The professional membership of the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand is disturbed to learn of a social media campaign of vilification against two journalists working for the Reuters news agency in the Philippines. Photographs of Karen Lema and Manny Mogato have been circulated on Facebook, calling for them to be punished for their reporting of comments by President Duterte last week, in which he compared his campaign against drug addicts to Hitler's holocaust against Jews. President Duterte has since apologised for the remarks. However the two journalists have been accused of lying in their reporting in dozens on online comments, some of which carry threats of violence against them.
Journalists should be allowed to do their jobs without being subjected to hate campaigns and incitements to attack them, on social media or anywhere else. All journalists expect their work to be criticised, sometimes in very strong terms, but there is a clear line between challenging their reporting and attacking the journalists themselves. The professional membership of the FCCT urges the government of the Philippines to discourage its supporters from targeting journalists in this way, and to ensure all media workers are protected from physical attack.
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