Philippine Media Today: History, Definition, Types & Roles

Illustration of different shapes and icons to demonstrate the Philippine media landscape
Illustration of different shapes and icons to demonstrate the Philippine media landscape

As you click TikTok, lying on your bed after a long day of work on a slow weekend afternoon, you are greeted by a short video of your favorite K-pop girl group participating in the latest viral dance challenge. Within 10 seconds of a simple swiping motion across your phone screen, here's a preview of a couple more snippets you see: Food how-tos, various lifehacks, and of course, historical disinformation and misinformation.

This is the reality of the application's groundbreaking algorithmic technology introduced to the planet. In our fast-paced world, we crave the multiple, ever-changing dump of sensory inputs to keep us company.

Your very own feed differs significantly from your friends' based on your interests. One thing is for sure: what you see on the application is not only tailored to you but can also confirm some longstanding biases you may already have.

This is especially true for Philippine media, which is readily available through various digital channels.

Table of Contents

What Is Philippine Media?

Philippine media pertains to the various ways people around the country can access the current happenings in the country.

The roles and functions of Philippine Media are to present news on a nationwide scale as conveniently as possible. It has not been easier to access this with affordable mobile data plans offering free access to Tiktok, Instagram, Youtube, and the like.

For better or worse, the role of media in the Philippines is crucial as ever, being able to dictate and influence the minds of anyone with a screen. It remains a great debate just how accurately events are portrayed to the public with different networks and sources tailoring their info to their audience, just like how social media platforms do.

What Is The State Of Philippine Media Today?

With the broad reach that news currently has, media literacy has become an issue of grave concern. It has benefited the masses that networks and outlets have invested more in digital media and infrastructure. Unfortunately, this reach has also given access to people whose credibility is questionable and whose opinions are not well informed.

With digital technology only recently making its way throughout the country, fact-checking is a new skill that needs to be learned. For every bit of news reported accurately straight from the authorities, there is a Facebook post written by your neighbor citing illegitimate sources that people blindly trust.

Aside from digital media in the form of the internet, broadcast media (radio) and print media (newspapers and magazines) make up the overall landscape of Philippine Media.

Broadcast media remains as strong, if not stronger than digital media, reaching rural areas as one of the oldest and most reliable pieces of technology. The widespread availability of digital media, on the other hand, has led to a decline in the popularity of print publications.
Image of various charts showing media monitoring reporting analytics

How Have Philippine Media Grown Up?

It has grown up like a baby maturing into a corrupted teenager. Once pure and authentic, it has grown up and rebelled into a volatile mess, refusing to engage with you honestly. During the times when legacy media in the form of print, radio, and television were the primary sources of information, questions of legitimacy were not a big deal in the Philippine media landscape.

Starting under the regime of the late dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, control of the freedom of the press began. All sources of information were filtered before being released to the public. Although it was restored thanks to the 1987 Constitution, there are worries history may repeat itself.

Nowadays, Philippine digital media has been weaponized, with different sources taking advantage of the still-widened gap in socio-economic classes.

With the ways it has tapped across the nation and varying agendas, Philippine Media has successfully blurred the lines between fact and fiction.

What Are The Different Types Of Media In The Philippines?

1.) Local and Global Media in the Philippines

Once a two-horse race between ABS-CBN and GMA, the Philippine television market is now dominated by a single network. This followed the controversial closure of ABS-CBN by then-president Rodrigo Duterte. Although they have then pivoted to exclusively digital content and recently executed a partnership with the TV5 network, it is still a big blow to their image, as television is still an influential player in the Philippine media landscape.

Private, family-owned companies dominate locally owned media in the Philippines; another media outlet not mentioned is the government-owned television network, PTV4. An online publication popular with content on the more radical side is Rappler, whose CEO Maria Ressa has been a mainstay in headlines concerning public service. Whether liberal or conservative, there always seems to be an agenda forwarded by the publication, regardless of stance.

Filipino news firms primarily get their global news from reputable agencies such as the Associated Press, Reuters, and Agence France-Presse.

2.) Communication Media in the Philippines

Communication media is used to describe the various channels that are used to disseminate information to the public. This is loosely used to describe the way the internet, radio, and outdoor media in the form of billboards hits target audiences. The efficiency and reach of communication media are vital to the success of companies fulfilling their goals.

Unfortunately, this Philippine media tends to be sensational and clickbaity in nature. With many companies vying for readers' attention, the success of their promotions hangs on the headlines' ability to grab your interest from the get-go.

Two chat bubbles (one orange and one blue) are floating in the center of the image. Maintaining open lines of communication is essential for businesses to operate smoothly. This blog explains the importance of internal communications for businesses and the various tactics companies can use to ensure information is following throughout departments.

3.) Controversial and Viral Forms of Media in the Philippines

In this context, media weaponization is at its most dangerous and destructive. In the past elections, it is no secret that "troll farms" were grown to create armies of fake aliases that spread political disinformation (also known as fake news). Political parties employed individuals to sow discord among rational discourse and whitewash known facts about past crimes.

When disseminating this false information, Facebook is the main offender. With the ability to pay for sponsored content and the Filipinos' use of the platform for daily news, politics turned into social warfare more than achievements and accolades.

Tiktok was also a vehicle for the spread of misinformation, with whitewashing and smear campaigns of other candidates making their way into peoples' algorithms.

Learn more about how to fight fake news:

4.) Alternative Media in the Philippines

Alternative media goes into a more organic and creative approach to the spread of information.

Whether it be performance arts in the form of plays, street art, and musical performances, these enjoy the freedom of the press and are independent of government control.

The ability to promote an agenda or message is the most distinctive feature of this mode of media dissemination, along with the fact that it is not corporately owned.

How Meltwater Can Help You Stay On Top Of The Philippine Media

The Philippine media landscape can be described as a paradox, often taking one step forward and two steps back.

The world has shrunk with the accessibility of news. Conversely, it has negatively impacted different facets of life, such as beliefs and politics.

The growing number of ways media outlets have reached Filipino people has made critical thinking more important than ever. Hopefully, instead of pulling the Filipino from all limbs, it gently leads them the way towards what is right.

If you want to make sure that your brand is always protected against fake news, Meltwater can help. Through brand monitoring, our brand management solution and social listening capabilities can help you stay on top of every media mention across all different types of media such as online news, print, podcasts, social media, and more.

We have recently announced a partnership with NewsGuard to help organizations understand and combat the spread of misinformation.

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