News as Commercial

I have always been partial to GMA 7 and DZBB for my news and public affairs programs. Somehow, I find their newscasters and reporters as less sensational and more likeable. On my way home from work, I usually tune in to the radio while stuck in traffic and I most often catch the show 24 Oras which is their early evening news program.

Recently, it has been quite irritating that GMA 7 seems to be using its news programs to promote the entertainment side of its business. I don't know about other stations (I don't listen or watch them nga) but prior to GMA 7's zooming up in the ratings game, I really do not remember them taking this approach. So these days, we regularly have interviews with stars in the Kapuso stable in the news. Also, for several days now (off and on), much attention and time has been devoted to the soon to be launched program Darna.

I have nothing against Darna. I will in fact probably want to see how the first episode goes on April 4. I grew up on Darna and Narda and am glad that a Pinoy created Super Heroine has lasted this long. But for a news program to talk endlessly about Darna -- how Angel Locsin prepared for Darna, who the love interests of Darna will be, who the enemies of Darna will be -- that's too much! One announcement about a new show is probably fine. Showbiz stories about some star getting married or about Yilmaz Bektas being shot are probably classifiable as news but to feature Darna in about 3-4 newscasts and counting?

I hope GMA 7 rethinks its news program strategy. As they proudly remind us and say: "Walang kinikilingan. Walang Pinoprotektahan. Serbisyong totoo lamang." As far as the Darna mega-promotion is concerned, I can almost hear Mike Enriquez saying: "Hindi namin kayo tatantanan!" Good grief.

[By Angelica Viloria | Thursday, March 31, 2005]

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