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CyberPress Official Statement: Being Unfair to Journalism

I am not a member of CyberPress. However, I have friends and colleagues within this organization. But more importantly, I think it is ethically wrong to fire an editor because he was doing his job. I want you to read between the lines and realize that as a corollary, this is also why blogging is tough. With publications, there is a “Church and State” demarkation between editorial and sales. For blogs, it is one and the same person, unless you have an ad network sell for you.

Anyway, read on.

The IT Journalists Association of the Philippines (CyberPress) denounces in the strongest terms, what the group sees as an unfair and arbitrary treatment of two CyberPress members who were penalized for doing their work — reporting IT industry news.

Last March 1, 2010, CyberPress members had reported the resignation of a country manager of a multinational IT company – a development actually confirmed by the company. The report also stated that the executive had thrice been bypassed for promotion to the top post, an issue denied by the company.

The company objected vehemently that the report was “wrong,” though it announced the official’s resignation later on. We believe that the report, in its totality, is true and correct.

We believe that the proper course of action that the IT company and/or the PR agency could have taken, was to raise the concern/issue directly with the publications’ section editor responsible for the page and/or the reporter who wrote the story. They failed to do so on both accounts. The veteran IT journalists involved have always kept an open line of communication to both IT company and PR agency but were never approached.

However, what the IT company chose to do and allegedly upon the persistent counsel of its PR agency, is highly anomalous if not downright dubious. In other words, a breakdown in basic business ethics and public relations practice.

In the eyes of CyberPress, the manner of how this ‘issue’ was handled is categorically unacceptable.

We believe that our members, if they did violate any protocol in the pursuit of their story, due process should have been followed. They deserve to be treated like any professional with respect and fairness.

Information Technology Journalists Association of the Philippines (CyberPress)