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Nov 10, 2016
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The Senate committee on public information and mass media on Wednesday has passed a measure seeking to expand an existing law that protects the identities of print journalists’ sources.

Senator Vicente 'Tito' Sotto III, whose late grandfather senator Vicente Sotto authored the law he's expanding, explained they were now extending the protection to radio, online and broadcast journalists, Inquirer reports.

“So this time, we’re covering the entire spectrum of news and journalism,” he said.

“We will just be very careful in the issue of social media, dapat legitimate social media practitioners and to be considered legitimate, you must be a registered company,” he added.

Sotto was also very specific about considering bloggers under the measure amid the rampant spreading of so-called fake news by questionable social media practitioners.

“But if you’re simply nagba-blog ka lang, tapos naninira ka ng kapwa o nag-iimbento ka, you’re not covered,” he said.

“You probably are covered by the Freedom of Expression but that’s about it. If government asks you who your source is, you have to reveal your source,” he added.

Republic Act 53 or the “An Act to Exempt the Publisher, Editor or Reporter of Any Publication from Revealing the Source of Published News or Information Obtained in Confidence” was enacted into law way back in 1946, a time when television sets were not yet widely available to the public.

 

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