Radio: Communicating through the airwaves (first of two parts)

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By Art Tibaldo

Consumer Atbp.

Monday, February 18, 2013


MY FIRST encounter with an anchorman and radio station dates back to the mid 80s when an Ilocano writer named Roger Salibad requested me to take a portrait of the locally famous announcer Juan Tenorio whom I came to know as Romy Sacayanan in real life. While waiting for the bemustached announcer at the DZWT AM station to signal a commercial break so I can ask him for the shoot, I waited patiently and observed one thing that I wouldn’t want to venture on…work on a radio station as a broadcaster.

The popularity of radio as a source of information even up to these days continue to permeate in the interior towns of the Cordillera and I recall some village folks asking me who the person leading our group during the autonomy information campaign was and when I mentioned Bobby Angel, their eyes looked at my other companions hoping to get a glimpse of Juan Tenorio.

It was during my seventeen years tenure with the Philippine Information Agency that radio plugging, spot announcement and interviews has become part of my official work as Information Officer. As member of the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club, I came to get acquainted with the icons of the trade like Manny Salenga, Buddy Cenzon, Baby de Guzman, Willy Cacdac, Atty. Domitilo Pineda, Eddie Aguilar and others who like most of them are now probably broadcasting in the sky.

When I transferred to the Department of Trade and Industry-CAR in 2003, I also became a regular co-anchor of DZEQ, Radyo ng Bayan’s public affairs program “Kalakalan, Kabuhayan at Kaunlaran” or DTI Hour with Andre Amadeo, the station’s acting manager. Having acquired my accreditation and membership with the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas since 2007, I though it worthy to readers to be informed about some important guidelines and provisions of the Broadcast Code of the Philippines.

The KBP’s preamble outlines what the organization believes and it hopes that the broadcasting in the Philippines should reflect the hopes and dreams of a freedom loving people; that broadcasting is a powerful medium in shaping our country's cultural, social and economic growth and development; that broadcasting, because of its immediate and lasting impact on the public, demands of its practitioners a high sense of responsibility, morality, fairness and honesty at all times.

The Kapisanan also believes that broadcasting has an obligation to uphold the properties and customs of civilized society, maintain the respect of the rights and sensitivities of all people, preserve the honor and the sanctity of the family and home, protect the sacredness of individual dignity, and promote national unity.

The code adhered to by the Kapisanan members believes that news reports shall be fair, factual, and objective as stipulated in Section 3 of the 2007 Broadcast Code of the Philippines.

Members of the KBP or any radio broadcaster should not receive bribes, gifts, privileges or any consideration to favor one side of a story and stop a story from airing and put any person in bad light.

I have often heard damaging commentaries from announcers who drop unkind words after an interview was granted and to this, the KBP prohibits the airing of personal opinions while a news item is being reported or delivered to prevent the listener from mistaking opinion for news. When presented as part of a news program, editorials or commentaries must be identified as such and presented as distinct from news reports.

According to the broadcast code, extreme care must be taken in selecting news sources since the credibility of the news rests upon its sources. Only news that can be attributed to a source shall be aired. When a source cannot be identified by name, the reason for this should be made clear in the news report otherwise, news sources must be clearly identified, except when confidentiality of the source was a condition for giving the information. Please take note that any information provided by confidential sources may be aired only if it is in the public interest to do so.

Press releases coming from other writers may be used as news sources only after the station has verified that they come from an authentic source. The code also states that suspects or fugitives from the law may be interviewed as news sources however, they should not be aided, abetted, or encouraged when in the act of planning or committing a crime. Rumors or gossips shall not be aired in the guise of news. Using terms like “anonymous source”, "confidential source" or “unknown source” shall not justify the airing of rumors and gossips especially in news programs.

Unconfirmed reports shall not be aired unless there is an immediate and urgent need for the public to know about them, such as when the public needs to be warned of the possibility of an imminent danger. When such reports are aired, it must be emphasized that they are unconfirmed. An unconfirmed report must be verified as soon as possible. If an unconfirmed report is found to be incorrect, an announcement saying so must be made. (To be continued)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 19, 2013.

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