at least refer to an area there as being
either in western (Region 9—Zamboanga Peninsula), northern (Region 10), southern (Region 11—Davao), south-central (Region 12—Socksargen) and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

JOSEPH ANTHONY ANG, [email protected]

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