Inquirer says sorry for "Security Risk?" caption; Media groups emphasize photographer was not at fault

InterAksyon.com reports: "The Philippine Daily Inquirer apologized Friday for running the caption head ’Security Risk?’ that accompanied a photograph in its May 9 edition of a woman clad in a burqa shaking hands with President Benigno Aquino III."

InterAksyon.com reports: "The Philippine Daily Inquirer apologized Friday for running the caption head ’Security Risk?’ that accompanied a photograph in its May 9 edition of a woman clad in a burqa shaking hands with President Benigno Aquino III." This was after netizens, the Philippine Center for Photojournalism (PCP), and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) pointed out that the caption was "uncalled for, insensitive and even libelous"(PCP’s words) and "blatantly bigoted" (NUJP’s description). (Read: "Photo of P-Noy shaking burka-clad woman’s hand on Inquirer’s front page appears with caption lead-in: ’Security risk?’")

 

The Inquirer printed the statements of the PCP and NUJP, then ran a short letter from the editors, which reads:


So very sorry

We say so sorry to those who have taken offense over the caption head ("Security Risk?") for the photo of President Benigno Aquino III shaking the hand of a Muslim woman garbed in a burqa, which appeared on Page 1 of the May 9 issue of the Inquirer.

We are especially sorry to have hurt the feelings of our Muslim brothers and sisters.

 

According to the report, the NUJP said the Inquirer also had to apologize to its own staff photographer. The report quoted Inquirer chief of photographers Ernie Sarmiento, who said, "The readers’ impression usually is that it is the photographer who writes the final caption that is printed in the papers." The report noted that Sarmiento had posted the original caption submitted by the photographer:


PRES. B. AQUINO-OATHTAKING CEREMONIES-PALACE/MAY 08, 2012 President Benigno S. Aquino greets a lady in full traditional Muslim dress during the oathtaking of Officers-in-Charge in the ARMM Regional Legislative Assembly held in Malacanang Palace. The unidentified woman is a relative of one of the officers.

 

For more on this story, log on to InterAksyon.com.

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