FAPCNY Statements

A Pooled Editorial: We call for Net Neutrality protection

by the Fil-Am Press Club of New York
December 21, 2017

 

We, the Fil-Am Press Club of New York, oppose the recent repeal of Net Neutrality regulations by the Federal Communications Commission.

Net Neutrality allows for a truly dynamic and equal access and sharing of information in the Internet, whether it is created by big or small websites, regardless of political, racial, or economic backgrounds. We have to maintain Net Neutrality. It is press freedom and democracy at its best.

The accessibility of the Internet is one of the biggest achievements in digital technology whereby small- and medium-sized websites operated by artists, bloggers, media and community organizations, and entrepreneurs have the equal chance to thrive vis-à-vis the existing giant business corporations.

We cannot support this move by the FCC which allows big corporatist interests of regulating traffic or exacting fees, over those of ordinary citizens and the small websites that we represent.

An Affront to Thriving Community Press, Small Businesses, and Immigrant Communities

Smaller websites, such as those administered by some of us in the Fil-Am Press Club of New York, have relied on Net Neutrality to ensure our readers are not shut out from the benefits of a booming Internet age. Once given to the hands of large telecommunications companies to control traffic, economic, political, and cultural information becomes their prerogative.

Knowledge is power and by providing big businesses the capacity to limit access only to their favored websites, the FCC is heavily tilting itself to giant commercial corporations and stifling the small and medium-sized businesses as well as the general public’s curiosity, learning, and innovation.

Access to jobs, education and entertainment are the direct benefits of an open Internet. Young people will be disproportionately affected by the repeal of Net Neutrality. They will be living and working with the consequences of this decision for decades to come. Net Neutrality protects communities’ right to equal access to information and to essential services that are increasingly being provided online.

What is the value of Net Neutrality for Small and Big Businesses and Internet Users?

Net Neutrality ensures that all websites are treated equally. It prohibits broadband behemoths, such as Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast, from discriminating against smaller websites and dictating what consumers can have access to. In essence, it guarantees a level playing field and prevents service providers from abusing their market position.

The repeal of Net Neutrality now gives Internet services providers so much power, one of them the ability to steer traffic away from smaller websites. Tech companies and consumer advocacy groups fear this along with higher charges that will be slapped on to consumers.

Corporations insist they will not abuse their positions. But the question remains: Why did these broadband companies lobby so hard to eliminate Net Neutrality? It is impossible to believe these companies campaigned so hard against Net Neutrality if they will not make money from it.

One cannot ignore the conflict of interest between current Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai and Verizon, who was a strong advocate against Net Neutrality. From 2001 to 2003, Pai served as Verizon’s Associate General Counsel. For now, Pai and his Republican cohorts claim Net Neutrality has stifled innovation and investment, but records do not support this. If anything, Net Neutrality has worked to protect consumers from abuses by these service providers.

We urge the public to raise their voices in defense of net neutrality. It is the cornerstone of democracy and free speech in the Internet. It has to be maintained and protected all the time to ensure equal access to information and sharing of ideas and opinions.

Contact your local legislators and let your voices be heard.

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 By Tambi Wycoco

 

NEW YORK (iiNNS) — The Filipino American Press Club of New York (FAPCNY) recently voted digital magazine editor Marivir Montebon President of of the six-year-old organization.
Also elected along with Montebon, editor of OSM magazine, are Cristina Pastor, Vice President; Tambi Wycoco, Secretary; and Momar Visaya, Treasurer. Voted to serve as members of the Board of Directors were Grace Labaguis, Noel Pangilinan, Lambert Parong, and Don Tagala. Immediate Past President Ricky Rillera is also a member of the board as stipulated in the FAPCNY bylaws.

The FAPCNY is a community of reporters, editors, photographers, bloggers and marketing/advertising executives. It was formed in 2011 recognizing a need for producers of news to organize themselves and professionalize their ranks. One of its flagship projects is the Journalism Scholarship Program for high school seniors entering Journalism.

Newly-elected President Montebon began as a campus journalist in her alma mater, the University of San Carlos (USC) in Cebu, Philippines. She has a degree in Psychology from USC in 1988 and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree Program in Not-for-profits at the Unification Theological Seminary in Manhattan. In 2012, she received a Woman in Media Award from the Pan-American Concerned Citizens League of New York and New Jersey. She has published five books, two in Cebu and three in New York City. The latest, “In the Belly of the Beast,” about human trafficking, is published by the University of San Carlos Press.

Pastor, who was elected Vice President, is the founding editor of the online news magazine The FilAm. She is also a co-founder and co-host of Makilala TV, the first online talk show for Filipino Americans in the New York Metropolitan Area.

The members of the board are:

Grace Labaguis is a Marketing Consultant for GMA International, as well as Marketing Director for Synergy Production & Marketing, Inc.

Noel Pangilinan is the Editor of Open City Magazine, a publication of the Asian American Writer’s Workshop. He is an adjunct faculty at the College of Mount Saint Vincent, teaching Filipino language and Philippine history courses.

Lambert Parong is a freelance photographer. He established Kababayan Media Corp., a NYC-based multimedia start-up. It highlights news and events affecting the Filipino community in Metro New York.

Don Tagala is the award-winning video journalist of ABS-CBN North America’s “Balitang America.”

Momar Visaya is the Editor in Chief of Asian Journal. He is also a food blogger.

Ricky Rillera is the Executive Editor for USA of the Philippine Daily Mirror and was the immediate past president of the Press Club.

(Tambi Wycoco is the Editor of IINS news service and the FAPCNY secretary.)