Public urged not to attack journalists covering 2022 candidates

March 25, 2022 - 4:21 PM
(Stock photo by Mike Ramírez from Pixabay)

A photojournalist called on the public to refrain from attacking reporters who have been assigned to cover 2022 electoral bets that they do not prefer.

Photojournalist Ezra Acayan made this call after broadcast journalist Karen Davila was spotted joining a motorcade vehicle of a presidential aspirant on Tuesday.

“Pakiusap. Please don’t attack journalists just because they’ve been assigned to cover candidates you don’t like,” Acayan tweeted on Thursday.

He accompanied his post with press identification cards accredited by the campaign team of two different presidential bets, former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Vice President Leni Robredo.

“We’ve already had to endure being brutally antagonized and discredited by this government and its trolls for the past six years, the last thing we need is to be canceled for simply doing our jobs,” Acayan said in another tweet.

“Unlike vloggers, our job is to show the truth, gather facts and scrutinize. It’s not our job to please your biases when the truth shows otherwise,” he added.

“Our job is to make sure you can’t say ‘I didn’t know,'” Acayan further said.

His post garnered 17,100 likes, over 2,200 retweets and 85 quote tweets so far.

Prior to that, online users left comments about Davila joining Marcos’ campaign.

Davila covering Marcos campaign 

Last March 22, Marcos visited Cavite and attended a campaign rally in the second most vote-rich province in the country.

Davila, who was assigned to shoot his campaign, shared a picture of her inside the campaign vehicle with the presidential bet in the background.

“ABS-CBN’s Kampanya Serye On The Road (and) Presidential (Interviews) shoots today. I have been assigned to trail Presidential Aspirants Bongbong Marcos (and) Sen. Manny Pacquiao,” she tweeted.

“Henry Omaga Diaz is covering VP Leni Robredo (and) my co-anchors have been assigned to other candidates,” Davila added.

Davila also uploaded her photo while interviewing Pacquiao and said that it is “proof” that she is also covering the senator.

Eto po ang resibo, sana huwag magkalat ng fake news. Finished my one-on-one (with) Sen. Manny Pacquiao a few nights ago, will still be joining him on a sortie soon. Today, I am with former Sen. Bongbong Marcos for the day. Watch out for the ABS-CBN SPECIALS #Halalan2022 soon!” she said. 

In a separate tweet, Davila said that she covered two candidates as they “weren’t sure” if Marcos would grant their request for an interview.

Meanwhile, other photos of Davila at Marcos’ campaign were shared by some online users and Facebook pages.

Some perceived that Davila’s presence on Marcos’ caravan is an indication that she is supporting the presidential hopeful.

“Karen Davila… hmmmft??? Lipat ka na po BBM ma’am?? Well! Very welcome ka po,” a Marcos supporter wrote in response to Davila’s pictures inside the vehicle.

“Vlog pa nga Ms. Karen, enjoy mo lang (diyan) kung bored (ka) sa kabila,” another of his supporters said after seeing a picture of the journalist with her smartphone.

Others expressed their dismay over Davila’s appearance on the caravan.

“Karen Davila loves ABS-CBN but Karen loves BBM AND DUTERTE? I’m not joke and not serious but big shock,” a Twitter user said.

Some supporters of Marcos were suspicious of Davila’s presence on the campaign trail.

“What the heck is Karen Davila doing inside the UniTeam campaign in Cavite? Joining the caravan? Joining BBM onstage?Let’s not forget that she has been an out-and-out dilawan. I don’t trust her close presence with BBM,” a Twitter user claimed.

“Nag i-spy ‘yan kay BBM,” another Filipino claimed.

Davila on Wednesday reiterated that she was assigned to cover two presidential candidates for her network’s “Kampanya Serye Series.”

“I am assigned to cover BBM & Sen Manny Pacquiao. We have upclose + one on one interview assignments with the candidates,” she said on Facebook.

“Please note: I am not endorsing and cannot endorse any candidate. Please huwag magpapaniwala sa mga FAKE NEWS. Please help share the truth. Trabaho lang po tayo. #Halalan2022,” Davila added.

During elections, newsrooms normally assign reporters to cover and follow a certain candidate’s campaign trail.

Each reporter is assigned to keep track of the candidate’s activities and any issues involving them in the campaign season.

The strategy also widens the newsroom’s overall coverage of the elections since each candidate is ideally covered for fairness.