With more individuals relying on the Internet and social media for news, the role of today’s reporters have been in put in question. Other people, however, argue that traditional media—television, broadsheets and radio—are still the most trusted tools to educate and inspire the society.
Seasoned journalists and “24 Oras Weekend” anchors Jiggy Manicad and Pia Arcangel agreed with the latter sentiment and highlighted the importance of their profession with the prolifelation of online hoaxes and fake news.
“I think the challenge to us is stronger than ever especially our fact-checking. Us, as anchors, we should be able to widen our knowledge. People now have their own sources of information so we should get our facts right. For example, there is a phone patch, we should always be ready to fact check the interviewee or the field reporter on the spot so that people will get the information right or else, we will like be just like any other sources in the internet,” Arcangel told the The Manila Times in a roundtable interview.
Manicad, seconded, “The interest of the public when it comes to news grew. There is a social media component in the information we give but television is where the public still go.”
“Prior to giving the news on air is a very long process. From the news gathering phase, fact checking in the newsroom, the editor’s challenge in the information provided by the reporters to also make sure that everything is in context is there. This is the niche of our show here in GMA for the viewers,” he added.
The weekend duo also revealed that the proverbial “race” to broadcast information was never in their minds; Technical and precise reporting is more important than getting the scoop.
“That is one of the things that we are proud of with GMA, we are not here to join the race to be the first because our main priority is to get the information correct and it is always a long process. You may be the first but then if you’re information is wrong, your viewers may no longer believe you when you report the next time,” Arcangel further noted.
“I was asked about that once, scoop or accuracy. Of course we will choose accuracy. Everything should be complete first, it’s hard that you’ll get the scoop but you misinform the public with your details. The organization will suffer not just you,” Manicad added.
The anchors then took pride with the results of recent surveys where it was revealed that their weekend primetime telecast 24 Oras Weekend remains the top news source of Filipinos nationwide every Saturdays and Sundays.
Data from Nielsen TV Audience Measurement show that from August 1 to September 10, 24 Oras Weekend reigned supreme in the National Urban Television Audience Measurement (NUTAM) with an average rating of 8.4 percent, beating TV Patrol Weekend’s average people rating of 5.5 percent.
In Urban Luzon, 24 Oras Weekend toppled competition with an average people rating of 9-percent almost double TV Patrol Weekend’s 4.1 percent. 24 Oras Weekend posted an even bigger margin in Mega Manila (based on official data as of September 2) with an impressive 9.2 percent average people rating versus competition’s 3.4 percent.
For the broadcasting veterans—Manicad has been in the industry for 20 years while Arcangel for 15 years—public service is the main reason why they continue to stay.
“I love the fact that it’s different everyday, you don’t know what will happen before you go to office. There are also perks that we got to be in the front row to history. You witness everything first hand and I guess the best part is you have the chance to do public service. For me, any career in broadcasting is public service,” Arcangel finally pointed out.
“The public component is always the best part. You are not only working but you’re serving the public. You inform them with all the facts that they should know,” Manicad ended.