Sunday, September 17, 2006

About JacNet

Journalists Against Corruption Network (JacNet)

The Cagayan de Oro Press Club (COPC) board unanimously created Jacnet and approved its organizational structure by way of Resolution No. 014-04 on May 18, 2004.
JACnet Vision:
Professional Journalists – Making a Difference!

Mission: To create an independent and supportive outlet for independent investigative journalism in Mindanao.

Jacnet is committed to:
The principle of freedom of expression; The right of the public to be informed;
Exposing and condemning corruption in public life and in our profession;
Honesty, fairness and independence in reporting and respect for the rights of others;
The highest professional standards of journalism and the dignity of the profession, and
Providing professional support to active members of he network through advice, grants, access to facilities, training and the education

Jacnet aims to:
Provide a place where investigative stories can be published; Expand public access to quality journalism on matters of public interest; Encourage and support journalists to pursue investigative journalism, particularly on corruption, under the auspices of Jacnet; Establish a website to extend training and provide a means of communication between journalists in Mindanao as well as the national and international media community; Establish links with other press organizations.

JACnet is tasked by the COPC Board to:
Promote investigative journalism
Produce investigative reports for newspapers, radio and television stations
Construct and maintain a website for purposes of promoting and posting investigative stories

The structure and membership
Good governance principles were used as a guide in all the considerations that led to the formation, structure and rules for JACnet. The key considerations in constructing the Editorial Board were to ensure an editorially mature and legally aware Board to guide JACnet; ensure quality stories are produced without putting the COPC at unreasonable risk of legal action, and at the same time, to ensure that JACnet is editorially free from any editorial or other inappropriate pressures from the COPC Board or from outside.

There is a separation of powers between the COPC Board of Directors and the Jacnet Editorial Board. Legal guidelines and protocols are in the process of being drafted by the Project lawyers to minimize the possible legal risks top the COPC as well as the Editorial Board and the contributing journalists.
Financial Position

For the duration of the project, 75% of the four P7, 000 grants was shouldered by the Project and 25% was shouldered by the COPC.
In the future, the COPC Board of Directors will automatically set aside a budget for Jacnet at the start of their office, even if the new Jacnet Editorial Board members have not been elected yet.

The Editorial Board will also administer the budget to take care of the Website.
Income generating activities will be pursued by COPC to sustain the grants for investigating stories. This will be done through the Business and Marketing Plan.
Jacnet is governed by a seven-member Editorial Board.

Roles and Responsibilities of the Editorial Board
The roles of the Editorial Board have yet been defined and documented with the assistance of the legal advisors. This was deemed necessary in the light of the Jacnet commitment to fund and encourage publication of investigative stories, especially against corruption, on their own website.
The Editorial Board members take an oath of commitment to uphold the COPC Code of Ethics.
The Editorial Board reviews and approves story proposals based on the set criteria (see below). The Editorial Board meets as the need arises – regular meetings, review and approval of story proposals, monitoring the progress of an investigative story, and review and approval of stories for publishing.
The Editorial Board members are bound by oath to keep any information gained from the investigative stories confidential until Jacnet finally approves the stories for release. The members take their oath of commitment before the COPC Board of Directors.
The Editorial Board appoints the members of the Online Management Team for the Jacnet website.
The Editorial Board is accountable to the COPC General Assembly.
Its members are appointed by the COPC Board of Directors each year, three months after the COPC' elections.

An Editorial Board has been appointed based on the following criteria:
Four senior journalists – three to represent each of the print, radio and television media, one to be a senior journalist either from print, radio and television;
Two COPC Directors to be the COPC Board's representatives in the Jacnet Editorial Board;
A lawyer who may or may not be a COPC member, and
The COPC President may sit in the Jacnet Editorial Board but shall have no voting powers
Criteria for Membership

PRINT JOURNALIST – Regular journalist of a newspaper, whether employed or not, as long as he/she is a regular columnist/ contributor; at least five (5) years experience in print media; must be a member of the COPC.
RADIO JOURNALIST –Regular radio broadcaster, whether news editor, reporter or commentator; with at least five (5) years experience in broadcast media; must be a member of the COPC.
TV JOURNALIST –Regular TV broadcaster, whether news editor, reporter or newscaster; with at least five (5) years experience in broadcast media; must be a member of the COPC.
TWO (2) REPRESENTATIVES OF THE COPC BOARD OF DIRECTORS –Appointed by the COPC President or the Board of Directors.
LAWYER –Must have an understanding and knowledge of media and journalism and its dynamics; does not necessarily have an experience in media practice; may or may not be a COPC member.
JOURNALIST –May be from the print, radio or TV industry; with at least five (5) years experience in broadcast media; must be a member of the COPC.
COPC PRESIDENT –Must be the elected incumbent President. The Press Club President is an immediate member of the Editorial Board. The President is an ex-officio and will not exercise any voting powers in the Editorial Board.

Voting Arrangement
The presiding officer will not vote unless there is a deadlock. A simple majority will be followed.
The members of the Editorial Board are compelled to attend all meetings called to approve story proposals, award grants and approve stories for publishing. If one member is absent, there is no quorum. In other meetings, the attendance of the simple majority will be a quorum. In any case that a member is incapacitated or disabled, the COPC Board of Directors will appoint another member in their place.
The COPC By-laws will be applied in relation to absences and sanctions. If a member incurs three consecutive absences, it is a reason for dismissal from position, regardless of any reason. An excuse letter will be honored during the first or second time that a member is absent from the meetings. But a third consecutive absence is not excusable. The COPC Board of Directors will appoint another member in their place. In any case that a member is absent from a meeting, the agenda will be taken up again in the next meeting when there is complete attendance to keep all members updated.


Format of Story Plan (This follows the suggested approach in the COPC Training Manual, Investigative Reporting Against Corruption)
1) Problem
2) Hypothesis/ Hunch – tentative answer why the problem exists; guess wok; assumptions.
3) People Trail – list of people who will be interviewed, possible sources
4) Paper Trail – necessary supporting documents
5) Time Frame – timetable in getting the story, writing and rewriting
6) Budget – breakdown of expenses

Story Proposals and Criteria for Approval
Proponents must pass a formal, written story proposal following the format of the story plan. The story proponents can be non-COPC members. Proposals may be submitted by individuals or by teams. In cases of a proposal submitted by a team, only one representative from the team will sign in the contract with COPC. It is up to them to make internal arrangements in relation to the division of labor and money.
Upon arrival of the proposal, the proponent will sign a contract detailing the warranty and penalty clauses with the COPC, as well as acknowledge a code of conduct.
Releases of Story Grants
An amount of PhP 7,000 will be granted to journalists whose story proposals have been approved. The grants will be released in tranches.
First tranche (PhP 3,500.00) – Submission and approval of story proposal; Timetable specifying the progress report that has to be made periodically to the Editorial Board; Signing of contract between proponent and COPC;
Second tranche (PhP 3,500.00) – People and paper trail will have been established; The story has taken on a substantial form. The Editorial Board can ask for more evidences if they are not satisfied with the story at this point. Released upon the final arrival of the story; Story is ready for publishing.

Journalists can carry the name of Jacnet in gathering information for the story. They will be provided with IDs signed by the Chair of the Editorial Board. Any information gathered in the process of writing the investigative story is considered as property of Jacnet and should not be released anywhere else. Journalists should make sure that information will not leak and prevent other journalists from 'stealing' the story. The story can be released in other media outlets after it is finished and approved by Jacnet. Due credits should be given to Jacnet.
Story topics are not limited to financial corruption (that is, regarding money matters) but may also be development and/or aimed towards achieving good governance.

Criteria for Approving Story Proposals
Must follow the format of the story plan
Must show realistic approach to investigative research
Must contribute towards good governance
Must be written in line with the COPC Code of Ethics
Must meet the legal guidelines
Must have Relevance/ Timeliness
Must raise public interest

The final copy to be submitted to the Editorial Board should be a minimum of 1,500 words/ or a minimum of 20-minute production and the story script for radio broadcast/ or a minimum 15-minute production and story script for TV.
An assessment kit was developed to ensure transparent and fair procedures to award the grants.
Nine applicants were considered, but it was apparent that most of the applicants either did not understand the rigorous nature of the assessment of the stories, or assumed that their reputations would carry the applications. As a result, only two applicants achieved in excess of the minimum 60% assessment mark to qualify to receive an award.
These were Allan Mediante, a veteran journalist of Gold Star Daily and an author of the journalism modules of the training course, and a young TV journalist Maricel Casiño of COCTV. The managers of both these outlets are supportive of their journalists doing this work. This is especially important for the TV journalist, given the technical and resource requirements or an effective TV story.

The Jacnet Editorial Board is inviting a second round of applications, including inviting previous applicants to improve the quality of their applications.
MC Media & Associates has set aside the budget, from PAGF funding, to support this second round of applications.

The Jacnet Website
The web design is complete. It is already an interesting and content-rich site, with potential to expand even more. Mr. Ben Balce and Mr. Mike Baños were the one developed the web (and are now the Jacnet's administrators). They both were open to suggestion and at the same time maintained the design and structural integrity of the site.
Jacnet extended an invitation to Sangga Kagayanon to host the SG website on the Jacnet website until they are able to go 'independent'. The invitation has been accepted. The project funded the additional costs for developing the site and for the additional domain name . This was done to preserve the independence of the organization's identity.

Who's Watching Whom? Proceedings
The Civil Society Proceedings have been published as a book, and also made available for the Jacnet website. This includes 12 speeches and the full transcript of the morning and afternoon session discussions.

A graphic designer was commissioned for the lay-out of the book and also to re-do the poster of the Code of Ethics, and pocket Code of Ethics.
The speakers gave releases to use their speeches in the publications. 500 copies (as opposed to the original 150 in the design) were printed. This was largely because the book proved to be of sufficient quality to be used at XUCA Complex as a text or resource for its students, a useful resource for Sangga Kagayanon in its media campaign at elite levels, and was made a feature of the Project Launch, leaving about 150 to 200 copies for the COPC to use as part of its own advocacy and training activities.

HOME (Jacnet)


Blogger Mon Villarin said...

The Polite Society Process have been released like a guide, and in addition made available to the pcso results website. This includes twelve speeches along with the total copy of the early morning and morning treatment chats.

4:16 AM  

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