This article is for my Media Literacy subject.
I’m a fan of GMA-7’s news and public affairs shows. I follow their shows because I find them relevant, educational and at the same time entertaining. I think, GMA is the best news organization in the country.
ABS-CBN-2, GMA’s ultimate rival, is just third place as I believe TV5 surpassed them. ABS-CBN faced so many issues before on how they handled their news especially when the Lopez family was in control of MERALCO. The Lopezes own ABS-CBN and Manuel Lopez was MERALCO’s former Chairman. ABS-CBN rarely tackled news about MERALCO then. I know TV5 is managed by Manny V. Pangilinan (MVP) and they also avoid tackling crucial news about his businesses like MERALCO (he acquired the post after Lopez), PLDT and Philex Mining but I commend the station that after their news reports wherein a MVP company is involved, the anchor states that he (MVP) is also the Chairman of TV5. Good PR there.
Now, let me talk about how GMA and ABS-CBN handle President Benigno S. Aquino III’s administration. Let’s not bother TV5 as they’re busy on their history, satire and reality stuff.
I’m not being bias but I guess GMA treats the PNoy administration fairly. I like it when Jessica Soho jabs the administration with its weak stance on issues and mismanagement. As for ABS-CBN, they’re quite critical with PNoy. This day, they’re applauding him but the next day, they hate him. Take note, Noli De Castro, an ally of Former President GMA, and Korina Sanchez, wife of Department of Interiror and Local Government Sec. Mar Roxas, are working as anchors in ABS-CBN and they’re both appearing on the station’s primetime news show, TV Patrol.
I don’t watch TV Patrol and ABS-CBN’s other news programs so I cannot categorically say if they handle PNoy critically. But I remember Noli De Castro, being a former Vice President, voice out his opinions in the current administration. In fact, in 2012, during TV Patrol’s anniversary where PNoy was the guest speaker, PNoy attacked De Castro and the way he reports news with malice and bias. That sparked a secret and mini war between him and the President.
Another incident last year was when Korina Sanchez had a word war with CNN’s Anderson Cooper at the height of Typhoon Yolanda’s destruction. Cooper, who was reporting straight from Tacloban, condemned the government’s slow relief and rehabilitation efforts for the typhoon victims. Immediately, in her radio show, Sanchez-Roxas counter-attacked Cooper’s statement by saying that the government’s relief operation is just doing fine and Cooper is saying non-sense. Cooper challenged Sanchez to go to the area and not just stay on her radio booth. Cooper added that Sanchez can easily do so because her husband is one of the leaders in the relief operation. Sanchez accepted the challenge but stayed away from Cooper by distributing relief packs in Ormoc. For a week, Sanchez was not heard in her radio show and speculations sprouted saying she was reprimanded by her station because of her guts to criticize CNN or should I say, to defend the government.
I don’t remember any situations like that with GMA. I just remember GMA winning awards abroad because of their documentaries. Simply great. Back to the topic, as long as PNoy is concerned, I guess of all GMA’s anchors, it’s Soho who asks questions that are not playing safe. I like her style. She attacks the government through solid questions, not through on-air bashing. She points out the government’s weaknesses and failure through relevant questions, not through hard-hitting criticisms. A good luck for their reporters, resource persons and interviewees who need to answer Soho’s questions. Sometimes, it is through a demure gesture that the media can get the answer they want. But that does not work all the time so I guess GMA is giving it all out when they’re exposing realities in their world-class documentaries.
At the end of the day, however the two networks handle the PNoy administration, I don’t care. They can do the approach they want as long as the truth is not being downplayed. Ultimately, the media is a key player in this country and whatever they do is crucial and important on how the people will handle our government.