news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

Of CNNPH’s Newsroom Junior Edition and Other News Programs for Teens

News reporting is not always exclusive to adults.

When CNN Philippines announced that ‘Newsroom Junior Edition’ will air starting this Saturday, it reminded this writer of the day when Philippine television used to have news programs hosted by underage boys and girls. While these shows were few and far between, they have at least made some valuable contributions to the world of media.

One most notable example was ‘5 and Up’. The Probe Productions-produced show ran for 10 years and was one of the standout shows of GMA Network during the ‘Rainbow Satellite’ era.

‘5 and Up’ was responsible for launching the careers of brothers Rodjun and Rayver Cruz, Chynna Ortaleza, Maxene Magalona and Atom Araullo. Of the five, Atom was the only one who continued his career as a journalist, although he did have a directorial credit in the film ‘Citizen Jake’.

But before ‘5 and Up’ became a cult favorite among the youth in the 90s, ABS-CBN once had its own kids’ version of ‘TV Patrol’. While ‘Junior Patrol’ ran for only two years, it did produce current ABS-CBN News reporter Doland Castro, who now serves on the news division’s police beat.

The most recent attempt at a kids’ news program came from CNN Philippines’ mother network RPN-9. ‘Newswatch Junior Edition’ may have only lasted a few episodes in the late 2000s, but this show did manage to launch the career of blogger, model and TV host Janeena Chan.

Now it is CNN Philippines’ turn to try this seldom-used trick of using kids as news anchors. In ‘Newsroom Junior Edition’ the network will have six teenage individuals who will tackle the world of news reporting.

The hosts are:

  • Dana Villano, 16
  • Emman Rivera, 16
  • Gabby Sandejas, 16
  • Isaac Dantes, 13
  • Janella Renner, 15
  • Nate Lopez, 14

Guided by the CNN Philippines’ team of anchors and reporters, these young boys and girls will have an opportunity to deliver the week’s latest local and international news, as well as sports, entertainment, weather, technology and lifestyle news. ‘Newsroom Junior Edition’ will air on weekends at 8:00 a.m.

At the end of the day, they are still kids (or in the case of ‘Newsroom Junior Edition’, teens). But at least they should gain some first-hand experience at what it is really like in the cutthroat world of journalism (or showbiz for that matter).

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Philippines, Sports, television

Thoughts on ABS-CBN Sports’ Changes to UAAP Men’s Basketball Coverage

Not great enough: ABS-CBN Sports’ changes on the UAAP men’s basketball coverage drew mixed opinions from viewers. (Logo courtesy of ABS-CBN)

Too long, too many.

That was the criticism of some viewers when ABS-CBN Sports began its coverage of UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball. Despite its promise to ‘go for great’, the new-look coverage hasn’t so far lived up to the greatness that ABS-CBN Sports envisioned.

For the first two weeks of UAAP men’s basketball, ABS-CBN added two TV timeouts from the first to third quarters. Those TV timeouts do not count as far as team timeouts were concerned, but despite its intent to rake in more sponsorship money, viewers were not happy with it as these timeouts only lengthen the duration of a game.

In response to viewer backlash, ABS-CBN decided to restrict themselves to only one TV timeout each during the first, second and third quarters. The reduction did not affect the overall game play however, as UAAP men’s basketball games continue to last at an average of 2 hours and 15 minutes per game, which is almost equal to a typical PBA game broadcast.

Another change that ABS-CBN implemented is the concept of the ‘UAAP Insider’. Former courtside reporters Ganiel Krishnan, Angelique Manto, Ira Pablo and Pauline Versoza were promoted to this position, and their responsibility as insiders is to help the announcers preview an upcoming game and interview coaches during halftime.

The addition of the UAAP Insider now brings the overall total of ABS-CBN’s on-air team to five (not including floor directors, cameramen and other behind-the-scenes staff). Unfortunately, these on-air talents receive fewer minutes of airtime compared to a typical courtside reporter, so it remains to be seen how ABS-CBN Sports will treat this new position well.

The pregame show ‘Upfront at the UAAP’ also received a makeover heading into the new season. The program is no longer aired live; instead it takes on a magazine show format that only airs before weekend UAAP men’s basketball games.

The current hosts of ‘Upfront at the UAAP’ are Janeena Chan, Arturo Daza, Martin Javier and Angelique Manto. Of the four, Janeena is the lone holdover from the first season of the program.

Speaking of ‘Upfront at the UAAP’, one of its former hosts has a new role on cam. Former women’s basketball standout Bea Daez was promoted to full-time analyst, and while this is not the first time that a woman will cover a men’s basketball game in the Philippines (Patricia Hizon once called PBA games during its time with Solar Entertainment), it was still a remarkable barrier-breaking achievement.

So far, so good, but not great enough. Notwithstanding these minor hiccups, ABS-CBN Sports has plenty of time to make things up, so let’s see how they will be able to make the UAAP men’s basketball coverage into something that is ‘great’.

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