Media News Analysis

It’s your turn to tell us something – in zero to 10

The Philippine Government’s plan to establish an independent broadcaster, the People’s Broadcasting Corporation, will surely be welcomed in a land where the media are largely either in the hands of vested interests – those belonging to the heads of listed companies, members of Congress; or their proxies – or regularly manipulated by the political and business classes.

Filipinos’ anger with, and distrust of, their media is irrefutable – it’s one reason why many multiples more of them go online to access the news, through blogs and social-networking sites, rather than catch it on TV or by picking up a newspaper. But The Volatilian™ would like to know just how much or how little they trust the mainstream media – broadcast and print – as reliable purveyors of news.

And you can help us. We will use this article as a survey to answer that question. Let us know on this page – through your Likes, Comments and Shares – how you really feel. And don’t hold back.

The 2015 Philippine Trust Index, a “nationwide survey” conducted by stakeholder-relations firm, the EON Group, polled 1,620 respondents – 1,200 of which were considered to represent the general public. In other words, their views were said to mirror those of the country as a whole.

But here is the real problem with that survey. While the results showed that 32% of the news-sourcing public had confidence in the media, it didn’t say which media. The figure doesn’t reveal which news source they trust most (or least) – newspapers, TV, radio or the Blogosphere. There was no breakdown to clarify where the public’s distrust lies. The survey lumped all the news platforms together.

It may well be that one third of the country is satisfied with the way the news is reported by the broadcast networks and the national and regional print press. We won’t know until you’ve had your say.

EON’s Board of Directors is formidable. Among its members are a former diplomat, a former ambassador to Italy, a former deputy secretary for Administration and Financial Services, an undersecretary at the Department of Tourism, and a former assistant secretary at the Department of Trade and Industry. With such strong government credentials – and impressive corporate backgrounds in most cases – we are not doubting the integrity of the survey for a minute.

But, realistically, can 1,620 respondents produce an accurate picture of the degree of public trust in the Philippine media? And can just 1,200 individuals really be a litmus test for the views of news followers in a population of 102,534,739 people (as of going to press)?

The Volatilian™ seriously doubts it.

So here’s the question: do you believe that the mainstream media – that’s newspapers and national broadcasters – are reliable news sources? In short, do you trust them? To keep this simple and not waste your time, provide us with a number between zero and 10, where zero represents ‘no trust’ and 10 represents ‘complete trust’.

For this to be meaningful, we need a far greater number or respondents than 1,600. But if we are right about the public’s dissatisfaction we are confident we will achieve that. After all, there are 47 million Facebook accounts in the Philippines and a high percentage of those belong to news lovers. But we are also sure that you would like to know the answer to this question, too. The results of our survey will be published on this page next week. It should be revealing.