A Rocky Relationship: Duterte and the Media
OCTOBER 7 marked President Rodrigo Duterte’s first 100 days in office. Fresh from his landslide win in the May 9 elections, Duterte did not skip a beat and in his usual form fed the press daily with long rambling speeches, mostly off the cuff, letting his tongue loose on foreign affairs, international bodies, old allies and new friends, including journalists and the media. And the press press recorded it all — the expletives, tirades and all kinds of outlandish claims. He would break up with the US, he told Obama to go to hell, and more.
CMFR’s timeline of 100 days marks the confrontations, the statements, the clarifications, actions and issues which rocked the passage for both sides of the interaction. The timeline checks out the highlights or low points for the effect on the media.
No president owes the press a rose garden — if he makes it difficult to get the story right, that is the problem they must accept as part of the turf. But this should also make journalists more vigilant about how they cover Duterte. Clearly, the president’s approach to policy-making and his mind-set about the media suggest a bumpy and challenging ride ahead.