Monday, February 28, 2011

Business: None of their Business

Sidelined. Business News figures little in Filipino news channels.
News channels are becoming everywhere on TV here in the Philippines. In just two weeks, two networks launched their own version of an all-news channel, promising to get Filipino viewers in touch with the latest news and information they need when they want it, right at the hit of the bat. One station promises to give you action aside from news, in line with their public service creed. Another vows to make you in the know about what you want and need to know at the moment you want and need it. Of course, these two new stations were launched to challenge the dominance of another network's all-news channel in cable, the forerunner in the race which from the beginning pledges to be in the service of the Filipino 24-7.

These channels are just great. They, in their own right, have provided viewers with excellent news programs, magazines shows, talk shows, sports news, showbiz scoops and even weather updates that are at par with the well-known international news channels. However, there is one important topic that these news channels have somehow failed to give sufficient light in to -- Business News.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

State TV: A Call for an Evolution

We live in times saturated by so much news and information.

This generation of Filipinos' insatiable need for news and information has made this country a record-setter in terms of the number of newspapers, the number of news websites circulating in the Internet, the number of radio stations and now, even the number of all news and information channels.

ABS-CBN led the way in all news and information channels in the Philippines with its launch of ANC in 1996. Fifteen years later, its rivals GMA Network and TV5 is providing competition to ANC's monopoly of the industry by launching their own all news channels -- all in free TV. Last February 21, TV5 launched Aksyon TV which is just one of the milestones made by this rapidly developing media conglomerate. GMA Network, meanwhile, is cementing its position as the country's most respected news and public affairs network with the launch of GMA News TV (replacing its lifestyle channel QTV) on February 28.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Next Dominoes (2 of 4)

"Hey! I shout better than you! Down with Mubarak!"
They’ve all been ruled by despots. This is what Tunisia and Egypt had in common. Both  Ben Ali and Mubarak have been in power for more than 30 years. And getting through more than 30 years in power meant getting around the weak democratic system of governance in their countries. Mubarak, who came into power in succession to the assassinated Anwar Sadat, asked his rubber stamp parliament to revise the constitution in 2005 in order to allow multi-party elections for the first time in more than 40 years. This enabled him to run for his fifth and final term against largely unpopular opponents, since the formidable ones have been largely harassed and oppressed by government forces. Ben Ali is also known to have used force and intimidation against opposition figures in his country.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Next Dominoes (1 of 4)

First, Tunisia. Then Egypt. Who's next?
(Photo created and owned by blog author)
They are falling one by one.

Popular uprisings toppling one dictator after another in a domino affect whose time is precise and perfect, its almost as if they’re coordinated with each other.

It began last December 2010 in Tunisia, when Mohamed Bouazizi, an unemployed vendor with a college degree set himself on fire (self-immolation) as a protest against confiscation of his vegetable cart and subsequent insulting by Tunisian authorities. Bouazizi became an overnight symbol of the corrupt and inept government of Tunisia. News of his deadly protest spread like wildfire in various social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Immediately, supporters of the opposition to long-time president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who ruled the Mediterranean nation since 1987, organized street protests and called for his immediate resignation. On January 14, 2011, Ben Ali and his family fled the country after mounting pressure for his resignation and went to exile in Saudi Arabia. He and his family has since been wanted on charges of corruption.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Citizen Journalism: An Intensive Look

Media platforms in Facebook. Fishing for comments?
Is Citizen Journalism an empowering tool or a forum for divisive talk and political tirades?

I am forced to ponder this question after observing my fellow participants in various citizen journalism groups in Facebook. I’ve been a member of TV5’s TEN: The Evening News Facebook group, and now of GMA News’ Facebook page, where ordinary Filipinos can comment and give their views about current national and international issues, as well as report on news events unfolding in their own neighborhood.

I am a person who is always thrilled with the experience of debate and exchanging ideas and convictions with other, especially in person. But Facebook is a different playing field. In these forums, there are no moderators, no time limits, and no control. I should have expected that people will always be the worst versions of themselves in this kind of environment, but somehow my naive faith that people will be decent participants prevailed. I was proven wrong.
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