Mass Media Essay

1365 words - 6 pages

Media Overview

Highs of the media's history in the islands include the Philippines' Constitution guaranteeing freedom of the press and the freedom of the press access to official documents. In contrast to these lofty ideals, the Philippines press from the time of its inception has faced American influence, confiscation of assets for those papers not among the ownership of a former leader, and mistrust of reporters due to shoddy reporting.

Newspapers were being published on board American ships as they first entered Manila Bay in 1898. The Bounding Billow was published on board Dewey's flag-ship, and other on-ship U.S. papers included the American Soldier, Freedom and the American, ...view middle of the document...

The Bulletin used as its primary sources the news agencies Associated Press, United Press International and the Chicago Tribune Service. For its first three years the Bulletin was published free of charge; it became a full-fledged paper in 1912.

In 1917, Manuel Quezon purchased the Manila Times and held it for four years. Ownership changed hands a few times after that until the Times joined the press holdings of Alejandro Roces Sr. Among Roces' other newspapers at the time were Taliba, the Tribune and La Vanguardia.

Cable News, founded by Israel Putnam, was another renowned daily during the early part of the twentieth century. Later the paper joined with the American, and in 1920 the combined newspaper was purchased by Quezon.

Although founded on the principle of freedom of expression, newspapers in the Philippines were subjected to strict censorship by American military authorities, and later by American civilian administrators, according to the Philippine Journalism Review. Under Gen. Arthur McArthur, the military worked to keep propaganda against American forces out of the news as well as prevent communication between those opposing America's presence in the islands. Stories detailing resistance by Filipinos to American rule were suppressed, as well as stories that would help Filipinos learn what was happening beyond the Philippines' borders. Journalists were deported or imprisoned for exercising freedom of the press, and papers such as La Justicia, and the Cebuano newspaper El Nueva Dia, were suspended many times for championing nationalistic views.

Historians say El Renacimiento was the only true independent newspaper during these dark days, and its light was later extinguished by a libel case brought against the paper by an American official.

English-language newspapers dominated the press in the early part of the century until then Senate President Manuel Quezon established the Philippines Herald to represent the Filipino viewpoint in the fight for independence. In August 1920, disgruntled former Manila Times journalists left their jobs and formed the backbone of the Herald. Early staff members included Narciso Ramos, Antonio Escoda, Bernardo Garcia and Jose P. Bautista— names that would become among the most revered in the history of the Philippines' press.

The 1920s also saw the birth of English-language women's magazines, which were primarily the products of women's clubs. Women's Outlook was published 10 times a year and was the official publication of the Women's Club of Manila, according to the Philippine Journalism Review. Another prominent publication was Woman's World, the publication of the Philippine Association of University Women. In 1935 Woman's World joined Woman's Home Journal to become Woman's Home Journal World, and the combined magazine featured sections on food, fashion, beauty and gossip.

In April 1925, Alejandro Roces, who would also own the Manila Times and other papers, established the Tribune....

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