Archive for the ‘responsible journalism’ Category

By

December 10, 2013 | 8:29 pm

The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) has ordered the producers of GMA 7’s “Unang Hirit” to issue a public apology and pay a fine of P20,000 for an episode where news anchor Arnold Clavio berated a guest.

In the Nov. 5 episode of the morning program, Clavio used what the MTRCB deemed was “rude language” in interviewing Alfredo Villamor, counsel for businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.

The board said that in response to a memorandum released on Dec. 4 by its ad hoc committee, GMA 7 promised to air a statement acknowledging that the “Unang Hirit” interview “should have been done differently … and that Clavio … crossed the line of proper conduct.”

Also in compliance with the MTRCB order, the statement, which should air for three consecutive days, is supposed to include: “The program likewise offers its apologies to Villamor in particular, the public in general, and especially to all the members of the legal profession who may have been offended by the words and actions of Clavio.”

The memo pointed out that the program “failed to take immediate, effective and timely intervention” to prevent the broadcast of the interview “with indecorous language and demeanor.”

Thus, it said, the committee was “constrained” to impose the P20,000 fine and required “Unang Hirit” to undergo “a period of close collaboration for one month” to ensure child-sensitive and youth-friendly programming in future episodes.

Mandatory seminar

The committee required network executives and Clavio to attend a mandatory seminar with MTRCB chair Eugenio Villareal “on media and the legal profession in the context of both audience-sensitivity and the administration of justice.” (The seminar was set Tuesday and Wednesday, at the MTRCB office in Quezon City.)

Overboard

During Clavio’s phone interview with Villamor, the news anchor commented: “Pang-sira ka ng araw eh (You’re ruining my day),” and “Tatawa-tawa ka pa (You can still laugh).” Two days later, Clavio issued a statement, admitting he had gone overboard. “I ask for your understanding if I said anything offensive,” he said.

Clavio explained that Villamor was the only lawyer with whom he could discuss Napoles’ hearing on the P10-billion pork barrel scam after counsel Lorna Kapunan resigned. The anchor was visibly irritated when Villamor failed to answer certain questions.

The MTRCB pointed out the importance of heeding the Code of Professional Responsibility, which states: “A lawyer is prohibited from making public statements in the media regarding a pending case tending to arouse public opinion for or against a party.”

The Board added: “Certainly, neither the program nor Clavio … can insist on eliciting statements from Villamor as regards matters beyond the latter’s professional engagement.” During the interview, Villamor repeatedly told Clavio that he was not in a position to discuss the pork-barrel hearing since he was in charge only of Napoles’ case on serious illegal detention.

‘Bubble Gang’

Meanwhile, the MTRCB also summoned the producers of GMA 7’s gag show “Bubble Gang” to a mandatory conference on the “alleged discriminatory and derogatory portrayal of women” in its Nov. 29 episode.

The segment, “D Adventures of Susie Luwalhati,” drew complaints from the MTRCB’s monitoring and inspection unit because it showed the character Susie (Rufa Mae Quinto), “clad in a skimpy, low-neckline tank top,” applying for a job as cook and seller of puto bumbong.

In the skit, the stall owner (played by Beethoven Bunagan or Michael V) showed Susie how to cook and remove the puto bumbong from its bamboo tube. This, the MTRCB memo said, “while a group of men ogled, apparently with sexually oriented delight as her breasts shook vigorously [as she handled] the bamboo tube … Susie gave the impression, quite arguably, that she was simulating male self-abuse.”

Disrespect

Citing Republic Act No. 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women, the memo added: “It appears that the segment stereotypically portrayed a woman as an object of rather frivolous, albeit carnal, delight. When women are treated as commodities, they are disrespected and degraded … It cannot be helped for one to surmise that even the name of Quinto’s character is from the Filipino word for breasts. This arguably magnifies an overall intent on the part of the program to typecast the woman as a mere sex object.”

The conference, attended by network executive Eva Arespacochaga, program director Uro de la Cruz and talents Bunagan and Quinto, was held on Dec. 9 at the MTRCB office. According to a subsequent post on the board’s official Twitter account, the show has promised to ensure gender-sensitive content.

For the second year in a row, GMA Network, Inc. has been chosen as one of the most trusted brands in Asia in a consumer survey conducted by Reader’s Digest Asia.  GMA is very proud to be recognized by Reader’s Digest Asia and its readers for the second time around. This citation inspires us even more to continue providing balanced programming–top quality entertainment shows and credible news and information programs. More importantly, we will keep on implementing CSR programs that contribute to making the lives of each and every Filipino better,” Pacis said.

What is the difference between the two awards given by Reader’s Digest magazine as one of the nation’s trusted TV network and Trusted Brand awards?  ABS-CBN won the former while GMA 7 earned the latter.

Is it confusing for a layman that GMA 7 as a TV network did not win the trusted TV network but won the trusted brand instead?

Firstly, let us know what is branding, according to Iacobucci (2010, p. 64) a brand, is a name contrary to what some marketers say that a brand is a symbol.  It first has to be a name; otherwise, how would you dot.com it or register it in the web servers or yellow pages?

Secondly why is branding important that companies covet the most trusted brand award?  Brands are intended to convey information to customer.  A company with a good and reliable brand will probably be among the best, “that time and again the product will perform to quality standards” (Iacobucci, 2010. pp. 66-67).

Quality standards for TV networks are credible news reportage and quality television programming.  To deserve the most trusted brand in Asia award, GMA 7 should contest the recent survey conducted in the National Capital Region from April 25 to April 29 this year by StratPolls Inc. Based on the survey, TV Patrol news team was picked by 45.6 percent of the respondents as the most credible news team while GMA-7’s “24 oras” lags behind with 4.4 percent disparity.

The consistency of ABS-CBN as a credible news source in a TV network was since 2010 based from Pulse Asia survey.  It scored 63 percent while GMA-7 only scored 55 percent.

Quality programming encompasses the credit worthiness of the TV network.  Where credibility is in question the brand is in jeopardy.  To win the award as the most trusted brand in Asia deserves a second look.  Who is the award giving body? Can we file a complaint against it? What is the credit worthiness of it?

Reader’s Digest Magazine or (RDM) was the award giving body, it sells publications and products in 78 countries.  Consumers are unfortunate to know that it is not accredited by Better Business Bureau or BBB.  RDM did not seek BBB accreditation therefore; complaints regarding the credibility of its awards and other related businesses cannot be filed. In fact correspondence forwarded to RDM by BBB (due to another complaint) in June 10, 2004 has been returned by the Postal Service marked “Return To Sender – Attempted Not Known”.  BBB however, has no facilities for tracing companies.

In terms of its credit worthiness RDM filed for prearranged Chapter 11 bankruptcy during the last quarter of 2009 the prearranged bankruptcy is to seek negotiations in terms of debt. The filing however, does not cover its businesses outside the United States.

Having said that, is the “Most Trusted Brand in Asia” award carries weight at all if not genuine to ask the least to this TV station?

The credibility of its award giving body is in question likewise the jeopardy of its brand is in turmoil, so how can it attract more viewers and advertisers? The answer is in its recent ad campaign or infomercial.

“Eight out of ten sexiest women in the Philippines” according to them are “kapuso”, this “sexiest women” campaign is again argumentative.  Who & what are the powers behind the vote? Are there metrics to know technically the women who fall under the “sexy” standard? What is the scope of the voting population?  Is it national (LVM) or just local (where GMA7 rates the most)?  Or are the voters just FHM readers? And finally, how credible is the claim?

GMA 7’s dire credibility is present as well from the justification of its double-digit income drop (refer to: Business World Online).  The fact of the matter is; lost of advertisers’ confidence due to its depleting number of viewers and rating are the chief reasons for the income drop as opposed to GMA Network President and Chief Operating Officer Gilberto R. Duavit, Jr. have said in the broadcaster’s press briefing.

The broadcaster’s ad campaign no matter how incredible the claim, is its unique style of attracting more viewers, similar to the Iglesia Ni Manalo’s (INM) strategy on enticing more male members by displaying young and beautiful women in front of its church guests. While GMA 7’s ad campaign is ingenuous, INM’s manner is on the other hand subtle.

GMA7 & INM have the same feathers for both flock together in harmony and synchronicity in its approach of respectively adding more viewers and members in an appalling fashion and pathetic wits.

The Whit