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Philippine Newspaper Industry

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 ...

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