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Thesis Statement: In the Philippine newspaper industry, it is the elite class that ultimately has power over the media.
There is a notion that the Philippine press is one of the freest in Asia. On the other hand, it is common knowledge that the Philippine media is commercialized and mostly controlled by political and private companies (Hofilena, 1998). Perhaps it is the integration of these two impressions that can sum up the actual Philippine media situation. The rich and powerful stay on the good side of the press once they have learned the art of dealing with the press people. Otherwise, they are vulnerable to the so-called free press, open to the press people?s abuse and, consequently, to the risk of having a bad public image. Nevertheless, the offended parties have the option of fighting back legitimately because of the existence of libel laws. Moreover, journalists can also become sympathetic to certain humanitarian causes and to public figures whose integrity they respect and with whom they feel a philosophical affinity. Unfortunately, it remains to be a widespread belief that one of the most effective and quickest methods of influencing the press is the corruption of the media via direct and indirect bribery.
The rules of the news-making game are not written but they do become clearer in the day-to-day process of newsmaking. They are always centered on treating government officials, business and other social leaders, and the institutions that they represent with ?cautious deference? (Downing, Mohammadi, and Mohammadi, 1995). A few media reporters have tried to live above this prevalent corruption, struggling to perform their duties as journalists by reporting facts, but eventually, most people have had to give in under the strength of the powerful, or rather, the elite. One such case would be the closure of the Manila Times (Coronel, 1999).
?The vulnerability of newspaper proprietors to government pressure is a chink in the metaphorical armor of the press? (Hofilena, 1998). Considering the fact that media is dominated by families whose business empires are subject to government regulation, the most vulnerable part of the newspaper, with regard to its relationship with the government, is naturally the business interests of the owners and their advertising departments. In the case of the Manila Times, the Gokongwei family was pressured to sell their newspaper in July 1999 to a business group who are believed to be ?cronies? of President Joseph Estrada after the paper published some highly critical report about the administration (Coronel,1998).
The shaping of an individual choice is brought about by the press? influence. The press helps to form these decisions in our everyday life. (Hofilena, 1998). The strength of the media is so powerful that it can send a political or business skyrocketing upward or plummeting downward. Newspapers have historically shown power in bringing about revolutions, as in the case of the fall of the Marcos regime in 1986. Similarly, newspapers also have the power to create dictatorships, as in the case of the rise of the Marcos regime. Media can be used as a business and political tool, for the protection and assertion of interests.
This paper aims to prove that newspapers are used as a means of protecting the interests of the Filipino elite, namely, politicians and big business owners of the country. This research will also involve tracing the historical and economical roots of this phenomenon. Historical references will include previous cases that show how the elite have tried and succeeded in manipulating newspapers throughout recent Philippine history. Furthermore, an economical perspective will refer to the relationship between newspaper ownership, advertising and the news content.
According to Hofilena, ?Clearly, there have been unethical and underhanded attempts to influence the press? (Hofilena,1998). One well-known way to do so is to put pressure on journalists by pressuring their superiors, the media owners. Pressure can also be exerted on the advertisers of the publication, as it was rumored to have been done in the Manila Times case, so that the advertisers will pull out their ads, thus paralyzing the newspapers advertising revenues (Coronel,1999)
One of the factors that aggravate the problem of widespread media corruption is the unsatisfactory wages that the journalists are given. According to Hofilena a cub reporter gets 50 pesos a month, a regular reporter receives between 150 and 200 pesos, while an editor is usually paid 2000 pesos a month not including the minimal transportation. The annual rise of poverty in the Philippines makes the acceptance of bribery an almost practical thing, even customary. Even the small percentage of journalists who try to stand by their moral dignity and refuse bribes are still sometimes forced to accept them because
Terminology mentioned in this term paper
mass media, martial law, Advertising, advertising departments, advertising revenues,
Names talked about in this essay
Ferdinand Marcos, Hofilena, President Joseph Estrada, Coronel, Malou Mangahas, Mohammadi, Renato Constantino, Elpidio Quirino, Magsaysay, Jake Makasets?s, Manila University,1997, Loren, Jake Makaset, Carvajal, Ferdi Reyes, Vincent Jones, Carvajal,Doreen,?Is, senator, Alejandro Roces, Quezon, Rene Constantino?s, Arlene Babot, Dan Okrent, Antonio Abaya,
Organizations referenced in this report
Philippine Daily Inquirer?s, Manila Times, government, Philippine Press institute, Philippine Star, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism,1999, Manila Bulletin, Philippines Center for Investigative and Development Studies,1991, Columbia university, American colonizers, Magsaysay administration, Commonwealth government,
Locations talked about in this essay
the Filipino?s, Asia, Quezon City, U.S.,
Holiday mentioned in this research material
Keywords talked about in this research material
philippine, journalists, business, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila Times, media ownership, elite, the philippine daily inquirer, Marcos, martial law, Joseph Estrada, Philippine Star, free press, advertising, big business, the manila times, press secretary, mass media, broadsheet newspapers, business people, interests, paper, Philippine Center, Renato Constantino, All at once, the philippine star, a single, public image, mass communication, reporters, Magsaysay, print media, public relations, business group, bad business, Ferdinand Marcos, Quezon, gifts, bribery, Manila Bulletin, bribes, government regulation, pullout, Filipino people, Commonwealth government, journalism, Elpidio Quirino, reporting, political views, Quezon City,