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Still popularizing news

News is vital information in the life of every human being in a society. It is to keep in touch with the current dynamics of inter-personal and institutional relationships and even the ecological symbiosis between men and nature not excluding spirituality and how these developments could help the advancement and betterment of human lives.

News—good or bad has its statement of a problem—is a shared experience regardless of socio-political stations of people or the economic and cultural differences among them. Human emotions, for one, determine the uniqueness of news relatable to a palpable and physical population pivoting the elements of the event in the case of real life human drama of the quotidian. Even a common domestic conflict, for instance, between a husband and wife is a neighbor or their own household’s predilection identifiable with each one’s anger, love, hate, joy, excitement etc. Its medium is the natural daily bare speech communications of the members of society. In this particular spectacle, its solution, therefore, must be the triumph of who embodies what is good for the common good.  

In the advent of the printed medium like newspapers, people draw out insights from their emotions and thoughts in the most direct exposure to the written words evoking a variety of picturesque ideas. 

In the realm of the plastic media, meanwhile, the same process of inducing not limited to feelings and concepts is still their pursuits.

In other words, news is a staple very significant in our lives traditionally on radio which reaches even the far-flung areas of the country.

It’s good development, though, that the audience has embraced newscast on TV more dearly in the last three decades or so compared to the days of yore when visual news wasn’t a viewing priority especially by the majority of the spectators.

Still, the networks are not sitting on their laurels.

This is noticeable in the Amplified Modulation (AM) stations which keep on injecting innovations their news shows for their listeners’ appreciation and loyalty glued to them.

They never get tired of popularizing news for easy listening pleasure while giving important messages to the public.

One of them is DZBB’s daily “Super Balita” in the weekday early morning primetime which is anchored by Mike Enriquez and Joel Reyes Zobel.

It’s interesting and engaging for each news item in the newscast to be preceded by music, popular or not, which would represent the meat of the story or just its general topic or simply, the title of the news story. Like the while sand haul from Cebu City afforded by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to the Manila Bay rehab area which was led by the Original Pilipino Music (OPM) “Bato sa Buhangin” before its delivery of full story. If a headline is about the occupation of China in the West Philippine Seas (WPS), it is preceded by the national anthem of the People’s Republic of China. If the story is about the road traffic or commuters waiting for a bus ride in the new normal, 60s The Hollies’ “Bus Stop” is the prelude music to the newscast etc.

This communication concept is very creative and attractive at the same time engaging without losing the information essence and meaning. It easily impacts on the hearing experience of the listener. It helps in the understanding of the news and its significance. 

Its effect is a lighter side of the hard news to be easily digested even if it is spoken in the vernacular or the common lingo of the street.  

Decades ago, this format wasn’t encouraging or even professionally applied because they thought the “seriousness” of the news is diminished if not completely taken away.

News as news should always be taken seriously even if the contents are light or odd. That’s why I don’t understand why entertainment news isn’t taken as an honest-to-goodness news except if it’s a police report or connected to a more “legitimate” beat like Malacanang or Senate etc. especially the one churns out by an ordinary movie reporter as the squabble between Isabel Rivas and Vivian Velez over the denial of the House of Representatives of franchise renewal to ABS-CBN and the network’s eventual closure however Isabel and Vivian—also high profile, influential personalities—are well-meaning people who have their opinions to air. Why can’t this type of news be aligned with the “legitimate” news or lined up with a newscast like “Super Balita”?

Why can’t entertainment stories be given social dimensions so that it could play at par with any event in the news genre? 

Of course, several AM newscasts have their showbiz portions but as usual, they are at the tail-end if not a distinct add-on as a balancing act or a dangling modifier (easily bumped off if overtime or something more “serious” crops up) or “pampalubag-loob lang (for consolation only)” for it could increase listenership and advertisers. There isn’t an earnest editorial policy about showbiz news as equal to any other news in the hierarchy “legit” news items. 

Sadly, entertainment newscast isn’t aligned as a hard stuff but something in the cellar, laughing stock especially if the newscaster is a screaming gay, inconsequential—therefore not to be taken seriously.  

When I started “Star News” of “TV Patrol” in 1987 and the ABS-CBN Integrated News and Current Affairs and its current News Manager Ging Reyes was a still writer/floor director of the news program, she would wish if not dare me to make our news more intelligent and substantial. I kept on thinking if I was just doing nonsense so I would think of devices to make my report more in the league of “hard news” so one day, when the late comedienne Zorayda Sanchez gave birth to her love child to a character actor, I did a stand-upper at the boundary sign of Angono, Rizal where she resided. It was also a first in my coverage of entertainment news not normally reported on the spot with the corresponding timeline to document the event. Or I would cover the Alsa Masa rally of the paramilitary group to support the showing of a movie by action star Mohammad Faizal who was an ardent believer and ardent supporter of the group. I also kept on thinking that the intrinsic features of showbiz story are intelligent nuances of the entire beat—multi dimensional and relatable to the audience.

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