Freeman Cebu Business

Crimes against journalists

INTEGRITY BEAT - Henry Schumacher - The Freeman

Again, impunity! Just days after the observance of the International Day to end Impunity for Crimes against journalists, the impunity was again manifested in the Philippines. A popular radio commentator died in a daring gun attack.

Let’s clearly understand that journalists are more than just storytellers! They are the defenders of truth. And the protection of media independence, freedom of expression and access to information are critical pillars for upholding democracy.

We must reflect on the challenges faced by journalists – in the anti-corruption sphere and beyond – and continue to fight back against the escalation of violence and repression against them.

We must take this time to remember brave investigative reporters who were killed for holding power to account and who lost their lives for exposing high-level corruption and financial crime.

This year’s theme of this year’s International Day to end Impunity for Crimes against journalists, focused on the role of a safe and free press in ensuring the integrity of elections and democratic systems. While journalists already face many challenges in their daily work, election periods bring extra risks – especially when reporting in authoritarian and oppressive regimes. In fact, between January 2019 and June 2022, attacks against journalists related to elections occurred in at least 70 countries around the world. And where the suppression of freedom of the press occurs, corruption will closely follow.

When citizens cannot access the media and independent journalism – especially during elections – democracy fails. And with violence against journalists on the rise all around the world, urgent action is needed. Strong partnerships between journalists and civil society organizations are crucial, and countries like the Philippines must uphold their obligation to protect independent press so that journalists can work openly and without fear of retaliation. It’s only when these rights are safeguarded that democracy stands a chance.

Talking about effective journalism, it’s hard to read any media without running into a new story about different kinds of corruption, collusion, and rule breaking.

The explosion in digital data, and a more-complex risk ecosystem are presenting serious cost, resource, and efficiency challenges for compliance. As businesses go global, many are confronted with complexities of international regulations and distinct cultures. As a result, new technologies are emerging to help consolidate compliance functionality.

To help realize a more transparent and fair business climate companies and tech innovators will need to work closely together to change their industries. They can do so by investing in new technologies that make corruption more visible and easier to address.

One of the best ways to avoid these sorts of controversial mistakes is by evaluating where other companies, brands, and organizations have gone wrong to develop measures to prevent your company from doing the same. In the past reviewing compliance and corruption blunders was more difficult but as we all know with the advance of digital media and research tools, understanding the complexities of existing cases has never been easier. And in this process, journalists are partners in highlighting what is going on in national and local governments, and in the private sector.

It seems clear that there is much work to do not only in taking corporate ethics and compliance to the next level and protecting journalists, but also in raising the moral consciousness of societies.

I look forward to your comments; please email at [email protected]

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