News organizations that use ghouls & ghosts as news subjects: reviews by Maria Angelita, serendipity, papa smurf, cyrusfigueroa, kath turlao
(photo shot by Myra Lambino, this week’s pumpkin-carving party among friends in California)
Media Monitor No. 9 by Maria Angelita
“xxxOctober 26, 2014, Rated K aired their Halloween special entitled, “Rated Shocker”. It featured stories about the occult particularly ghost sightings, demon possessions, third-eyes, and the like. Though it is an entertaining episode, particularly for the horror fans, it is hardly something one could call a fair and accurate news magazine program episode.
“One such example is the first segment of the show which talked about a young boy who allegedly has the ability to see ghosts, demons, and “lost souls”. This ability is otherwise known as “having a third eye”. xxx lack of balanced reporting xxxfocused entirely on the magnificence of the boy’s “powers” by showing how he supposedly played with “dead people” without actually confirming the phenomenon with scientific experts. The only “experts” they got on the subject were a Catholic priest and a parapsychologist, hardly anyone that could give you a rational view of the situation. This is in violation of the KBP Broadcast Code of Ethics, Article 13 which states that a program featuring superstitious and pseudoscientific beliefs must not exploit people who could be easily swayed by such things. By showing one account after the other of the boy’s third-eye adventures without proper guidance of logical expertise, a simple-minded viewer might actually believe that such things actually matter.
“Another issue I have with the episode is the sensationalism of their re-enactments. It’s good that they’ve labeled their re-enactments as such but the images don’t have to be so gory. The ghosts were so bloodied up that it didn’t seem like they were writing for a news magazine program but more for a horror show.
“Of course, it is understandable that this episode in particular is a horror episode but the producers must not forget that their show is under the category of current affairs. They must not sacrifice the sanctity of balanced news for the sake of entertainment.”
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“xxxOctober 26, ABS-CBN News posted a video from Rated K about a white figure resembling a woman seen on cam during the shoot of a paranormal investigation in Tondo, Manila. According to the cameraman, Violan Pardo, he thought he saw the female ghost before he started to shoot.
“However, a videography expert explained that the image might be formed by lights bouncing off from the grills.
“The verification from the videography expert was important to lessen fright among the audience and to avoid inducing any superstitious belief.”
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By papa smurf
“On another episode of TV Patrol Pampanga, the news program covered a jeepney accident in Sta. Rita Pampanga where one of the passengers died and several others were hospitalized. The jeep hit a tree at one in the morning and the local police believe that the driver of the jeep fell asleep while he was driving. The segment then shifted its attention to the residents near the tree who claim that there is a woman who frequents the tree at night. According to one of the residents, there have already been past accidents at the same area where the accident happened. The report consulted with the usual paranormal expert and she claims that there is an angry woman that roams the area. She then adds that as All Saints Day comes closer, it is possible that more accident will occur.
“The issue with the episode is it induces belief in the supernatural. The episode goes through great lengths to connect an accident with the presence of a ghost who haunts the area. The reporter mentions that the accounts of the residents coincide with what the paranormal expert sees. Again, the program became more about entertainment rather than being deliverer of news. It is almost funny how the program spent more time covering the ghost story rather than the accident itself.
“According to the KBP, media practitioners must be careful in covering supernatural events. I think it is safe to assume that TV Patrol Pampanga does not agree with the KBP. This is the second time in two weeks that they featured ghost stories that are not news worthy in any way. The advice and the visions of the paranormal expert are very questionable and yet the program decides to consult with her anyway. TV Patrol Pampanga is guilty of prescribing pseudo-scientific beliefs. TV Patrol Pampanga must stop.”
“Umagang Kay Ganda did a segment about the historical Diplomat Hotel in Baguio City, but they focused about how it was haunted. They stated how a lot of people died in it during World War II, and that their souls are still inhabiting the hotel. They interviewed a student named Jhel, who claims that she saw ghosts in the windows. Chuck Tinte, the journalist, then mentions that the hotel was one of the most haunted places in the Philippines. The segment then moved to scenes when the news team brought a spirit medium into the hotel. She said that she saw several spirits, and there was also footage of her supposedly being possessed by the spirit of a soldier. All these were set to an eerie musical background. This can rattle the viewers and possibly make them believe in the occult. It’s not news, because there are no facts, only beliefs.
“Even though they interviewed a bishop who said not to believe in this, it was only a fraction of the segment. The occult details were given more priority, thus making it seem more important.
“This may also be seen as a mere stunt to get into the Halloween season, since there was no big event that happened at the Diplomat Hotel. It was more like a feature of a haunted place”
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Haunting (Weekly Media Monitor for October 22-28, 2014)
The link to the Oct. 26 episode of “Rated K” can be found here: http://www.iwantv.com.ph/TV/Video/Rated-K/24/58566
“xxxOctober 26, ABS-CBN aired an episode of “Rated K” (a weekly magazine program hosted by Korina Sanchez) which featured various stories about the occult and supposed paranormal events.
Being a magazine program, it is still expected of “Rated K” to be factual and objective in the stories they air. However, in one of the episode’s segments, a child was described to be in possession of the “sixth sense” (see above photo). What’s wrong is that the description makes it seem that the sixth sense does exist, and the segment itself fails to include the side of scientific experts. This is in violation of the KBP Broadcast Code of Ethics, which states that “programs featuring superstitions shall not induce belief in them”.
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By Kath Turlao
“On the morning show of ABS-CBN which is Umagang Kay Ganda, a story regarding an “amaranhid” was featured.
Even before, there is a belief in the Philippines regarding people who rose from death and by which, are termed as the “amaranhid” or “pinoy zombie.”
“According to the KBP Code of ethics, programs must not promote such beliefs and care should be taken to prevent the exploitation of people who may be easily swayed by such superstitious beliefs.
However,the story that the show featured was supporting that this superstition is actually true and that it happened in one of the barrios in our country.