You are on page 1of 8

University of the East

College of Arts and Sciences
2219 CM Recto Ave. Manila, Philippines 1008


submitted to
Prof. Ellaine Hufano
Writing for Television

December 15, 2009

Izar, Nikko Norman C.
Mercado, Lalaine S.
Alcantara, Luis Jaime
Panaligan, Amaris

This report contains information on the background of news and public
affairs programming. It gives the fundamental explanations of news and
public affairs. It gives its relationships and premise. Moreover, the report
cites the two Network titans to exemplify and made an overview of news and
public affairs in Philippine setting.
Table of Contents:

I. Definitions of news and public affairs programming.
II. Qualities and elements of news and public affairs program.
III. GMA news and public affairs
IV. ABS-CBN News and public affairs

Execut ive Summary:
Public affairs are a term used to describe an organization’s relationship with
stakeholders. These are individuals or groups with an interest in the
organization’s affairs, such as MPs, civil servants, shareholders, customers,
clients, trade associations, think tanks, business groups, unions and the
media. Public affairs practitioners engage stakeholders in order to explain
the organization’s policies, provide statistical and factual information and to
lobby on issues which could impact upon the organization’s ability to operate
successfully. Their work combines government relations, media
communications, issue management, corporate and social responsibility
information dissemination and strategic communications advice. They aim to
influence public policy, build and maintain a strong reputation and find a
common ground with these stakeholders.
Public affairs practitioners can be described by a whole host of different
words in job titles including: public affairs, policy, government affairs,
government relations, parliamentary affairs, parliamentary relations,
European affairs, political advisor, political researcher, external affairs,
external relations, campaigns, corporate communications, corporate affairs,
stakeholder relations and stakeholder management.
Public affairs, a broadcasting industry term, refers to programming which
focuses on matters of politics and public policy. Among commercial
broadcasters, such programs are often only to satisfy regulatory
expectations, and hence are scheduled at times when few listeners or
viewers are tuned in (or even awake); in U.S. broadcasting, this is known as
the "Sunday-morning public affairs ghetto". At some (particularly national)
broadcasters, "Public Affairs" may be a special unit, separate from the news
department, dedicated to producing long-form public-affairs programming,
as at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation prior to 1992.
Audience Demand
Nature of the show
Needs of the audience
News is what is new; it’s what’s happening. Look it up in the dictionary, and
you’ll find news described as “a report of recent events or previously
unknown information.” But most of the things that happen in the world
every day don’t find their way into the newspaper or onto the air in a
So what makes a story newsworthy enough to be published or broadcast?
The real answer is, it depends on a variety of factors. Generally speaking,
news is information that is of broad interest to the intended audience, so
what’s big news in Buenos Aires may not be news at all in Baku. Journalists
decide what news to cover based on many of the following “news values”:
News broadcasting is the broadcasting of various news events and other
information via television or radio. The content is usually either produced
locally in a newsroom, or by a broadcast network. It may also include such
additional material as sports coverage, weather forecasts, traffic reports,
commentary and other material that the broadcaster feels is relevant to their
What makes news also depends on the makeup of the intended audience,
not just where they live but who they are. Different groups of people have
different lifestyles and concerns, which make them interested in different
types of news. A radio news program targeted at younger listeners might
include stories about music or sports stars that would not be featured in a
business newspaper aimed at older, wealthier readers. A weekly magazine
that covers medical news would report on the testing of an experimental
drug because the doctors who read the publication presumably would be
interested. But unless the drug is believed to cure a well-known disease,
most general-interest local newspapers would ignore the story. The
exception might be the newspaper in the community where the research is
being conducted.
News organizations see their work as a public service, so news is made up of
information that people need to know in order to go about their daily lives
and to be productive citizens in a democracy. But most news organizations
also are businesses that have to make a profit to survive, so the news also
includes items that will draw an audience: stories people may want to know
about just because they’re interesting. Those two characteristics need not
be in conflict. Some of the best stories on any given day, in fact, are both
important and interesting. But it’s fairly common for news organizations to
divide stories into two basic categories: hard news and soft news, also called
Types of News
Hard news is essentially the news of the day. It’s what you see on the front
page of the newspaper or the top of the Web page, and what you hear at the
start of a broadcast news report. For example, war, politics, business, and
crime are frequent hard news topics. A strike announced today by the city’s
bus drivers that leaves thousands of commuters unable to get to work is
hard news. It’s timely, controversial, and has a wide impact close to home.
The community needs the information right away, because it affects people’s
daily lives.
By contrast, a story about a world-famous athlete who grew up in an
orphanage would fit the definition of soft news. It’s a human-interest story
involving a prominent person and it’s an unusual story that people likely
would discuss with their friends. But there’s no compelling reason why it has
to be published or broadcast on any particular day. By definition, that makes
it a feature story. Many newspapers and online-news sites have separate
feature sections for stories about lifestyles, home and family, the arts, and
entertainment. Larger newspapers even may have weekly sections for
specific kinds of features on food, health, education, and so forth.
Topic isn’t the only thing that separates hard news from features. In most
cases, hard news and soft news are written differently. Hard news stories
generally are written so that the audience gets the most important
information as quickly as possible. Feature writers often begin with an
anecdote or example designed primarily to draw the audience’s interest, so
the story may take longer to get to the central point.
Some stories blend these two approaches. Stories that are not time-
sensitive but that focus on significant issues are often called “news
features.” A story about one community’s struggle to deal with AIDS, for
example, is a news feature. A story about a new treatment option for AIDS
patients would be hard news. News features are an effective way to explore
trends or complex social problems by telling individual human stories about
how people experience them. (We’ll discuss these different writing styles in
more detail in Chapter 3, “Telling the Story.”)
Where the News Comes From
Journalists find news in all sorts of places, but most stories originate in one of
three basic ways:
• naturally occurring events, like disasters and accidents;
• planned activities, like meetings and news conferences;
• reporters’ enterprise.

GMA News and Public Affairs is the news department of the Philippine broadcaster
GMA Network. It produces news and infotainment programs for all GMA Network
owned and affiliated television and radio stations in the Philippines, and
internationally through GMA Pinoy TV and GMA Life TV. GMA News and Public Affairs
is currently headed by Marissa Flores. It is headquartered at the Ground Floor of
GMA Network Center in Quezon City.[1]

News division

The GMA News division traces its origin from the Republic Broadcasting System,
established by Robert Stewart. Programming of its radio station, DZBB depended on
mostly on news reports. The station covered the eruption of Mt. Hibok-Hibok in
1951, and the election and untimely death of former President Ramon Magsaysay.
While RBS Channel 7 was established in 1961, it was in 1970s that GMA became
one of the most-watched television news source in the country. In 1983, Channel 7
was the first to break the news of Ninoy Aquino's death, and later would be the only
television station to broadcast his funeral. The channel also became the first station
to broadcast the Ramos-Enrile break-away that led to the People Power Revolt.

In 1998, GMA teamed up with the Philippine Daily Inquirer to produce election
coverage. Its flagship newscast, Saksi, won the 1999 Asian Television Awards and
2002 New York Festival awards for Best Newscast. In 2006, GMA News was praised
by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for its news coverage, and said that it was the
reason for the network's high ratings. In the 2006 SWS Media Trust survey, GMA
News garnered 60% of public trust, second only to rival ABS-CBN with 68%. But a
similar Pulse Asia survey shows that GMA News is the more credible in the country
and to key demographics.

GMA News became a pioneer in local television news in many ways. GMA was one
of the pioneers of women in broadcast journalism. Tina Monzon-Palma was one of
the first women co-anchors when she first presented News at Seven, one of the
most-watched news programs in the 1970s. Helen Vela was the first woman to
anchor news in Tagalog, and Mel Tiangco was the first late-night solo anchor. GMA
was the first to broadcast an hourly news program, which is known today as the
GMA Flash Report, and the first station to use a ticker for breaking news and traffic
information. GMA News was also the first to use Electronic News Gathering Vans in
the country. In 2004, it regularly began to use Satellite News Gathering facilities to
reach more remote areas. It also covered major events in the country, such as the
1995 World Youth Day, 2003 World Meeting of Families, and 2000 Today.

Public Affairs division

GMA’s Public Affairs division was established in 1987[2] when Tina Monzon-Palma,
then head of GMA News recognized that a 30 minute newscast was not adequate
and sufficient to inform the general Filipino public on what is happening to the
recently established Aquino government after the historic People Power Revolution
in February 1986]. It started with five news personnel including Marissa La Torre
Flores (now handles GMA News and Public Affairs as senior vice president) and held
office inside the cameramen’s locker room before moving into the state-of-the-art
GMA Network Center with no experience, equipment, camera and an improvised set
broadcasting at the old GMA building in Edsa with only a passion to work attitude.
Now with more than 500 news personnel—here and abroad—and producing 16 of
the most awarded programs on Philippine television today.

The public affairs program Weekend With Velez, was the first network-produced
program on GMA, afterward renamed to Velez This Week and was hosted by Jose
Mari Velez. Later that year it was joined with other public affairs shows such as
Firing Line with Teddy Benigno (later on hosted by Oscar Orbos); View Point with
Dong Puno; Straight from the Shoulder hosted by Louie Beltran and The Probe Team
by Che-Che Lazaro.

From a makeshift and improvised set, the once GMA News garnered several honors
and recognitions from local and international award-giving bodies, including two
gold medals in the New York Festivals and their first Peabody Award in 1999[5], one
of the most distinguished merit in the broadcast industry, the only one awarded to
an Asian country. The first Peabody was given for Kidney for Sale, an investigative
work on the selling of kidneys in a depressed area along the coast of Manila Bay.
The award also recognizes Marissa Flores as the executive producer and a team of
producers, writers, directors and reporters, as well as Jessica Soho, Michelle Seva-
Recto, Jay Taruc, Leogarda Sanchez and Rowel Cornejo, Melchor Quintos and Gregg

Coinciding with its 20th anniversary in broadcasting excellence, GMA News and
Public Affairs aired a documentary entitled 20: Dalawampung Taon ng GMA Public
Affairs (20: Twenty Years of GMA Public Affairs) on October 28, 2007[6].

The Public Affairs division of GMA is now headed by Nessa Valdellon as Vice
President for Public Affairs.

ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs is the news and current affairs division of
Philippines broadcaster ABS-CBN. The organization is responsible for the
daily news and information gathering of the network's news & current affairs
programs. According to a SWS media trust survey, ABS-CBN News & Current
Affairs topped the list, garnering 68% of public trust; thus its current slogan
"Panig sa Katotohanan, Panig sa Bayan" (Sides for the Truth, Sides for the
It serves the main ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation, ABS-CBN Regional
Network Group, Studio 23, ABS-CBN Radio (both AM and FM networks) and
the ABS-CBN News Channel. The division operates mainly from the ABS-CBN
Broadcast Complex in Quezon City while the regional ABS-CBN stations also
have their local news divisions, which also help in newsgathering for the
whole network. It also has several foreign bureaus—one each in North
America, Europe, the Middle East, and now in Australia with the help of ABS-
CBN Global.
The organization is split into three sub-groups:
• News Group, headed by ABS-CBN Vice-President and former CNN
Jakarta Bureau Chief Maria Ressa;
• Current Affairs Group, headed by former American Broadcasting
Company news correspondent and former GMA Network vice president
for news and public affairs Luchi-Cruz Valdez; and
• News Gathering Group, headed by former Reuters correspondent and
one-time ABS-CBN reporter Charie Villa.
Aside from regular programming, it also operates the ABS-CBN News
Channel, the first and currently only 24 hour news channel in the country.
The division also operates a news website in partnership with The Philippine
Star and The Manila Times.
Current programs

• Bandila
• Bottomline
• The Correspondents
• Failon Ngayon
• I Survived
• Kabuhayang Swak na Swak
• Kulilits
• Matanglawin
• News Patrol
• Probe
• Rated K
• Salamat Dok!
• S.O.C.O. (Scene of the Crime Operatives)
• Sports Unlimited
• Trip na Trip
• TV Patrol World
○ TV Patrol Sabado
○ TV Patrol Linggo
• Umagang Kay Ganda
• Urban Zone
• XXX: Exklusibong, Explosibong, Exposé