Trend Watch

Duterte: 'The Bona Fide Media Has Always Been Our Partner For Change'

Lookups for 'bona fide' spiked after the president of the Philippines used it in his State of the Nation Address


Lookups for bona fide spiked on July 25th after Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, used the phrase in his State of the Nation address.

“This government does not condone violence and repression of media,” the President said. “The bona fide media has always been our partner for change. What to do with the not bona fide media? That’s the problem,” he added.
The Manila Times, 25 July 2016

duterte
Photo: Malacañang Photo Bureau

Bona fide comes directly from the Latin for “in good faith.” It originally referred to something that was made in good faith, without intent to deceive. Somewhat later it took on the meaning of “genuine.”

In May, Duterte drew criticism for suggesting that journalists killed on the job were corrupt.

Just because you're a journalist you are not exempted from assassination, if you're a son of a bitch ... Freedom of expression cannot help you if you have done something wrong.
—Rodrigo Duterte, quoted on CNN.com, 1 June 2016

Bona fide comes directly from the Latin for “in good faith.” It originally referred to something that was made in good faith, without intent to deceive. Somewhat later it took on the meaning of “genuine.” The noun is written as bona fides, a form which appears to be plural, but is usually singular. There is an antonym to bona fide, which likewise comes from Latin: mala fide, which is generally found in a legal context, means “with or in bad faith.”

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