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News reporting in the Philippines has been viciously competitive, especially in the last three decades. What used to be the cutthroat battle between broadcast and print media undeniably gets more aggressive as the world gets smaller with the impact of technology. The competition is now even tighter with the birth of internet and social media. The unparalleled popularity of facebook and twitter in particular has both become a boon and a bane for news reporters as they have become their unwitting competitors in news gathering industry.
There was a time when being right was more important than being first to report a story.
The first person or reporter to break the news gets all the bragging rights. Only a few care about accuracy, especially if the report turns out to be a rumor. But if the story is true, the first to report gets all the credit. But only if the facts are presented accurately.
If things don't change, a visible news personality NP of a major network MN might be in danger of getting axed anytime soon. Reason? A very inaccurate news report on a sensitive news item. NP had presented the news report that allegedly turned out to be a dud. The matter reached the MN higher-ups and a not-so-happy verdict is allegedly in the works.
Of late, MN has been criticized for highly inaccurate and poorly-researched materials that saw airing in their primetime television news programs. Only a few months ago, MN and one of its reporters had been heavily bashed online for its careless handling of a news report involving the murder of a family member. Televiewers and the netizens were aghast at the mindless and irresponsible reporting that almost led to MN's and the reporter's being sued by the very aggrieved party.
Being first is only part of it. People look for a source they can trust and accuracy has never been more important. The impact of MN's earlier blunders sees it reeling from credibility problems. That is why NP's recent faux pas is the last thing that it needs at this point. In fact, an insider was overheard saying that a major 'shot in the arm' is what MN news department actually and badly needs at this time.
How will NP solve his big dilemma? If only we're that privy...
"Television makes so much [money] at its worst that it can't afford to do its best."
Fred Friendly, former president of CBS News, 1915–1998
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