Distance did not become a hindrance for members of the NUJP (National Union of Journalists of the Philippines) North America chapter to soldier on and fight for press freedom on this side of the planet, the group now reaching its first-year anniversary milestone.
On June 30, 2022 (July 1 Philippine time), twelve journalists and media workers from the United States and Canada joined the formation of NUJP-North America, during an assembly held online. Their vow was not only to uncover truths from their own communities but to also share what is happening in the Philippines with the rest of the world. The country remains rife with peddlers of fake news and the chilling effect of red-tagging, libel charges, and the use of law as a weapon against media workers, which threaten the exposure of truth.
NUJP NAM quickly became a leader and ally for other established media groups in Canada and the U.S., making its presence felt through statements, collaboration with other media-oriented groups, forums, particularly on the Philippine media situation, and a selfie campaign highlighting the plight of media workers. It remained steadfast in its mission to fight for press freedom despite the challenges faced by its members, among them distance, differences in time zones, and occasionally poor internet connection.
For its members, the year was highlighted by learning and exposure to the realities of the working journalists in the Philippines. They gained more insight into the red-tagging of media and rights workers, the cultivation and spread of fake news, the different methods of clamping down on media entities, the weaponization of law in the Philippines against rights advocates, and the continued impunity that has driven the number of killed journalists to 197.
For the year ahead, NUJP NAM only sees a more vibrant organization that will not stop wielding its pens and lenses as weapons to shield the truth from lies. More work await such as the collection of data on the journalists’ situation in North America, a crucial endeavor in shedding light on the realities of working journalists in North America. With its rich history and undying thirst for truth, NUJP NAM is poised to carry on.
Our mailing address is:
National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (North America)
85 Garry St
Winnipeg, MB R3C 4J5