abs-cbn – not an impartial reporter of the ted failon news story
we agree, abs-cbn was not an impartial reporter of the ted failon news story.
abs-cbn had a very extensive coverage of the ted failon story. they were to be admired for it — they looked at all aspects of the story and spent a lot of time getting into the details of the various angles. they also had their most senior reporters do the interviews and with experts on the topics of the news coverage.
they also showed admirable finesse and respect in interviewing ted failon and his family members. we remember a segment where abs cbn senior reporter ces drilon interviewed ted failon and showed admirable restraint in the questions she asked and specially those she did not ask. there were many moments when ces did not ask questions, allowed ted to speak and she used a very calm and respectful tone. it was obvious ces was being very sensitive to the feelings and hurt of ted failon who was the husband of the woman who died.
while ces drilon showed remarkable professionalism and restraint, that by itself shows the bias of abs-cbn. kudos to ces, thumbs down to the abs-cbn news organization.
that was the only time we saw an abs-cbn reporter conduct an interview of the spouse of the victim with such professionalism and restraint. all the interviews we have seen on abs-cbn news programs on similar news involving ordinary citizens were brusque, disrespectful and over-dramatic. we often saw wailing relatives of victims, showing utter pain and sadness on camera even among children.
we can only conclude that the interview that ces conducted was done in such a manner only because she was interviewing ted failon, a member of their own organization.
even the comprehensive coverage that abs-cbn gave the failon story while by itself is excellent and admirable journalism, but that by itself is unprofessional. again, they do not usually give the kind of breathe and depth on their news stories. we think abs-cbn looked into all the minute details of the story only because it was ted failon’swife and not at all a usual practice of the news network. abs-cbn’s coverage of these types of news for victims not working for abs-cbn are typically meant only to capture a few sound bites to get the ratings in.
finally, a very clear proof of the bias of abs-cbn on the ted failon story can be seen in the visuals shown on tv. in this case, not just a thousand, but a million words showed their bias in favor of ted failon.
review the news programs specially in the first 5 days since the death of ted failon’s wife and you will see this bias in the pictures they were showing. the most glaring was the day when the police arrested failon’s relatives at the deathbed of his wife.
the director decided to air those horrific footages that showed police brutality over and over again during the ENTIRE news program. the director of the tv news program used snippets of the brutal arrests as bridge or segue visuals from segment to segment, complete with audio of screaming and hurt women.
was that really necessary?
showing those brutal footages over and over again were obviously meant to drive up hate and anger towards the police and generate sympathy towards the failons.
it was meant to continually show how unfair and unlawful the police were. that effectively plants the seeds of doubt on whatever the police will be saying or doing on the matter.
we are not at all justifying or defending the police on that episode. we are clear on our views – it was a brutal arrest and uncalled for. the policemen and their superiors who conducted that arrest must be fired and put to jail.
but what media did to those footages is another matter. abs-cbn was obviously not just delivering facts and events to the public, they were editorializing and they did deliver a message and intended to shape public opinion from one to another.
there is an upside to the bias that abs-cbn showed in their tv shows – that they have the ability, they know how to dissect a news story into its parts and give the audience thorough and comprehensive coverage of the news. they also have news reporters, this one is ces drilon, who can be totally professional in the conduct of an interview.
but shame on abs-cbn for doing that only for ted failon and not for other news stories. abs-cbn had an agenda, it was pretty obvious. what they did was not meant for a news program but for an editorial or a feature/special report.
there is irony in this whole thing.
Media critics score ABS-CBN coverage
MANILA, Philippines—When reporting about a “Kapamilya” caught in a personal tragedy and a legal fix, how did ABS-CBN fare in the eyes of media industry critics?
For Vergel Santos, veteran journalist and chair of the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), the broadcast giant showed “a fraternal bias” for its top news anchor Ted Failonin its coverage of his wife’s violent death and the ensuing police investigation.
ABS-CBNseemed to have adopted a policy of questioning everything that the police said, according to CMFR Executive Director Melinda Quintos de Jesus.
This led to a “polarization” between Failon’s family and the authorities. “So the viewer could not decide what made sense in the incident.”
Luis Teodoro, former dean of the University of the Philippines’ College of Mass Communication, shared the view: “It was a bit overdone especially on the part of ABS-CBN. There were stories that were repeated.”