Stop Cyberbullying the Reporters Involved in PNA’s Faulty Headlines

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Remember Philippine News Agency reporter “Juzel”? The person who became viral because of editor’s notes left on her article’s headline? Of course you do. You may have even encountered her co-reporters “Lei,” “Aerol,” and “Primo,” who were also involved in the blunder.

While the awkward incident brought a lot of laughs among netizens, PCOO head Martin Andanar isn’t having it as he claimed that PNA is being sabotaged. In a press briefing, he said they’re investigating the “cyberattacks” on the government-owned news website. “On Friday, we saw that there was another IP address that was trying to enter the old dashboard. There’s an old website, right? The IP address was trying to get into the old dashboard,” Andanar said. “Back in April, that was the time when the new website was activated. So that was 4 months ago. Now, why are you trying to open the old one? So there is a bad intention here.”

On the other hand, it’s also important to note that the reporters, despite having relatively anonymous identities, may have experienced some form of cyberbullying. “Lei,” for example, was assumed to be fired by the PNA when her headline became viral. Someone even made a #PrayForLei hashtag and a Twitter account dedicated to her.

Screengrab by Inquirer.net

In a now-deleted Facebook status, “Lei” explained that she was also confused as to why the article had surfaced. Most especially since “the story was rejected” and “should not have been posted at all.” She added that those notes should only be between the editor and the reporter. Preen.ph reached out to “Lei” but she declined to comment further on the matter.

Based on these claims, the possibility of a hacker or a glitch in the site might not be far off. Andanar, along with PNA head Usec. Joel Egco, also emphasized that they’re doing their best to find the root of the problem since this isn’t the first error they experienced this year. We hope they do because we know the hard work and pressure that comes with keeping a news website, especially one that’s run by the state.

As for the viral posts, we understand that it’s funny for many and people could relate to the editor’s notes in a humorous way. But we need to remember that there are actual people behind those names. They shouldn’t be ridiculed excessively for an alleged website glitch that they had no control over.

At the end of the day, we hope PNA and the reporters can pick themselves up from this error. Don’t stop working to deliver the truth on your platform.

 

Art by Lara Intong

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