Philippine Media: The Lay of the Land

This blog is a little different, as I search for order rather than meaning. Indeed, many of you may already know these media, but it is a process of discovery for me.

I have read repeatedly about Philippine news reporting being shallow and sensationalist. But it has only lately crystallized in my mind how damaging this can be to the Philippines as the nation seeks to emerge as a productive, modern,  respected nation in the global community of human rights and commerce.

Sensationalist news focused mainly on problems can overwhelm good works. That’s the main danger, that news reporting would undermine the trust people have for their government and its leaders, and convey the wrong impression about what is happening.
So I thought I’d explore in more depth what the various media bring to the information table in the Philippines. Indeed, this is a long-dormant passion of mine. It was my chosen field of work laid to waste by an economy gone south in the early 1970’s. I had acquired a master’s degree in Radio and Television Arts, doing my thesis work at CBS Television in Los Angeles. Job opportunities were thin at the time. The fates determined that I should become a banker, or rather a bank marketing officer, working on the other side of the media business, as an advertiser.
But journalism is an area where I have a decent understanding of good communication principles. What we see in the Philippines is “light news”, a kind of “quick and dirty” reporting without a lot of investigative work. Interviews and “hearsay” evidence are taken as facts and this repesents the content of many news articles. So do murders, rapes, tragedies and other titillating stories.  And, indeed, the sensationalist drive for ratings means that news frequently gets laced with emotionally charged words. Headlines are written to strike nerves. Filipinos, emotional at heart, love the stuff.
I won’t belabor this further. Let me just say that for now, we will accept the argument that media news disciplines in the Philippines are very slack, in the interest of profit. We might shade this differently as we progress.
As we work through this together, we can identify certain issues for follow-through. For example, how about politics? Does that drive anything? We must put that on our task list for further study.
A second takeaway becomes quickly evident. There is no central resource of broadcast or print media because the Philippines has no media regulator. The industry is “self-regulated”. This is very different than in the United States where the Federal Communications Commission regulates media ownership and monitors that media are properly serving the best interest of the public. So no central repository of licensing or cross-ownership of media appears to exist. It takes considerable effort to identify the full scope of media power of the larger organizations. Sorting that out becomes a “to do” item for the future.
Because of the lack of a central regulatory data base, it was difficult putting together this simple starting profile. Some of the information is a couple of years old, and some of the specific players may have changed. But this is just a starting point, so rough edges will be fine for what we need to do.
THE MEDIA DEFINED
It would be good to get a good reading of the landscape before we advance into it. Our focus is on news and information, not entertainment. The national goal is presumably an educated community having access to a variety of kinds and sources of information. Opinion columns or broadcasts represent the interpretive part of the news, so we include that in the realm of study as well.
We can start by breaking news sources into four groups:
  • Television networks and stations
  • Radio networks and stations
  • Newspapers and other print media
  • Internet news and commentary
Let’s try to characterize each:
Television networks and stations
There are three dominant television networks and a wide range of over 200 local television stations, most affiliated with a network. Dissemination of programs is via airwaves, cable and satellite.
The two top networks, ABS-CBN and GMA-7, battle almost equally for dominance. It is a bitter battle, with interpretation of leadership meaning a lot in terms of advertising revenue. The two networks have engaged in legal and public bickering for about 7 years now, each claiming it is number one. The third network, is ABC-5. Recent Nielson ratings reported percentage viewership as follows:
Network
Share Points
GMA-7
36
ABS-CBN
30
ABC-5
15
ABS-CBN claims it held the prime time lead at 41% to GMA’s 32%. The source is a different rating agency.
Beyond the “Big 3”, we have the followingtelevision networks:
  • Both GMA and ABS-CBN own secondary stations that broadcast shows aimed at younger “lifestyle” audiences, QTV-11 and Studio 23, respectively.
  • One of the larger radio networks, Radio Philippines Network, owns a television station, RPN-9 (oops, outdated; read on. JA).
  • Several other significant networks target regional or specialized audiences:
  • UNTV 37, a public service channel owned by the Progressive Broadcasting Corporation in Quezon City.
  • NET 25, featuring IT programming and encompassing Asia and Australia.
  • IBC 13, the Intercontinental Broadcasting Company managed by the national government. (Update. Now only the People’s Television Network is held by the government; see comments below. JA).
  • RMN 31, the Radio Mindanao Network, which has 10 stations across the Philippines and one station in New York, USA.
  • Cable and satellite subscribers can also sign up for CNN, BBC and other information channels. These typically do not feature the Philippines, and they are controlled outside the Philippines.
Radio Networks and Stations
There are just short of a thousand radio stations in the Philippines. All major cities across the nation have at least one radio outlet. Manila has 51.
The two largest TV networks also own substantial radio properties.
We also once had the Radio Philippines Network, cited above. But it’s a changing world and RPN has been consolidated with former government radio stations of the IBC, and recast as ETC, under private ownership (including by San Miguel Corporation). The government got tired of losing money and offering crappy program so cobbled together a new network and kept only the public television station.
The major radio networks in the Philippines include:
  • Manila Broadcasting Company (MBC) – 200 owned and affiliated stations nationwide. The news and talk station DZRH is its anchor, and it feeds other network stations such as Radyo Natin , as well as television through companion station RHTV. MBC also owns entertainment stations Love Radio, Aksyon Radio, Easy Rock and Yes FM. 
  • ABS-CBN –  DZMM Radyo Patrol national news which feeds cable TV news channel DZMM TeleRadyo.  ABS-CBN also owns  My Only Radio’s regional network of 14 FM music and entertainment stations.
  • Radyo Mindanao Network (RMN) – AM and FM stations in 34 cities across the Philippines with heavy representation in Midnanao.
  • Bombo Radyo – Bombo Radyo talk radio has 22 stations and Star FM operates 21 music stations. Based in Iloilo City.
  • Catholic Radio Network – 52 church-run radio stations under a variety of different names nationwide.
  • GMA Network – 23 radio stations across the country with main stations DZBB SilverRadyo and the Campus FM chain of music stations.
Newspapers and Other Print Media
There are approximately 75 newspapers published in the Philippines. Of these, 48 are in English with most being local publications from large cities, 20 in Filipino languages, 2 in Spanish, 1 bi-lingual and 4 in Chinese.
  • Philippine Daily Inquirer.  Estimated circulation 260,000 daily with an average daily readership of over 2 million.
  • Philippine Star. Circulation of about 270,000. Reaches Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia.
  • Manila Bulletin. Circulation of about 280,000.  Owned by Emilio Yap who also owns tabloids Tempo and Balita and magazines such as Liwayway, Bisaya and Philippine Panorama.
  • Manila Times.  President Aguinaldo read this publication. 
  • Other: Business World, Malaya, Manila Standard Today, The Daily Tribune

 

  • Tabloids:  Abante (circulation 420,000), Balita (Tagalog), People’s Journal and People’s Taliba (English and Tagalog versions), Pilipino Star Ngayon (Star’s Tagalog paper), Saksi Ngayon (Tagalog) and Tempo (Manila Bulletin)

 

The Inquirer established a radio station in 2010, Radyo Inquirer.
If you’d like a more detailed history of the Philippine newspaper business, here is a link to an article published by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts on a recent but unknown date.
Internet News and Commentary
The largest television and newspaper enterprises also have robust and informative web versions of their daily news and opinion fare. Videos and live feeds are featured on television sites. Here are the links to the news or main sections of those outlets.
The most significant internet-only news and opinion site is, of course Rappler. It is a younger, more interactive and less advertising intense news effort.
Information is not readily available as to the impact of the internet on newspaper circulation, or the financials of these undertakings. The web sites are significant efforts, maintained in a much more dynamic, current state than are government agency sites, for example.
We also have attached to the news outlets robust opinion and commentary sections, with top columnists such as Randy David drawing several hundred reader comments in response to an article. Bloggers represent fly-by-night opinion mongers, rather wayward and quite broke orphan cousins.
Conclusions
There are three or four main players in each media category. The internet is the most competitively robust because it has both newspaper and television players, plus Rappler.

In order of dominance based on daily viewership, I’d guess the impactful voices stack up as follows in terms of power:

  1. ABS-CBN
  2. ABC-5
  3. Abante
  4. Philippine Inquirer
  5. Philippine Star
  6. Manila Bulletin
  7. Manila Broadcasting Company
  8. GMA-7
  9. Business World
We now have in this first blog is the general lay of the land. There is much, much more to explore.
For Further Study
  • What is the ownership connectivity among the major players. That is not clear from this cursory review.
  • Do editorial or news policies reflect a political bias?
  • What are the issues emerging from “self regulation” of media? Are television and radio frequencies considered a “public resource”? Or are they the total purview of private interests?
  • How does the quality of news reporting vary from outlet to outlet?

 

  • What are trends in internet readership? How is the internet affecting the financial viability of the mainstream media?
The next article in the series will take up trends on the internet, and financial impacts if such information is available.
Comments
50 Responses to “Philippine Media: The Lay of the Land”
  1. andrew lim says:

    Thanks for this. I've been doing something like this in my head for some time. Ideologically, Philippine media can be summarized as center-left of center, with a sprinkling of right of center. The more influential ones are center-left of center. The Phil version of Fox News lite is the Manila Standard and Manila Times, but both have low readership levels. Their ranting right wing extremists are not given much attention by the public. (Who's Jojo Robles and Alvin Capino and Ninez Olivares? Who?) Manila Bulletin isn't a newspaper; it's just an advertising medium. It's the most soul-less of them all. No substance at all, just blah. Abante is the junk food of the masses, like instant noodles. It is read for the lotto results, PBA ending scores and salacious news items. Business World is good stuff, written intelligently from a wide spectrum of views without the nuttiness.

  2. Ah, wonderful portraits, Andrew. Just what I need. Thanks.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I would encourage Rene Saguisag to write more of his opinions for Manila Times to increase its readership.-Danny

  4. Edgar Lores says:

    1. I got lost in the acronyms.2. Would it be right to say that TV is still the dominant medium? 2.1 Radio still has considerable reach. I am surprised that even here in Australia, the medium retains clout and the radio jockeys command the nation’s attention – and the loyalty of politicians – and is a great influence in the formation of public opinion. 3. In Australia, we get ABS-CBN TV broadcasts in the morning and a repeat in the afternoon. There’s also a 5-hour weekly segment on radio. Both are broadcast through the services of the government’s multicultural network, the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS).3.1 I am not a regular watcher or listener. On TV, the stance and style of the newsreaders are so off-putting. They do not read the news, they declaim it. They do not present the news, they project it. Each news item is dramatized to the point as if it were a prelude to the end of the world.3.2 I prefer the likes of Tina Monzon-Palma which can be described as “casually intelligent”.4. I am intrigued by the policy of self-regulation. The media mogul Rupert Murdoch is an Aussie who owns half – or perhaps a fourth? – of the world’s news media. The Murdoch press in Australia is known for its bias just as well as Fox News is in the US. The bias is decidedly conservative, right-wing, and loony.5. I find that Philippine media – and journalism in particular – is more opinionated rather than investigative, with perhaps Rappler being an exception. What about PCIJ?5.1 In the Corona case, for example, Raissa’s blog arguably did a better case of investigative work than the major media outlets.5.2 The FOI should enhance investigative journalism.5.3 But the news cycle is so rapid that, like a drunken master, we weave and wobble from one crisis to another without resolving much. Like what’s the name of Enrile’s chief of staff again?

  5. Edgar Lores says:

    Is it just me or do you also read the news through the views of columnists? When reading Aussie newspapers, I read the news items and will read a columnist depending on his topic. When reading Philippine news media, I do the opposite. I tend to read the opinion columns and ignore the hard news, which can be slanted. So it's the meaning of events as filtered and interpreted through the eyes of a columnist that gets my attention and feedback. At least I know they are slanting the news openly and I can agree or disagree.As such, I ignore the execrable Manila Standard, Manila Times and the Daily Tribune. I browse ABS-CBN for hard news, and the opinion section of the Philippine Star and Interaksyon occasionally. But I avoid like the plague certain columnists who are like the proverbial leopards that never change their spots.Oh, and don't you find the penetration and circulation of newspapers very, very low? They are about the same as Aussie media – half a million for tabloids and a quarter of a million for broadsheets. Australia has one-fifth the population of the Philippines.

  6. 1. The 115the dialect in the Philippines is the acronym. I did not want to get bogged down in translation.2. Good point. Yes, radio is very popular and the Manila Broadcasting Company is everywhere.3. What a wonderful description. "Declaim!" That is exactly what they do. With overbearing superiority. Talking heads in very stuffed shirts.4. Self regulation will be a full blog. I think it does not serve the Philippines well.5. PCIJ is left of center, solidly, and represents its constituency well. FOI will open up an avenue for better, fact based reporting, but I am skeptical that the press will journey down it. There is no profit in the details.5.3 The "drunken master' is a perfect description. I think her name was Hayes or Reyes. Yet the press spent THREE YEARS obsessing in the headlines about a drunken American private and his abused, drunken date.

  7. Aha! Me too! I read the Philippine newspaper opinion sections before the main news, and read the news mainly for laughs. I think the opinion sections put the meat on the news. The reporting is just skinny bones thrown onto the paper to fill the blank spaces between advertisements.Circulation of newspapers is low, but readership is substantial as the papers get handed around. Something on the order of 2 million per day for the Inquirer. The papers reach opinion makers, for sure.

  8. JosephIvo says:

    Thanks for the analysis and a few new sources to investigate. But just of the top of my head:1. Ia split possible in "Media feeding the brain" and "Media feeding emotions"? (or is the first category empty?)2. Here I'm always smelling media that promote whatever or whoever (at a price)and media as a tool to blackmail.3. Miss in-depth analysis, miss proper (=unsponsored) documentaries, miss investigation above asking 10 people the same question and getting 10 times the same answer.4. Like the few “professionals” with a nice style and a nice language, even if they have their “history” or affiliations. Like the low price of newspapers and the free internet.

  9. 1. I think the media feeds what sells, and, like television sensationalism or the micro-dramas of real life that approximate the tele-dramas, that's where the brains and emotions of a broad mass of people reside. The audience of very intelligent people who have their community act together isn't very large.2. Yes, that, too.3. The jewels of insight seem to be written in publications outside the Philippines.4. Me too.

  10. Anonymous says:

    News reports undermining the trust people have for their government and its leaders, conveying the wrong impression about what is happening? Nope…People get whatever impressions they have, from what they experience themselves. You can outright prohibit all negative reporting on law and order, but everyone still knows if you get arrested for whatever reason, its always going to be on a Friday. Courts will be closed, giving "law" enforcement enough time to "negotiate" for your release. Regardless of how much you think you know about the law and your rights, you'll know exactly where you are in the totem pole. You can place huge open for business signs everywhere and tell everyone everything's hunky dory, but business owners know exactly what they had to do for the mister big boss government to set up shop. You can hail all OFWs as heroes and shower outgoing workers with rose petals, but they know exactly what they had to do to get there, and they'll soon know how they will be treated by their own consulates.Nobody is going to watch MSNBC, and all of a sudden gets converted into a left wing nut job, as much as somebody who watching FOX turning someone into a right wing loony.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I adore Rene Saguisag and I surf the internet for his columns and opinions. I was born and raised in Federal Way, Washington but I heard a lot about Rene Saguisag firsthand from my dad. My father worshipped Rene Saguisag when I was still a mere twinkle in his eyes. Dad, bless his soul, was an idealist who believed during his turbulent teaching years in a Manila college in the '70s that a better Philippines was possible with more pro bono lawyers defending downtrodden Filipinos like Atty Rene Saguisag.-Luzviminda PS Dad named me after his beloved Philippines' 3 main islands. My name is short for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

  12. Yes, a very profound and important point there. Media basically "pander" to the interests of their viewing audience, so they indeed tend to be the adaptive creatures. However, I think it is a two-way street, like a rubber band, eggs making chickens and chickens making eggs, and one ought to pursue journalism as a profession, according to certain self-imposed, or regulatory required, or publicly demanded values. The fanning of sensationalist flames does heat the atmosphere, potentially causing rain, but the chickens running about claiming the sky is falling are perhaps a bit detached from reality.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I was involved in vehicle accident once. A tire from an in 18 wheeler truck came off and hit the front end of my car. The mighty Philippine police came, carrying M4 rifles ready for Abu Sayaf. They walked around, came to me looking at my car with a big ass truck tire on top of my hood and said "hmmm alam mo, sa tingin ko aksidente ito" (hmmmm, you know what, I think this was an accident)My impression, no matter what media says – Genius

  14. andrew lim says:

    I actually read all my news diet on the internet, and just surf through the evening news. I browse through newsprint only when I go to coffee shops. I treat news as amuse bouche, just breeze through them. But columns, I chew on them well. For dessert, there's lifestyle and sports. When I was a kid, sports and cartoons were the only things I read. Columnists in the Inquirer have the most clout; proof are the lively comments forums. Oh I forgot Solar TV News Channel, the new kid on the block. Everybody is pretty, and they avoid the soap quality of ABS CBN, where they mix national news with stories like tricycle drivers getting caught with their mistresses and get pummeled by the wife. Along with ANC, these are my two favorite news channels.

  15. @Luzviminda, what wonderful background. Fathers like yours are fantastic, men who have passion. My dad was like that, too, although he gave me a much simpler name, I think from a movie cowboy. No, it's not "Joe".

  16. Ahahahaha, yes, it is better to get an accurate reading of the facts. Keep the guns, or the newspaper headlines, holstered. Thanks for this enlightening true-life tale.

  17. @Andrew, it looks like we could compile a profile of the modern news reader from your, my and Edgar's habits. I do the same as you.Thanks for the heads up on Solar. I'll include them in the looksee.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Who gets to decide what news will be fanning the flames and who is detached from reality?Is this like the US really does not have a deficit/debt problem and anybody saying otherwise is fanning the flames or detached from reality?

  19. The headline and copy editors who are presumably schooled in objectivity and professional ethics determine the news content. Anyone with an opinion helps them determine how to phrase it.Well, again, it depends on the phrasing. I took Rappler to task for saying in a sub-head title that President Aquino went into a "tirade" during his speech to the Philippine Military Academy. I suggested that portrays the President as emotionally out of control, which is not the case, nor was it the case in the speech. That distortion harms both the President and the Philippines. Rappler reflected, agreed the term was poorly chosen, and changed the sub-head.

  20. Cha says:

    About Abante:I usually get links to the tabloid from KN (Kaya Natin) whenever someone associated with the group comes out in the opinion pages. (e.g. Erin Tanada, Harvey Keh, Bolet Banal). I think it's a smart strategy to get their message of good governance and citizenship across to a wider audience. And they're often spot on with their assessments on the issues of the day.Like today, Erin Tanada writes one of the more sensible and sober commentary on the case of the UP student who committed suicide. He respectfully left the victim and her family alone. Neither did he lay the blame on anyone for this unfortunate turn of events. Instead he empathised with the many students like Kristel and their parents who can ill afford to send their children to school. He pointed out the need to look into the system and wished the UP Manila administration well in their efforts to improve it. And all said in the vernacular! Abante talaga (really moving forward).

  21. I think the term "tabloid" is used by mainstream press to demean those publications that do a better job of reaching people than they do. I think I'll use the term "popular newspaper" instead. We'll leave the tabloids to Murdoch. (ahahahaha, excuse my mischievious thought. Have you danced with him, too? ahahaha)

  22. andrew lim says:

    @Luzviminda,People who remember Saguisag still love him, though many don't understand why he ended defending Estrada. That tragic car accident took much out of him.

  23. Anonymous says:

    It might be worthwhile to get your hands on polls that indicate trends in media influence – obviously there has been a shift from print to broadcast – but to what degree etc. and how are TV and radio faring against each other? What about the internet, is it becoming a player, will it change the news/opinion landscape etc.? There were surveys done on the most effective message medium during the 2010 election, for obvious reasons. Reach and dominance counts for a lot – as much if not more than credibility – because Goebbels' rule on credibility only works when one has reach and is the dominant voice. Reach is also an important factor in determining the content of news and opinion. Media outlets will always follow the leader. All the news that sells rather than all the news that's fit to print also drives media, besides corruption of course. Corruption is rampant in Philippine media. It's one of the main drivers of news and opinion. It aids and abets corruption in both the public and private sectors.Then there is also the political leaning of many of those in media – from editors all the way down to cubs. There is a strong leftist-nationalist component in mainstream media. That's why you see many issues seen through class war and jingoist eyes. Their political leaning prevents sober reporting and analysis of issues. It's an interesting situation because media moguls would be the last to want to see class war or to discourage foreign investment and tourism. But still they are absent owners except when issues will impact on their related businesses. That's when the unwritten rule in media – you are free to write on any topic except those subjects that will hurt the interest of the boss – kicks in. Show me any news outlet that will do an expose against the related businesses or political partners of the owner. – mb

  24. Anonymous says:

    Oh my God! This blog is incredible!!! I read some articles already and I find it very interesting and entertaining. I agree to most of the articles posted. I finally found a place that agrees with my ideas. How I wish more of my fellow Filipinos think like you (i.e. China, Sabah, etc.). Anyway, I'll be visiting this blog often that's for sure. – JM

  25. Cha says:

    Well, in the Philippines, the only real difference between tabloids and some of the broadsheets sometimes is really just the paper size. In so far as content and sensationalism are concerned, it's hard to tell the difference in some cases.As for your question , please be specific, did you mean the old man Murdoch or the son? Ahahaha!

  26. Well, great, JM, good to have you aboard. I trust you will also set me straight if I miss on a point or two, as Mr. mb (manualbuencamino) is FREQUENTLY inclined to do. ahahaha

  27. hah! you win that bout. I was referring to the old man, but I consider them both to be a little . . . um . . . untrustworthy. Now that former editor with the pile of red hair in London . . . I might dance with HER.

  28. I will look at the polls, MB. Thanks for the suggestion and also the elaboration. The "corruption" idea is new to me as well. I appreciate the insights. Clearly I have to explore further who owns what. Does that unwritten rule apply to the opinion columnists too? Or just the paper's editorial content, and news content.

  29. gadzooks, "manuelbuencamino". Stupid Chinese keyboard.

  30. LESS THAN ONE MILLION IN CIRCULATION for 94,000,000 Filipinos? 2,000,000 readership including those reading in toilets to while away the time.

  31. Aha ha ha ha ha Andrew, Ed and Joe reads foreign newspaper then on to OP-EDs. Reverse if they were reading Philippine newspapers.Me? I? Since these Philippine newspapers banned me from their sites, I DO NOT READ THEM AT ALL!!! BOYCOTT! But I found a workaround. I read blogs. Interact with bloggers till love do us part. Why blogs? Because it is already analyzed and autopsied. SO I DO NOT NEED TO THINK because it is already there.Why not newspapers? Because my psycho-therapist told me not read Philippine newspapers because it raise my blood pressure. My heart involuntary palpitate erratically.Why not radio? It makes a small bonfire like conflagrationWhy not television? Because they are all of the above.

  32. The Catholic Philippine Media has no report on Vatican Scandals: Vatican Gay Priest, Bank of Vatican scandal, Vatican Bank credit cards are not acceptable in Europe (they are suspended).Filipinos still believe Hitler was a German and an atheist. Hitler was Austraian and a Roman Catholic. Filipinos believe that Philippine oil companies are charitable institutions for dropping gas prices. If gas prices increase they blame it on international market. Soooo love business reporting in the Philippines.Filipinos do not know they are eating poisonous sausages, canned goods and noodles. Business reporters are afraid to report these. Or, could be ignorant. Or, SIMPLY DO NOT KNOW AT ALL.Filipinos are still awed by englsichtzes reporting. If it is written in goot englischtzes, IT MUST BE TRUE and RELIABLE.Filipinos believe that recently acquired Coast Guard cutter are armed and dangerous! HA! HA! HA!Filipinos believe that purchased armed-less harmless military helicopters can be refueled in mid-air to fly to Spratleys and back to Philippines.Filipinos believe that banking privacy laws can be broken to serve the end game.Filipinos believe that affidavit of accusation and affidavit of guilts is acceptable than forensic evidences.Filipinos believe that political analysis requires Intel i7 brains with on-board 16Gb of memory on U.P. Graduate columnists.Filipinos believe that PMAyers are goot military strategists. They do not know Team 6 can rout Philippine military to submission even before they landed in the Philippines. (Ferdie Marcos surrendered when Phantom Jets flew by Malacanang)Filipinos believe that Abu Sayaf are MEDIA-SHY because of Ces Drilon Kidnapping News blackout so as not to anger Abu Sayaf. (Of course, Abu Sayaf calls media for photo shoot of their beheadings)

  33. The Philippine Media is idioting the Filipinos. Lookit what Filipinos believe so far.Filipinos believe that nudity in church's frescoes are OK. But nudity outside of church is pornographic.Filipinos believe that demeanor of Jesus Christ masculine. While I believe that his demeanor is sooooo GAAAAYYYY !!! Appear, bro! Whereas I believe Mohammed is macho.

  34. COMELEC ban on foreigners blogging on who to vote expires after election? Or, is it forever? Whereas, it is OK for Rappler owner to publish opinions "IS OBAMA GOOT FOR FILIPINOS IN THE U.S.?"It is OK for Filipinos to meddle and muddle U.S. Election but not here in the Philippines?Filipinos think so. Because Filipinos only news is TFC and Facebook friends.

  35. Philippine Media "analyzed" Corona trial by using Pablum Factutom and exotic esoteric Latin words and writing in tongues…. but failed to analyze the impact of investigation when Failon's houseslaves cleaned the crime scene as if there was no crime at all. They failed to muse and analyze that Failon's houseslaves could have been CIA cleaners or biohazard specialist…. self-regulating Philippine Media failed to criticize themselves for outing rape victim Nicole BUT GOOT IN ANALYZING FOR OUTING VALERIE PLAME.These Philippine Media must be looney tunes.

  36. Aha ha ha ha Cha! Cha!That is what I thought, too, before I went OFWing. I really thought that Tabloid is small and braodsheets are big. Tabloid is cheaper because is smaller and braodsheets is expensive because it is bigger.Tabloid is cheaper because sex is cheap whereas broadsheets sex is in the form of advertisements in the back pages.Between Playboy and Inquirer? Playboy has more meat and in-depth analysis than Inquirer.

  37. Anonymous says:

    The unwritten rule applies to columnists too. However, we have a little more freedom than reporters to write what we please. But a little more freedom is not the same as being free.On corruption: A large number of opinion columnists and broadcast commentators are corrupt. The corrupt are for rent rather than for sale. It is more lucrative to be a hooker than a kept lover in that world.One way to curb the corruption in media is to make reporters, opinion columnists, and radio-TV commentators file annual statements of assets and liabilities. They should also submit to life-style checks. Now those in media will howl in protest, they will say it has a chilling effect, it is a form of prior restraint and all that but since media calls itself the fourth estate, the public's watchdog, I think it's in our best interest to know and make sure that our watchdogs are truly watching out for us and not in cahoots with those who deserve scrutiny. – mb

  38. Ah, thanks. I shall read everything that is hard and unbalanced with a bag of salt. I like your solution. I don't see how reporting one's finances can be chilling as to what one writes. Or, rather, the chilling is what is needed.

  39. Gadzooks, I'm no longer hungry for breakfast.

  40. Anonymous says:

    you should checkout get real philippines. http://getrealphilippines.com fairly balanced, tell it like it is no holds bar, mostly objective except they hat Ninoy

  41. They can't be objective if they ban opposing views, which they do. JoeAm is banned from commenting at Get Real because he advocated for a more positive view of the presidency.They write into that easy space between some unrealistic ideal and the hard, tough real world in a nation of poverty and corruption. Of course they have lots to write about. Their method is to tear down, not build up. Any bozo can do that. But make something good happen? Create positive energy or even harmony? They can't do that.

  42. J says:

    Yes, the circulation of the English dailies are very low simply because English proficiency has declined significantly in the country. An American friend who has lived in the PH on and off since the 1960s attests to this. Only the upper and middle class read the English dailies.

  43. J says:

    1. Language, Joe, not dialect :p

  44. Slow learner. Language. Language. As in one cannot comprehend the other. Language.Got it.

  45. Ah, yes, another factor to consider. Thanks.

  46. ac says:

    Do you want to know how damaging the sensationalist slant of our media can get? Read up on the cases of Paco Larrañaga and Hubert Webb.

  47. 15 years in prison. To me, the justice system – horrible police investigations and courts subject to the influence of matters other than law and evidence and rules of conduct – is more the reason for the improper conviction than the press. But the press were certainly doing their normal thing of stoking the passions of a nation, regardless of what is fair and considerate. Thanks for bringing this case to my attention.

  48. Rein Luna says:

    My take on anchors "declaiming" news, a specialty of GMA7, is to make sure they keep their viewers hooked and not switch to the "other" channel. Given the Filipino attention span, Entertainment News is here to stay. Oh, and the reporters' gimmicky ways in saying their names are annoying. How I miss The World Tonight (on free TV).

  49. Yes, and another blatantly unethical way they do it is to promote events involving the stars of their network's programs as "news". That's mainly why I no longer watch television news. Bunch of corporate prostitutes.

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