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KBP slaps fines on Big 3

/ 01:35 PM June 15, 2011

TV stations ABS-CBN, TV5 with Radyo Mo ‘went out of bounds to get a scoop’.

Two big television stations and one radio network were slapped fines of P30,000 for violating broadcasting standards in its coverage of the August 2010 Luneta hostage-taking crisis.

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An internal investigation by the broadcast industry’s self-regulating body showed that ABS-CBN, TV5 and Radio Mindanao Network went out of bounds to get a scoop at the risk of several lives.

“TEN months, nine lives and a flurry of finger-pointing and paperwork later, the controversy over the media coverage of the 2010 Luneta hostage-taking incident by the country’s biggest and most influential television and radio networks has come down to feeble fines of P30,000, and a virtual slap on the wrist,” reported the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism.

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PCIJ’s Ed Lingao reports:

The fines were levied by the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), the national association of owners and operators of radio and television stations in the country.

The KBP levied fines for broadcasting information that it ruled could have compromised police efforts to rescue the hostages during the day-long hostage-taking incident at the Quirino Grandstand on Aug. 23, 2010.

The KBP Standards Authority ordered ABS-CBN Broadcasting Channel 2, Associated Broadcasting Company Channel 5 (now known as TV5) and radio station Radyo Mo Nationwide (RMN, which was earlier called Radio Mindanao Network) to each pay P30,000 in penalty for violations of the KBP broadcast code.

In addition to RMN’s fine, news anchors Michael Rogas and Erwin Tulfo were ordered to pay fines of P15,000 and P10,000, respectively, for getting in the way of negotiations between police and hostage-taker Rolando Mendoza.

In the Dec. 15, 2010, ruling—a copy of which PCIJ obtained only recently— the KBP also ordered RMN to reprimand both Rogas and Tulfo for their role in the coverage.

But the KBP Standards Authority expressed frustration over its inability to regulate broadcasters who are no longer members of the association.

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The KBP singled out in particular GMA-7 Network, which was also the subject of several complaints because of its coverage of the incident.

GMA-7 withdrew its membership from the KBP in September 2003 after a tiff over commercial loading limits set by the association.

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