news, Philippines, politics, public affairs

In Memory of News5

The death of News5 is all but finalized.

On Friday, November 3, TV5 management announced the cancellation of ‘Aksyon sa Umaga’, ‘Aksyon News Alert’ and ‘Aksyon Tonite’ to make way for the newly-rebranded ESPN5 block that will go full swing in December. The only newscasts retained by the network are ‘Aksyon sa Tanghali’ and ‘Aksyon Prime’.

The cancellation of these three programs marked the latest in a saga of changes that deepened News5’s problems. Whether it is the loss of several talents, questionable programming decisions, lack of resources or signal concerns, News5’s issues only served to undermine its abilities as a news-gathering force.

There is no need to discuss what went wrong as this blog already discussed in detail the many problems that News5 faced (and the potential solutions that would have helped). Instead, this article will look back at News5’s contributions during its storied but tenuous run.

News5 started the ‘news on FM radio’ revolution when they launched Radyo5 92.3 News FM back in 2010. A few months after, AksyonTV was born, and at the time, it was the only 24/7 all-Filipino language news channel on free TV.

They also went into a partnership with Bloomberg LP in 2015 and launched Bloomberg TV Philippines, the first Filipino business news channel. Other contributions by the network include News5 Digital, then the only online news channel in the country, and News5 newscasts produced in high definition.

Some of the Philippines’ most talented journalists also made News5 their home. These include current PCOO secretary Martin Andanar, the late Amelyn Veloso, the Tulfo brothers (Ben, Raffy and Erwin), Cheryl Cosim, Ed Lingao, Jove Francisco and former DOT spokesperson Cherie Mercado among others.

Finally, News5 did produce some quality programs of their own. Aside from the ‘Aksyon’ newscasts, some of News5’s award-winning shows include ‘T3’, ‘History with Lourd de Veyra’, ‘Kaya’ and ‘Alagang Kapatid’.

Overall, despite all the problems they have faced, News5 still tried its best to keep up with its more superior counterparts in ABS-CBN and GMA. Still, its inevitable demise has viewers thinking what might have been had they smartly made moves to benefit both the technical and the economical aspect of the organization.

Now that Chot Reyes is about to turn TV5 into an S+A clone (for lack of a better term), the promising organization that is News5 is all but a distant memory. The newscasts may keep it alive, but for all intents and purposes, this organization’s days are numbered.

Thanks for all the memories, News5. You’ll be sorely missed.

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news, Philippines, radio, Sports, television

TV5 Needs to Improve its News and Sports Broadcasts

TV5 needs to improve its production of sports and news programs in order to be more consistent with the other networks. (Photo courtesy of TV5)

TV5’s sports broadcasting resume was enhanced by acquiring the broadcast rights for this year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. However, there are some issues that need to be resolved when it comes to both sports and news coverage.

As I observed the recent Sports5 broadcasts of the NCAA and PBA, there is something wrong with their live coverage, and that involves the announcers and courtside reporters of the said network. Typically announcers are required to wait for the commercials to end before resuming their duties, but in Sports5’s example, the announcers are already speaking once the commercials are done and a live shot of the game is shown. This is a bad example of airing a live sports event.

If Sports5’s vision is to be a leader in sportscasting, their announcers need to improve in terms of timing and thorough delivery. By eliminating this ‘can’t wait’ mentality, the broadcast of a live sports event will be well-produced and consistent. Perhaps they should look at ABS-CBN Sports’ coverage of the UAAP and see why.

Going to the news aspect, I was disgusted by Radyo5 92.3 News FM’s simulcast of ‘T3: Reload’ the other day. Their commercial breaks are too long, so much so that the final segment where Ben, Erwin and Raffy Tulfo usually deliver their final remarks and bid farewell to the viewers never aired. Meanwhile, on AksyonTV’s simulcasts of Radyo5 programs, their ‘Aksyon Breaking’ news segment is also too long, perhaps twice as long as the ‘Aksyon News Update’ on Radyo5, due to the coverage of so many stories and ‘Aksyon Weather’. As a result, the simulcast of the radio program does not start in time on AksyonTV.

Perhaps the most misleading observation is the title ‘Aksyon Breaking’. The title should only be used during live press conferences and urgent breaking news that happen beyond the top of the hour such as ongoing fires, hostage crises, accidents and shooting incidents. ‘Aksyon News Alert’, the title used on TV5, is the more applicable title for AksyonTV’s top-of-the-hour newsbreaks.

With that in mind, here are some suggestions. Whenever ‘T3: Reload’ is aired on Radyo5, they should limit themselves to 30 or 60-second commercial breaks, due to the lengthy resolution of complaints on the program. On ‘Aksyon’, around 120 to 150 seconds is more than enough. And during AksyonTV’s top-of-the-hour newsbreaks, they should limit their stories to just one or two, and deliver them in an average of 40 to 50 seconds. Finally, ‘Aksyon Weather’ should move back to the :30 minute mark of the hour, and include the global and regional weather segments.

TV5 definitely has the potential to produce the best sports and news programming possible. But unless they improve on these aspects, their progression as a media giant will be hindered.

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