Lucky me. No, I’m not about to endorse a popular noodle brand with that opening statement. I am just expressing how proud I should be to find the two companies I work for on the list of the country’s most trusted media brands.
The latest results of the Reuters Institute Study of Journalism in Oxford University released on June 15, 2022, showed the Manila Bulletin, where our entertainment column, Thrillmaker, is regularly published, topping the list of the country’s most trusted broadsheet brands with a trust score of 66 percent, the highest among all Philippine newspapers. State-owned People’s Television Network (PTV), on the other hand, where I appear nightly as a news anchor, scored 58 percent, making it the third most trusted TV brand in the country. The annual study, which surveys some 2,000 people in various media markets worldwide, has set the benchmark for the public’s perception as to which media entities they consider to be both trustworthy and credible. Now, you know why I consider myself lucky. I guess I affiliated myself with the right media groups, after all.
The Manila Bulletin’s sky-high rating comes as no surprise. Founded in 1900, it is the second-oldest newspaper published in the Philippines and the second-oldest newspaper in the entire Far East region. The trust the reading public gives it is reflected in its being the largest English broadsheet in circulation in the Philippines at present. More and more, its online presence and subscription are also on a growth trajectory given the constantly rising followers it is gaining, particularly in its beefed-up entertainment section.
Based on the survey, even with a 10 percent“don’t trust” rating from its non-believers, its 56 percent net trust score still puts it way ahead of its broadsheet counterparts. Its net score also places it as the second most trusted media brand in the country.
The case of PTV, on the other hand, is a bit different, in terms of growth narrative.
Threats caused by the relentless spread of the Covid-19 pandemic made the viewing public more discerning of the kind of news and information they get from various sources. The fear of getting misled by fake news proliferating all around resulted in a shift in the viewing habits of the public from secondary to primary news sources about the pandemic—reason why people started tuning in again to what was once regarded as ‘the government propaganda” station, PTV, for their information needs at a time when the government has all the details that will quench their thirst for relevant knowledge about the prevailing situation.
This shift is, thus, reflected by the results of a study conducted. The government network is now among the top three local television stations with the highest trust ratings from the public. With a trust score of 58 percent and a net rating of 44 percent (“non-trusters” included), it now finds itself in close competition with two private TV networks as among the country’s most trusted. Taking advantage of this new-found strength, the government-owned channel is expected to undergo even more internal improvements to position itself for even further growth under the new government leadership.
While congratulations are in order for the management and owners of these media groups, I think what’s really more obvious is the fact that even more exciting things are in-store for both the reading and viewing-public in the days ahead. One thing that people in the media hate is being out-scooped, not just in terms of releasing stories but, moreso, on being included in the public’s most preferred lists.