VERA Files partners with German Embassy and Global Media Registry for updates on PH media ownership

VERA Files is partnering with Germany-based Global Media Registry (GMR), with support from the German Embassy Manila, to update the Philippine Media Ownership Monitor (MOM-PH) database compiled in 2016.

MOM is an international effort spearheaded by non-profit media organizations to promote transparency and accountability in media ownership. The initiative seeks to advance media literacy among audiences through a publicly available and constantly updated database of media owners.

Seven years ago, VERA Files and Reporters Without Borders-Germany conducted a study on media ownership in the country which showed that the Philippine media continue to be owned by and depend on the economic and political elite, which limits media’s independence and affects the quality of information the public gets.

“This is a much-needed update. The Philippine media landscape has vastly changed in the past seven years, the most impactful of which was the shutdown of the country’s No. 1 television network, ABS-CBN in 2020,” Ellen Tordesillas, VERA Files president, said.

Olaf Steenfadt, chief executive officer of the GMR, added: “In times of increasing geopolitical rivalry, the media sector is becoming a battleground of influence and power, more than ever. Transparency in this field is not an end in itself, but a prerequisite for building and sustaining a healthy public information space.”

Alexander Schmidt, first secretary for political affairs of the German Embassy Manila, explained the support it is giving to MOM-PH: “Media freedom is a cornerstone of a flourishing democracy. We are happy to be able to fund the update of the Philippine Media Ownership Monitor, which enables the general public to gain a deeper understanding into the media landscape of the Philippines today.”

MOM-PH proceeds from the premise that the mass media influence the way the public make decisions on matters that affect their daily lives and the country. It is ,therefore, important that the public know who owns and controls the media.

The updating of MOM-PH is expected to be completed in December and will be published on the VERA Files and GMR websites. 

VERA Files is a nonprofit media organization founded by veteran journalists committed to advance excellence in journalism by engaging in research-intensive, high-impact reports in multiple formats, fact checking and providing training and mentorship to journalists.

The GMR is a non-profit social enterprise based in Germany that promotes transparency, accountability and diversity in the information space. It provides services, analysis and solutions for newsrooms, regulators and policy makers, and for all stakeholders that engage with the media industry. As one of its flagship programs, the GMR publishes the Media Ownership Monitor in more than 20 countries.