CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines — In time for the 36th commemoration of the Press Freedom Week, the biggest media group in Northern Mindanao has reminded journalists to be truthful and fair in their reports to counter the proliferation of fake news in the country.

Rufino Magbanua, president of the Cagayan de Oro Press Club (COPC), has urged media persons to adhere to truth-telling and observe ethical standards in reporting to avoid misinforming the public.

The COPC is celebrating the Press Freedom Week, which kicked off with a Holy Mass and motorcade on Monday, with this year’s theme ” #EmbraceResponsibleJournalism”.

“We are sending as strong message to all journalists that they have the responsibility to be factual, balanced and truthful in their report in the face of false information being circulated on social media,” Magbanua said.

He said reporters must adhere to ethical reporting now more than ever so that the people will not be deceived by a slew of fake information being posted and shared online.

Magbanua emphasized that the COPC has its own code of ethics which acts as guideline for local media practitioners.

“Accuracy: We shall be guided at all times by accuracy, fairness, independence and balance, and should not deliberately mislead or misinform the public. We shall aim to disclose all known, relevant facts,”read a part of the club’s code of ethics.

The code also includes COPC’s guiding principles on the following: comment and fact, advocacy, honesty, personal interest and influence, attribution, ratification and the right of reply, privacy, discrimination, and sensitivity.

On May 22, Tuesday, a whole-day medical outreach program sponsored by Bukidnon 1st district Rep. Malou Acosta-Alba will be held at the COPC, while the annual sports festival will formally open on the same day.

A forum on social media will be conducted on May 23, Wednesday. The club will also be involved in a tree-planting project on May 25, Friday.

The week-long commemoration will close with a culmination night on May 26, Saturday. There will also be fellowship dinners in between.

The COPC, with more than a hundred members coming from the city’s quad-media practitioners, is considered as the oldest press club in the Philippines having been established on Nov. 11, 1951. It is now on its 67th year. (

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