CyberPress Official Statement concerning HP Phils. and Stratworks
The IT Journalists Association of the Philippines (CyberPress) denounces in the strongest terms, what the group sees as an unfair and arbitrary treatment of CyberPress members Melvin Calimag and Red Samar* who were penalized for doing their work -- reporting IT industry news.
Calimag was a long-time IT correspondent of the InfoTech section of the Manila Bulletin and was told to stop writing for the paper. Samar, on the other hand, was the editor of the same section and was stripped of his editorial responsibilities.
On March 1, 2010, Calimag reported the resignation of a country manager of HP Philippines – a development actually confirmed by the company. The report also stated that the executive, Bernadette Nacario, had thrice been bypassed for promotion to the top post, an issue denied by the company.
HP Philippines vehemently branded the report as “wrong,” though it announced Nacario’s resignation later on. We believe, however, that the report, in its totality, is true and correct.
We believe that the proper course of action that HP and/or its PR agency, Stratworks, could have taken was to raise the concern/issue directly with the publication’s section editor responsible for the page and/or the reporter who wrote the story.
Instead, HP Philippines, allegedly upon the persistent counsel of StratWorks, HP’s PR agency, ignored this course of action and chose to address the issue in a dubious manner. In other words, there was a breakdown in basic business ethics and public relations practice.
In the eyes of the CyberPress, the manner of how this “issue” was handled is categorically unacceptable. The IT journalists involved have always kept an open line of communication to both IT company and PR agency but were never approached.
We believe that our members, if they did violate any protocol in the pursuit of their story, due process should have been followed. They deserve to be treated like any professional with respect and fairness.
Information Technology Journalists Association of the Philippines (CyberPress) March 12, 2010
*Samar, co-founder of CyberPress, retired from the organization on March 15, 2010.