Why I Don’t Watch Local News (And a Mini App Review)

Yes, call me a snob, but most of the time I’d rather watch CNN and Comedy Central’s The Daily Show than its local counterparts. Although it’s not like I don’t keep up with local news. I follow 3 different local news outlets and reporters and get updated through Twitter. But for sometime now I can’t stand local newscasts. I always get irritated.

And it’s weird because I finished an AB Mass Communication course in college, even majoring in Broadcasting. I should be a fan.

Perhaps since I’m in touch with the Filipino culture I can better detect pandering, omissions and what controls their choices of what makes it in the news. Broadcasting objectively is hard, and I’m sure that all news agencies have some degree of subjectivity. But I hate that with local news I can see and hear the network war in the background.

What’s peculiar about Filipinos is they have fostered “broadcast network loyalty” where they only watch that channel and even pass the preference on from one generation to the next. Hence there is a clingy desparation in networks to always keep viewers happy and in mutual agreement. This lends to sensationalism and crassitude. They even try to ingratiate themselves more by attaching public service to their organization. They do charity, etc. and say, “we’re not doing this for money; we’re doing it for each and every one of you. Because we care.”

But don’t kid yourselves kids, it’s all for the ad revenue.

Take the recent Bandila debacle where they reported a mysterious communicable and flesh eating disease spreading in Pangasinan complete with scary visuals of gross skin covered in scabbing. Turns out that it was just an old woman who has leprosy. But it’s too late, everyone pannicked, it went viral in social media, and even after the truth was reported and DOH made a statement it still spread like wildfire and debilitated Pangasinan’s tourism industry. They said sorry, but nothing spreads faster and sticks harder like bad news. For crap’s sake they didn’t even respect the old woman by checking and confirming and like medieval witch hunters pointed at her and shouted, “Gross! Harbinger! She’ll be the death of us all!”

But of course they only “meant well” and simply want to “inform” people out of concern.

Or maybe people were getting bored of hearing about Janet Napoles everyday. (Shit, that’s what she wants.) They needed viewership people!

I guess there are also almost always some news stories that piss me off. Like the guy who crossed the highway at night even though the overpass was RIGHT THERE and got run over, his relatives crying for “justice” and the driver of the car getting jailed for something that’s not his fault. Or another bloody fucking story about Vhong Navarro.

No thanks, I’d rather hear about the situations in Ukraine and Syria.

Sorry about the cynicism! If you are hopeful about local news broadcasts, keep hoping. Hope is in too short a supply.

I wrote this on my newly installed WordPress app for iOS. In fairness, it has improved a lot since I last got fed up and uninstalled it. The interface is blogger friendly and you have more options. You can even choose the type of post you’d like to create. It’s fairly light download and smooth usage. However you can’t access your already uploaded media library and would have to have your photo in your phone to add it to your post. Also I had to find the publish option to post this draft for a minute.

[★★★★★] But 5 stars, because it’s free. I mean, what kind of a douche would I be if I nitpick at something I like that I got for free?


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