We at the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines are closely monitoring and covering the COVID-19 outbreak as well as the government’s response to contain the spread of the virus.
In order to keep our coverage in harmony with the community quarantine and other containment steps announced by the government, we, working journalists at FOCAP, would like to clarify some concerns that are crucial in performing our job properly.
We’ll appreciate an official and clear government response in the interest of the public, the government and the media in this time of crisis.
1) Are journalists allowed to move in and out of Metro Manila for news coverage during the quarantine period from March 15 to April 14?
2) Are journalists allowed to cover in Metro Manila during the curfew hours from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.?
3) What identification cards or authorization letters will the police require to prove media workers’ affiliation?
The International Press Center, for instance, has yet to issue new IDs, while some drivers and news stringers who assist us in covering big stories do not possess press cards.
4) Can news agencies and reporters use their private cars during the coverage?
5) Is there a designated authority or spokespersons for quick media coverage-related queries?
With the COVID-19 becoming a global pandemic, the journalists’ mandate of providing the public with accurate and timely information has become even more important. Having precise, written coverage guidelines will allow journalists to produce reports with accuracy and clarity at a time of confusion.
From the FOCAP Board