Foreign vs. U.S. Media – Philippines

By: Eliza Cana

The infamous Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte has created frequent media buzz and criticism in the last four months. His unconventional personality and behavior has made him a trending topic, not only in the Philippines but worldwide. In his presidency since June, he is best known for killing thousands of people in his campaign to diminish crime, especially drug abuse. His campaign created a spotlight on the Philippine drug war. In his campaign, he intended to target drug users and sellers but his order to kill also caused some collateral damage, killing innocent people including children.

This war on drugs in the Philippines and Duterte’s presidency is covered in many media outlets. I am comparing the reporting made by The New York Times and The Guardian in their online outlets. Each multimedia outlet is privately owned. The Guardian is a British national daily newspaper that covers news on a global scale. The New York Times is an American daily newspaper that also covers news globally.

Starting with The Guardian’s article published Aug. 23, 2016, “The Guardian view on the Philippine war on drugs: street justice is no justice Editorial,” I immediately notice they are opposed to Duterte’s presidency.


This editorial disapproves Duterte’s personality and actions by describing his reputation as “well-earned for wild and often foul-mouthed statements.” They list all the unconventional things he has said and done and write it in a bad light. Although this article is an opinion piece, they use facts, quotes and existing stories about Duterte. When they do add their opinion in this piece, they suggest that no one should die like this. “Extrajudicial executions undermine the rule of law. They make a country less safe, not more.”

The New York Times reports on the killings in the drug war in a longer article. In their Aug. 22, 2016 article “Nearly 1,800 Killed in Duterte’s Drug War, Philippine Police Official Tells Senators,” they report using more numbers. They include the number of suspects killed in police operations, people killed by vigilantes, drug-related arrests and suspects who voluntarily surrendered to the police. screen-shot-2016-10-22-at-11-11-44-pm

Although this article is more objective and does not intend to be opinionated, still their reporting reveals the horror and tragedy the president is inciting on his country rather than it being anything else. They use a quote by Senator Leila de Lima that reads “I strongly believe extrajudicial or extralegal killings, whether perpetrated by the state of by nonstate actors, must stop.” This quote is similar to how The Guardian feels about the war on drugs as well. They both oppose.

Both outlets report this story in almost the same journalistic fashion as the other. Although one is not an opinion piece, you could tell by the reporting that they both view this issue negatively. Other than one being an opinion piece, they both use sources in their stories to portray the horrible leadership that is taking place in the Philippines pertaining to the drug war. The Guardian is privately owned with little government restrictions just like most U.S. media. Both outlets report using facts and multiple quotes.



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