Kindly allow us to address certain points made by your columnist Katrina Stuart Santiago about GMA Network’s coverage of the Vhong Navarro incident. [Radikalchick column “Media messes” on Feb. 6, 2014]
Since this story broke, we have sought to get all sides and present them as fairly as we could. The proof is in our stories.
Ms. Santiago makes this sweeping statement:
“Between charges that Arnold Clavio was rude to Navarro’s lawyer on nationwide TV, and Jessica Soho seemingly dismissive of the woman’s condo’s CCTV, one is hard put to defend GMA.”
No one is asking Ms. Santiago to defend GMA, but we do expect her to be fair in her observations. Did she actually see Arnold Clavio being rude to Vhong Navarro’s lawyer, or was she just repeating what she was reading on Facebook? We like to think that a media critic would make her own judgments based on a careful consideration of the source material. If she did watch the interview, she was not specific about when exactly in the interview Arnold demonstrated this rudeness. When we reviewed the interview, we did not observe a moment of rudeness. He was actually respectful and polite.
As for Jessica Soho’s being “seemingly dismissive of the woman’s condo’s CCTV,” again, this refers to the exchange between Jessica and GMA News reporter John Consulta on SONA, January 30, 2014. We have transcribed and studied the exchange, which took place before the raw CCTV video was presented by the NBI at a press conference. The video material Jessica and John were discussing at that time was scanty, and Jessica at the beginning of the interview was skeptical about its possible impact on the case.
But after listening to John explain the evidence so far, and what was about to be revealed by the NBI, Jessica had this to say:
“Kung hindi ako nagkakamali, tugma ‘yan sa testimony ni Vhong Navarro na may biglang lumabas na mga lalaki within the condominium at tinutukan siya ng baril. Tama?”
This does not sound like someone “dismissive” of the condo CCTV.
Finally, regarding Gabriela’s objection to our reporting on their lawyer’s interview with GMA News reporter Sandra Aguinaldo, Sandra stands by her TV story that she did ask Gabriela lawyer, Atty. Alnie Foja, about Deniece and her rape charge, and has posted the entire transcript of the interview on her official Facebook page so any critic can make their own judgment.
The online headline that Gabriela objected to was corrected as soon as they said it did not reflect the intent of the quote it was based on. Since we received a private complaint first, a GMA News Online editor sent a private explanation and an apology, before it was posted publicly. Both have been acknowledged by Gabriela.
We deactivated both the TV and online stories while we were reviewing the complaint.
Ms. Santiago can make her own judgment whether these actions were “deliberately misleading and malicious.”
[Editor’s note: Attached to GMA VP Angel Javier’s letter is the Radikalchick “Media Mess” column that came out on Feb. 6, with the parts being clarified highlighted.]