Media is defined by Encarta as “the various means of mass communications considered as a whole, including television, radio, magazines, and newspapers, together with the people involved in their production.” The term, in this context, is taken as synonymous to mass media, so called because it is designed to reach the mass of people.
In the Philippines, mass media forms can be divided into three major categories: print, electronic, and special media. The print media includes newspapers (both broadsheets and tabloids) and magazines. Electronic media, strictly speaking, encompasses both analog and digital types of media that use electronic equipment for its distribution. Hence, this comprises radio, television, cinema, and the internet. Special media refers to forms that cannot be classified as either print or electronic. Examples of special media forms are the billboards, t-shirts, balloons that also carry messages meant for the masses. The most widely used media forms in the Philippines, however, are print and some forms of electronic media.
Media has a tripartite role in Philippine society: political, economic, and social. It is the political aspect that media satisfies when it disseminates information, creates and reflects public opinion, and serves as as a watchdog on government. This role is mostly carried out by the different news and public information media forms, both in print and broadcasting, through the varied journalists, reporters and broadcasters of Philippine media.
Kinds of Media in the Philippines
Print media began in the Philippines during the Spanish era, through Spanish-language newsletters. National newspapers during that era, however, aided greatly to the Philippine Revolution. The first English language newspapers came out in 1898, which ushered in the era of modern media.
Of the print media, the most popular are the newspapers, both broadsheets or tabloids, being the cheapest and most accessible to the public. Several newspapers enjoy national distribution, although each region in the country also has its own regional newspapers. Apart from these, the print industry, through varied trade, educational, and magazine publishers, produces glossy and non-glossy magazines, comic books, pocketbook series, textbooks, trade books, and periodicals.
BROADCAST MEDIA (Radio and Television)
Radio broadcasting began in the Philippines in 1922. Since then, radio has become the most accessible electronic media. Filipinos either own or enjoy its services even in public transportation or areas. Aside from the newspaper, it is the most favored source of information, opinion, and entertainment.
Philippine radio stations broadcast in either FM or AM bands. Some stations, especially in the AM band, broadcast mostly talk or news programs. Music radio stations are usually found in the FM band. Often, radio stations specialize in a particular type of music, such as pop, classical, new wave, or mellow. Radio stations also broadcast either nationally or regionally.
The first television broadcast in the Philippines occurred in the 1950s. Since then, the television industry has been considered as a very strong influence on society. There are hundreds of local stations that populate the airwaves, most of them belonging to a broadcast network, the largest of which are ABS-CBN and GMA, also the most popular television stations.
Television networks and stations broadcast through satellite or “free” channels and cable channels. Most channels broadcast in both English and Filipino languages, and programming is mostly general interest. Networks, though, often reserve certain stations for a specific format, such as music, news, animation, children's programs, educational TV, etc. Philippine TV programs range from canned foreign series to locally produced soap operas or telenovelas, fantaseryes, news and information programs, variety shows, game shows, educational shows and reality TV, starred in by a bevy of Philippine celebrities. Most of these celebrities are connected to a specific television network.
The content of television programs is monitored by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), which also assigns ratings to the TV shows.
Considered as the youngest of Philippine arts, film first appeared in the Philippines in 1904. As a media form, Philippine cinema, at present, is thriving industry. Movies in the Philippines are mostly produced by one of the major film studios. The most popular genre among movies is the drama. However, there is also a big niche for comedy, romance, horror, and historical films. Philippine cinema has also been used to promote or foster certain political or historical insights.
Film stars are among the most popular celebrities in Philippine entertainment. The country also has its share of renowned film makers and films which have gained recognition in several international film festivals.
Currently, independent films are gaining a stronger footing in the industry, with the establishment of groups like Cinemalaya.
INTERNET (Social Media)
Social media refers mainly to digital media forms such as computers and the Internet. The Philippines is relatively new to this media, officially entering the world of global Internet only in 1994. However, in a span of less than 10 years, the country has made up for it by being avid users of the Internet and digital communications in general.