The massacre of journalists in The Philippines remembered through newspapers in a collaboration between The National Union of Journalists and BBDO Guerrero Manila

BBDO Guerrero NUJP.jpgFive years since 32 journalists were ambushed in the Philippines, 84 suspects remain at large, four witnesses have been murdered, and zero convictions have been made. The media continues to be banned from covering the trial.

With a public resigned to inaction on the case, The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines collaborated with BBDO Guerrero to remind them why they should be outraged. On November 23, 2009 - five years to the day of the Ampatuan Massacre - the NUJP held a one-day installation that recreated the initial front-page coverage in newspaper.
Artist Leeroy New helped visualize crime scene. "Our use of newspapers to reenact the crime scene is in fact a direct reference to how the issue is slowly disappearing. And how the material - the newspaper as a material - is a very transient material. And it's also a direct reference to the victims - the journalists who were killed."

Mike Dobbie, expedition lead for the 600,000-strong International Federation of Journalists, had visited the massacre site in Maguindanao days before and was struck by the symbolism. "The installation is so reminiscent of the photographs that we saw of the bodies being exhumed from the massacre site. And it really does tear at the heart when you see these images made from newspaper print - the very medium that the journalists worked on."

"Recent events have brought home just how serious this issue has become," added David Guerrero, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of BBDO Guerrero Philippines. "And for the NUJP the need to defend press freedom from violent attacks on journalists has never been more urgent. We are proud to be able to help them in any way we can."

Held at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Quezon City, the installation was viewed by members of the local and foreign press, representatives of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines and the International Federation of Journalists, and family members of the massacre victims. Family and friends of journalists killed in the massacre were also among the attendees.

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