Friday, June 30, 2006

We have our eyes on you

It's good that ABS-CBN is finally doing something by moving its program Insider to an earlier time slot. The Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) has always voiced out its concern against airing news programs, where more and more Filipinos get their news and information, so late at night. The news program, which will now be called Bandila, will be shown on July 3.

We will be watching.

ABS-CBN raises the flag of journalism excellence
Source: Yehey News

ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. hopes to change the face of Philippine television by moving its late night news program Insider to an earlier time slot. What’s more, the new program will be titled Bandila, which is the Filipino word for flag.

The move “is an act of leadership,” said Maria Ressa, head of the network’s news and current affairs division, explaining the choice for the title at a press conference on Tuesday. Her message: Nationalism, not merely ratings, will drive the news.

When Ressa took over the helm of the news division in June 2005, she noticed—not just in ABS-CBN—that programming in recent the years had become entertainment-driven. Particularly by consecutive soap operas—comprised of local and foreign telenovelas, fantaseryes and reality shows—which are shown from 7:30 p.m. onwards. The effect on the delivery of news is that it is pushed very late into the evening.

“We’re taking a risk here by moving the news to 10:30 p.m.,” she pointed out, so that viewers don’t have to stay awake wait until midnight to get their information.

The move not only aims to bring the news earlier to viewers, but also to polish the network’s image specifically, and that of media on the whole.

“Media has been getting a lot of negative publicity lately,” said Luchi Cruz Valdez, who has been tasked to head Bandila’s program production, adding that many viewers had begun to turn away from watching the news because most items focus on political bickerings, economic slump and national degradation. “We were feeding on that depression. We felt the time was right to do something,” she elaborated.

To read the rest of the report, click here.

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