We could only hope that the current Magpale administration lives up to its promise to steer clear of any self-promotion by emphasizing the promotion of Cebu province ONLY and not any single person or party with its decision to re-program both Sugbo TV and Sugbo News.
As per latest report, Sugbo TV was renamed TV Sugbo and while a few episodes of airtime may not constitute an accurate description of whether they kept their promise, it would give an idea on the new direction of their programming which we guess would be spearheaded by Provincial Board (PB) Member Arleigh Sitoy.
It had been reported that Sitoy’s daughter is involved in some capacity or the other in terms of programming and despite the PB member’s assurance that his daughter and others hired by the Capitol are idealistic and won’t be influenced into inserting propaganda in the Capitol’s cable TV programming the episodes and the newscast would tell a different story.
As with anyone who bothered to watch Sugbo TV—one has to realize the fact that not anyone can afford cable TV programming and if they do, they’d rather watch other shows geared towards entertainment, not news—the casual viewer would notice that the newscast and the generated programs intentionally focus on suspended Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and her projects/achievements.
In taking over management of Sugbo TV, Magpale said the channel will focus in promoting Cebu as a tourism and investment destination and not center on one public official and party. We take her promise with a grain of salt especially in light of the coming elections when every bit of promotion—such as a cable TV channel that can reach middle to upper class households—readily helps.
To be sure, it was rather surprising to learn that media organizations voiced condemnation over Magpale’s move to revamp Sugbo TV , equating it with suppression of freedom of the press.
Sugbo TV is paid for and managed by the Capitol, though it uses taxpayers money to do so and unlike private sector media, it functions, whether one wants to admit it or not as a propaganda outlet of the Capitol similar to what PTV-4 or People’s Television Network is doing for the national government.
One would be hard pressed to compare either Sugbo TV or PTV 4 with Great Britain’s BBC or even Al Jazeera, though it can aspire to be so insofar as editorial coverage and content is concerned.
It’s a different story altogether when the Capitol is paying up journalists in order to gain favorable publicity as what people identified with Magpale are accusing
Garcia of doing.
Again, we hope that the new Capitol news channel and publication arm live up to the promise of its managers and broadcast/publish news about Cebu with nary a trace of political propaganda.
Instead of politicians, it should live up to its name and promote Cebu for its constituents and visitors around the globe.
More from this Column:
- A clean, safe fiesta
- Earthquake-proof buildings
- Silver lining
- Road to peace, the common good
- Looking forward