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Balane, Justine Raphael Luis C.

August 17, 2016
Analysis on good and bad story editing
Good story editing
Title: Incentives for the rich harm the poor by Roel R. Landingin, PCIJ
This 2006 story from Philippine Center for Investigative Journalisms news blog is a perfect
example of good story editing. It is the first of a two-part story about how the P13-billion tax
exemptions for the countrys duopolistic telecommunications industry takes away funding for
basic sectors. The headline catches the attention of readers by introducing the conflict between
rich and poor people while making clear that the story is economic in scope.
Underneath the headline, readers get an editorial note giving readers an overview of what they
are about to read:
Our latest report deals with how tax incentives amounting
to billions of pesos are being given to big companies that
have no need for them. It cites the P13-billion in incentives
given by the Board of Investments to telecommunications
companies putting up 3G operations, even if these companies
have decided to carry out the projects with or without
The editorial note ends with a reason why the story is relevant at the time it was published:

This report is timely as it is being released just as the Senate is set to

begin deliberations on a bill that seeks to overhaul the countrys
system of tax incentives. Authored by Senator Ralph Recto, Senate
Bill No. 2411 wants to do away with tax and duty exemptions for
companies serving the domestic market, except those located in the
countrys poorest 30 provinces. Tax and duty breaks will continue to
be granted to exporters although the type of incentives and the way
they are administered will also be changed.
The storys lead immediately shows why huge tax exemptions are controversial. It shows how it takes just
two weeks for companies to waive off taxes worth P13 billion, a single offices one year collection.

IT TAKES the tax bureaus southern Makati district office,

housed at the Atrium building along Makati Avenue, about a

year to collect P13 billion in taxes.

another government agency, the
(BOI), took just 14 working days
same. amount in tax exemptions
most profitable companies Globe
Communications Inc.

Just a few blocks away,

Board of Investments
to decide to grant the
to two of the countrys
Telecom Inc. and Smart

The storys explanation on tax holidays as financial incentives is written in laymans terms:
Tax incentives are meant to attract and encourage investments. Yet
they are being given mostly to for high-return projects being
undertaken by big, profitable companies that practically own the
entire domestic market for their product or service. These firms have
no need for incentives to encourage them to invest.
The statistics and figures of the stories are organized in charts and tables to make it
more visual and therefore, more convenient for the readers to track down the data as
they are reading the story.
Perhaps, one limitation of the story editing is its placement on the online platform. The
story is tucked into the Business and Economy section of the PCIJ news blog. The story
won the third prize of Jaime V. Ongpin Awards for Excellence in Journalism (JVOAEJ).

Bad story editing

Title: Espinosa family shows up in Crame in designer shoes, bag by Julliane Love de Jesus
The story is about Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., who is in the Presidents list of suspected
officials involved in the drug trade, and his appearance in the Criminal Investigation and
Detection Group (CIDG) in Camp Crame.
The headline offends editorial rules as it casts the Espinosa family in bad taste with its focus on
their style of clothing. The focus on their Louis Vuitton shoes and Michael Kors bag can be too
presumptive on the familys image:
Wearing dark brown Louis Vuitton shoes, Leyte
Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., an alleged drug
protector, finally showed up at the Criminal
Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) office on
Wednesday afternoon.
The storys focus could have instead focused on how the Espinosa family arrived later than
Accompanied by his wife and daughter, who carried a
signature Michael Kors bag, Espinosa arrived at the
CIDG office in Camp Crame with his counsel at 2 p.m.
He committed earlier to report to CIDG at 9 a.m.