Revitalized Ptv-4

If the media are in private hands, they will necessarily defend the interests only of those powerful enough to acquire them. But if to avoid the danger, the media are placed under the control of the state, this is like treating an illness with a cure that kills the patient.

- Mario Vargas Llosa, 2010 Nobel Laureate for Literature

IN "The Cultural Battle," Vargas Llosa referred to the dangers of media commercialism and state control. A response proposed by UNESCO to the inherent weaknesses of the commercial and the state-controlled models is that of public service broadcasting (PSB).

Those of us who have had some involvement with PTV 4 in the past, welcome its revitalization - the signing of a law which would infuse a P5 billion capitalization (R3 billion from General Appropriations, and the rest from advertising sales) that would improve programming and its capacity to "keep abreast of the latest technology such as digital TV and transmission upgrade that would improve signal quality." According to Secretary Sonny Coloma, this would allow the development of programs focusing on education, history, propagation of Philippine culture, and quality entertainment. It will be participative as various sectors will be invited to give concrete suggestions on programs beneficial to community and society. Too, an advisory council will be established that will "advise the network on relevant programming that will bolster the character of PTV as a public broadcasting network and the shifting of focus towards a 'new global best practice of public service broadcasting', so that it would become an active instrument in promoting the public welfare."

There is no question about the acceptance today of a government-run TV station that would eventually evolve into a PSB. This is primarily due to the credibility that the present administration enjoys. But the question raised by some, is: What, if future leaders do not follow through with the vision of evolving into a PSB? As I wrote in an earlier column, the Thai Public Broadcasting Service (TPBS) (and some other models) operated on a charter that guaranteed independence from the state. Ownership structure was designed in such a way that its top policy level of governance is exercised by representatives of vital sectors - people's organizations, women, youth, business, academe who had control on personnel, programs, and other decision areas. It derived its funding from excise taxes on liquor and tobacco, institutional advertising, foundations, and social investors.

In my column (MB, August 24, 2011), I cited a definition of PSB - that it is "financed and controlled by the public and for the public, is neither commercial nor state-owned, and free from political interference and pressures from commercial forces" (UNESCO). Funding must therefore be guaranteed. It operates on the principles of universality (accessible to all), diversity, independence, distinctiveness. Its management is characterized by editorial independence, a separation between the governing body with responsibility for the broadcast organizations, and managers and editors who have responsibility for day-to-day and editorial decision-making."

The general acceptance of PBS is due to lack of public trust in the capacity of market mechanisms to fulfill certain goals as well as that of the State's ability to achieve the objectives of informing, educating, and entertaining. UNESCO further notes that because it is not driven by market forces, it can afford to experiment with innovation, and original productions. It can complement commercial channels, take creative risks, challenge viewers, and become a voice of the nation."
But PSB today finds itself on the defense because of "government interference, a crisis of public confidence, a dwindling fund base, an aggressive commercial broadcasting sector, and a neo-liberal environment of hostility to things public." Nonetheless, specialists who monitor performance of PSB along with state-owned and commercial systems, point out that despite setbacks, they are much more relevant than ever before, The challenge is that of strengthening their capacity so that they are able to safeguard the integrity and interests of the citizens.


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Troops overrun BIFF bomb-making facility in Mamasapano
    Troops overrun BIFF bomb-making facility in Mamasapano

    Government troops captured Sunday a bomb and weapons factory of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced yesterday. Col. Restituto Padilla, AFP spokesman, said the captured bomb and weapons factory is located inside an area controlled by radical Muslim cleric Ustadz Mohammad Ali Tambako at Barangay Dasikil in Mamasapano. …

  • N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills
    N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills

    North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea and vowed "merciless" retaliation Monday as the US and South Korea kicked off joint military drills denounced by Pyongyang as recklessly confrontational. The annual exercises always trigger a surge in military tensions and warlike rhetoric on the divided peninsula, and analysts saw the North's missile tests as a prelude to a concerted campaign of sabre-rattling. "If there is a particularly sharp escalation, we could see the …

  • No need for Revilla to visit son – prosecutors
    No need for Revilla to visit son – prosecutors

    Instead of filing an opposition, ombudsman prosecutors filed a manifestation yesterday expressing belief that there is no urgent need for Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. to visit his son at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center. “Based on the clinical abstract issued by the Asian Hospital on patient (Cavite) Vice-governor (Jolo) Revilla, which was submitted by accused Revilla in support of his Urgent Motion, Vice-governor Revilla is in stable condition and has stable vital signs, as of March 1, …

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

  • How Islamic is Islamic State group? Not very, experts say
    How Islamic is Islamic State group? Not very, experts say

    CAIRO (AP) — Three British schoolgirls believed to have gone to Syria to become "jihadi" brides. Three young men charged in New York with plotting to join the Islamic State group and carry out attacks on American soil. A masked, knife-wielding militant from London who is the face of terror in videos showing Western hostages beheaded. …

  • Lawmakers split on tax exemption for Pacquiao
    Lawmakers split on tax exemption for Pacquiao

    Colleagues of boxing champion Manny Pacquiao at the House of Representatives backed yesterday a proposal to exempt his earnings from his May 2 fight with American Floyd Mayweather from income tax. Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares has urged Pacquiao to promptly pay taxes on his May 2 earnings, which are projected to reach at least $120 million (more than P5.2 billion). …

  • Recruitment firm accused of worldwide scam
    Recruitment firm accused of worldwide scam

    Filipinos aspiring to work overseas should avoid dealing with a recruitment agency that has duped jobseekers worldwide, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said yesterday. The National Bureau of Investigation has padlocked Global Visas Inc., which is based in Cebu. Baldoz said the agency’s parent company, ICS Global Visas Inc. based in the United Kingdom, has reportedly collapsed and left thousands of applicants without jobs.  “Global Visas was in the limelight this week, following its reported …

  • Woman with slain Putin critic says she didn't see his killer
    Woman with slain Putin critic says she didn't see his killer

    MOSCOW (AP) — The 23-year-old Ukrainian model who was with slain opposition leader Boris Nemtsov tearfully recounted Monday their last dinner in a chic Red Square restaurant and their walk onto a nearby bridge — but said she did not see the gunman who pulled the trigger. …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options