BMPM chief one of '100 Information Heroes'

Posted at 04/30/14 5:30 PM

MANILA - A Filipina journalist has made it to a global list of press freedom heroes.

Rowena Carranza-Paraan is among the Reporters Without Borders' (RWB) list of '100 Information Heroes' for World Press Freedom Day on May 3.

"This obviously non-exhaustive list pays homage not only to the 100 famous and less well known people on it, but also to all the professional and non-professional journalists who constantly help to shed light on the world and cover every aspect of its reality. This initiative aims to show that the fight for freedom of information requires not only active support for the victims of abuses but also the promotion of those who can serve as models," RWB says.

Her RWB profile describes Paraan as a journalist for 25 years. She was the former head of research at the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) and currently the chairwoman of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP).

Prior to being elected as chairwoman, Paraan handled for a long time the NUJP's Media Safety Office.

"This is a major issue in a country where 32 journalists were massacred in Ampatuan in Maguindanao province in November 2009, a scar on the national psyche which is unlikely to heal," the RWB profile says.

It adds that Paraan subsequently led a fact-finding mission to try to establish the circumstances of the massacre.

"She has constantly pressed the authorities for justice for the victims and their families and an end to impunity," RWB says.

Paraan is currently the head of Bayan Mo iPatrol Mo, ABS-CBN News' citizen journalism arm.

"More committed than ever to freedom of information, Paraan now runs Bayan Mo iPatrol Mo, a citizen journalism outlet that encourages Filipinos to get involved in disclosing instances of corruption and shortcomings of society that they are aware of," RWB says.

This is the first time that RWB published a profile of people deemed as information heroes, whose courageous work or activism help promote the freedom enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

"These 'information heroes' are a source of inspiration to all men and men who aspire freedom. Without their determination and the determination of all those like them, it would be simply impossible to extend the domain of freedom," RWB says.