24 Oras

24 Oras, read as Bente-Quatro Oras, is the primetime news programs aired daily on the GMA network. Their weekday programming runs from 6:30 pm to 8 pm and is hosted by Mel Tiangco and Mike Enriquez, while their weekend programming runs from 5:30 pm to 6 pm and is hosted by Pia Arcangel and Jiggy Manicad. I will attempt to discuss the general news process of 24 Oras using Postcolonial Analysis.

Human Culture goes around the ethnic and national lines that connect people of a specific country. This can be seen with the language they use for news reporting. For the most part, they use Filipino as it is the simplest way to make news easy to digest by the viewers. They code-switch from Filipino to English often and keep certain jargon terms that have no Filipino equivalent to keep news content within context. Filipino is not necessarily the language people from Visayas, Mindanao, or even Northern Luzon use, but given that they are broadcasting from Metro Manila, they decide to stick with this. So it is observable how dominant ethnic group, even in one’s own country, can make its groups traits normative in the society.

To address the issue of exclusivity in the country’s capital, GMA News has branched out to have substations in other key cities in the Philippines such as GMA News Cebu. These substations function to report the concerns of people from that area and receive such information that we usually would not receive given that the content of majority of news reports are Manila-based, if not International reports. With this, the characteristic of human culture as one that establishes the identity of selves in terms of ethnicity, nationality, geography becomes more pronounced.

If we can observe simultaneously, we can note that the content of international news in 24 Oras are similar to an American manner of delivering the news, such as CNN, and it is often that the only other side of the story we receive is that from the news program itself. It can be argued that this is due to the Hegemony of the Americans and the media elite, as they remain to be influential in the treatment of news in 24 Oras. Perhaps we can attribute this to the power relations between the Western, namely America, and Third World cultures, namely ours. An example would be the delivery of news about the ISIS terrorist group. News reporting has a tendency to view this war as one with America as the hero and ISIS as the terrorists, and the side of the people in Syria and Israel not associated with ISIS, a view of their own struggles, is in some ways, overlooked.

Transnational culture can be seen with the shared literary and pop culture, more often than not with America and select neighboring countries here in Asia. This is usually seen during Chika Minute, the entertainment news segment of 24 Oras, in terms of shared pop culture. This can be seen with the fairly recent news report about Arnel Pineda, Filipino frontman of the band Journey, being one of the judges of a new talent search in Asia called Asian Music Camp. Here we see transnational culture factors coming into play, as his co-judges were selected from different Asian countries and that the show is based in Asia, which will undoubtedly be an avenue for sharing of the different cultures.

As for our view on exoticism, because of the influence of the Americans over us, has become similar with theirs. We see the East, the Orient, as exotic and their cultures are made exciting. For me, this continues to support White Supremacy. An example would be the news segment part of the broadcast last October 31, 2014, Friday. The field reporter’s segment was concerned with a vox pop regarding the difficulty of transportation over the All Saints Day and All Souls Day weekend. First to appear on the vox pop was a white foreigner, his name was never mentioned and neither was his religion, but his opinion was asked when it came to public transportation as it was assumed that he was travelling over the weekend. His answer was very brief and he was rushing as he gave his answer. This was followed by an opinion from a Filipino local, who just answered that it just gets hard to travel by bus or by boat during Undas, but he sacrifices anyway just to be able to visit his family and departed loved ones in the province. Now I don’t speak for everyone when I say this, but wasn’t the second man’s opinion more value-adding than the first?

GMA News widens its reach by providing clips from the reports in the news broadcast online on the day itself as well as by posting the news report transcriptions online. They also utilize the complimentary social networking sites and provide minute-to-minute updates, even beyond what is covered in the one hour and thirty minute airtime of the 24 Oras.

So with 24 Oras, despite their “walang kinikilingan, walang pinoprotektahan, serbisyong totoo lamang” battle cry, we can still observe that there still lies a tinge of Western influence and practice with the creation and delivery of news reports.


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