A Look Back at News Coverage of the Resorts World Manila Attack

Friday’s incident at Resorts World Manila was headline news for journalists throughout the country. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN News)

Tragedy strikes on the first Friday of June.

On June 2, 2017, gunshots and fire broke out at the Resorts World Manila in Pasay City. When it was all said and done, 37 people were found dead through suffocation, and the gunman, later identified as former Department of Finance employee Jessie Carlos, shot and immolated himself to death.

Here is how the country’s major news outfits fare with the coverage of the incident.

ABS-CBN News Channel and DZMM TeleRadyo

The burden of ABS-CBN News’ coverage was shared between DZMM TeleRadyo and the ABS-CBN News Channel. Both networks went on breaking news mode the moment the attack at Resorts World Manila struck.

ANC and DZMM continued to provide updates of the tragedy over the next 24 hours, with the former somehow eschewing its regular programs in favor of the generic ‘ANC Live’ brand beginning at 11:30 a.m. DZMM continued to air its regular programs but on occasion it gave way to special coverage of the said incident.

GMA News TV

GMA News TV’s coverage began through its simulcast of DZBB shows ‘Saksi sa Dobol B’, ‘Sino?’ and ‘Dobol A sa Dobol B’. Their marathon continued through ‘News to Go’ and ‘Balitanghali’.

The network essentially preempted all regular programming in favor of TV shopping blocks for much of the afternoon. In between, newscasts such as ‘Quick Response Team’, ‘Balita Pilipinas’ and ‘State of the Nation’ continued to update on the situation.

CNN Philippines

While CNN Philippines is a 24/7 station (at least for cable and satellite subscribers), the network’s coverage at Resorts World Manila did not begin until 6:00 a.m. once ‘New Day’ kicked in. From that point on, CNN Philippines went on three different phases.

First, the network’s early morning coverage was aired in English, followed by a Filipino language marathon of the incident during the late morning through early afternoon. After that, English language coverage resumed all the way till the deep part of the evening, with some regular programming in between.

News5

Unfortunately, Luchi Cruz-Valdes’ outfit failed to deliver when it mattered most. Although Radyo5 92.3 FM (and by extension AksyonTV) provided some breaking news on the Resorts World Manila tragedy, the networks continued to air regular programming as if nothing had happened.

Even the ‘Aksyon’ newscasts on TV5 had a bad outing as well. Considering that the newscasts only have at least an hour of airtime (not to mention Raffy Tulfo’s penchant to do some extracurricular activities not related to news), it is clear that LCV and company have too little to offer with a meager cast and limited time.

The next two days saw further updates of the Resorts World Manila tragedy, but other than that, it was all back to normal programming. Additional press conferences at the Resorts World Manila, including the revelation of the gunman’s name, were a few highlights of the weekend.

Overall, it was a field day for major news networks in the country. But while Ging Reyes, Marissa Flores and Armie Jarin-Bennett have done a pretty good job putting all the work in dealing with the Resorts World Manila tragedy, the same cannot be said for Luchi Cruz-Valdes, and it’s a shame.

When tragedy strikes, somebody must take action. And in times like this, news networks and other related organizations should be first on the scene to deliver the news and bring up-to-date reports to everyone.

GMA to Revive Dobol B sa News TV Block This April

A new (or old) program block is set to return to GMA News TV.

It was announced that the ‘Dobol B sa News TV’ block will be revived on the network this coming April. The teaser below shows hosts Mike Enriquez (of ‘Saksi sa Dobol B’), Arnold Clavio and Ali Sotto (of ‘Dobol A sa Dobol B’) talking about their impending return to the small screen via GMA News TV.

Initially launched on February 28, 2011, ‘Dobol B sa News TV’ is essentially a simulcast of early morning programs from Super Radyo DZBB 594. The first iteration of the block consists of the following programs:

  • Saksi sa Dobol B (hosted by Mike Enriquez)
  • Super Balita sa Umaga Nationwide (anchored by Mike Enriquez and Joel Reyes Zobel)
  • One on One with Igan (hosted by Arnold Clavio and Lala Roque)

The block ran from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. on weekdays and it competed against DZMM TeleRadyo shows ‘Kabayan’, ‘Radyo Patrol Balita Alas-Siyete’ and ‘Failon Ngayon sa DZMM’. However, the block had its flaws, the most notable of which are the ill-timed placing of taped news reports during commercial breaks and product advisories.

GMA News TV’s Teleradyo-like experiment lasted until September 7, 2012, when it was cancelled due to low ratings. After that, with the exception of a short-lived revival of ‘Kape at Balita’, News TV’s 6:00-9:00 a.m. slot was given to reruns of GMA Public Affairs shows, classic action movies, Koreanovelas, TV shopping blocks, and even the teleserye ‘Amaya’.

The revival of ‘Dobol B sa News TV’ should give viewers another reason to believe in News TV. While the network’s quality of programming is still questionable, their recent live coverage of high-profile Senate and House hearings is a sign that the channel is improving and that a return to form is imminent.

Still, even with the return of DZBB programs to News TV, how long can this latest experiment last? One can only hope that the simulcast will be the first step towards News TV’s true transformation into a legitimate news channel without any of the extracurricular activities present in them.

Love in the Moonlight Marks Return of Asianovelas to ABS-CBN Primetime Bida

For the first time in nearly two years, a Koreanovela will occupy the penultimate slot on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida.

Tonight will mark the premiere of the popular Korean series ‘Love in the Moonlight’, starring Park Bo Gum and Kim Yoo Jung. The series enjoyed an impressive run in its native Korea, and it won a number of awards such as Best Couple, Best Excellent Actress, and Best Actor awards in the 2016 KBS Drama Awards.

Prior to ‘Love in the Moonlight’, Primetime Bida has not had a Korean drama since ‘My Lovely Girl’, whose last episode was aired in June 2015. In between, two seasons of ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ (737, Lucky 7), the teleserye ‘You’re My Home’, and the American series ‘Jane the Virgin’ were aired on that slot.

‘Love in the Moonlight’ is just one of several Korean dramas whose rights were acquired by ABS-CBN a few weeks ago. Others in the pipeline include  ‘Legend of the Blue Sea’, ‘Hwarang’, ‘Goblin’, ‘Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo’, ‘W’ and ‘Doctors’.

In premiering ‘Love in the Moonlight’, ABS-CBN crushed the notion that Asianovelas on Channel 2 were essentially extinct. Their last Korean drama was ‘My Love Donna’ last year, and many thought the network finally moved on from the genre once sister channel CineMo began to import its own set of Koreanovelas later that year.

Instead, ABS-CBN surprised many, including Koreanovela fans, by acquiring the aforementioned hit Korean dramas. And considering how rival GMA loaded themselves up with more Asianovelas (including those airing on sister station GMA News TV), ABS-CBN made it clear that they are still indeed the ‘First and True Home of Asianovelas’.

The question now is whether or not ‘Love in the Moonlight”s success in Korea will translate over to the Philippines. With ABS-CBN having not aired a Koreanovela on primetime in nearly two years, this will be a huge test to see if their decision to bring them back is all worth it.

‘Love in the Moonlight’ airs weeknights after ‘A Love to Last’ on ABS-CBN Primetime Bida.

Is AksyonTV becoming TV5’s News TV and S+A?

The baffling saga of AksyonTV continues with the addition of Tagalized American action programs and films. Here is Timow’s Turf with more insight on this issue.

Timow's Turf

AksyonTV turns 6 years old today but quickly erodes its standing purpose. AksyonTV turns 6 years old today but it quickly erodes its initial purpose.

SIX YEARS ago today, while viewers are awaiting for GMA News TV’s launch, TV5 jumped in unannounced over Channel 41; AksyonTV, the first news channel on free TV, was born.

They used to air round the clock as a slap of Channel 11’s broken promises to live their mantra, “Oras-oras, alam ko” but karma struck back in 2013 due to cost-cutting measures by the management as well as NTC’s rules and regulations for affiliated free-to-air TV stations.

The identity crisis

The era of being a homogeneous news channel began its decline when AKTV on IBC ended on May 31, 2013 by carrying over their committed sportscasts as they also covered the Sochi Winter Olympics a year after.

Recently, News5’s public affairs programs airing on AksyonTV became merely reruns with no motive to create new episodes. Since last year, EZ Shop…

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Thoughts on Prioritizing Executive Branch Over Legislative Branch in Live News Coverage

The executive branch (in this case President Rodrigo Duterte) will always be the top priority of news networks when it comes to live coverage. (Photo credit: The Philippine Star)

The executive branch (in this case President Rodrigo Duterte) will always be the top priority of news networks when it comes to live coverage. (Photo credit: The Philippine Star)

It is never easy to cover live news events in the Philippines.

For outlets such as People’s Television Network, CNN Philippines, GMA News TV, DZMM TeleRadyo and ABS-CBN News Channel, following a live broadcast of a news event takes sacrifice and dedication. With that, they sometimes preempt ongoing programs just to get into the meat of the action.

But what if there are two news events that take place at the same time? Like for example, an ongoing Senate or House hearing taking place alongside either a press briefing at Malacañang or a speech of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Obviously, the priority of the news networks is the executive branch, who always has the final say in political matters. That said, it is mandatory to cut away from a live Senate or House hearing just to move over to either the Palace or President Duterte himself.

But for some, cutting another live event short in favor of either Malacañang or the President can be rude at times. For them, not all headlines involve President Duterte and the Palace, and on occasion, the Senate or House hearing could be the top story of the day.

Unfortunately, there is nothing that they can do. Focusing the executive branch over the legislative branch in live news broadcasts is a long-standing tradition, one that news networks always abide.

For those who want to get the news straight, there is YouTube to take care of. Radio Television Malacañang (RTVM), the Senate of the Philippines and the House of Representatives have their own YouTube channels that focus on their respective branches, and they live stream important events that are also seen on news channels in the country.

But for those who don’t have the patience to watch, just wait for the evening newscasts to summarize them all. After all, live news coverage is only for the most informed citizen.

In the end, news coverage will always be a complicated process. But at least there are alternatives to get the necessary facts to the viewer.