Delivering news with the right perspective
Leah C. Salterio (The Philippine Star) - July 13, 2008 - 12:00am

Several years ago, it will be remembered that civic journalism became a primary trend on television and radio when ABS-CBN’s public service program, Hoy Gising!, started exposing anomalies concerning public officials, government offices and politicians. The show likewise tackled all sorts of social issues and problems, urging those concerned to “wake up” and do something.

The big man behind the said pioneering concept was veteran broadcaster Jake Maderazo, then the vice president for news and current affairs of ABS-CBN. “Hoy Gising! was a very successful endeavor for us then,” Jake allows. “It was public service at its best, but without a perspective.”

Even during martial law in the ‘70s, Jake started civic journalism with Tawag Pansin, a public service program linking people’s complaints to the government. The show, hosted by Bobby Guanzon, aired on BBC and was directed by Maria Montelibano.

Today, however, Jake informs the concept of broadcast journalism has evolved. In his daily morning radio program, Taumbayan Naman (Mondays to Fridays, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. on DZXL, 558 khz), Jake espouses a different kind of radio journalism.

“Real-feel journalism is what the public needs,” Jake maintains. “I want to deliver real journalism, not managed news. I don’t want to deprive listeners from all information they need to know. Listeners should be able to feel the news. Broadcasters should be able to deliver the kind of news that will affect majority of the people.”

With today’s spin doctors working for the big names in government and politics, it is understandable that news will be angled in such a way that it will give a positive image to most prominent figures. “There’s a lot of double talk, especially in the government,” Jake explains. “Crisis PR has become perception. These spin masters manage to control the information even before it gets delivered to the listeners.”

While most radio shows are personality-based, Taumbayan Naman, according to Jake, tackles issues that concern people. “We are on the receiving end,” he points out. “Our foremost concern is to put people first. Otherwise, my program should have been titled Jake Maderazo Muna. Aside from informing the public, we give perspective and commentaries. After hearing the news, the public wants to know what will happen.”

Barring all temptations and advertising pressures, Jake delivers the kind of news that people need to know. “As a journalist, we should give listeners the right perspective and tell them what to do,” Jake insists. “I know what is managed (journalism) from real. Gone were the days when media was the mere linkage of the people to the government. Media should be able to convince listeners that the news being delivered is what the public needs to know.”

Jake’s advocacy for real-feel journalism is the first of its kind in the world. His radio program does not feature politicians who often merely brag about their accomplishments. “We don’t interview politicians,” he grants. “We just announce their positions for the nation’s interest. If you feature one to comment on a certain issue, another one will answer.”

Six months ago, Taumbayan Naman pushed for the removal of taxes for minimum wage earners. The program also suggested retail prices for all prime commodities. Jake likewise makes it a point to explain to his listeners the current issues affecting the nation, like the Value Added Tax (VAT), the rice crisis, the currency exchange rate or even the recent sea mishap suffered by Sulpicio Lines.

“People are deluged with so many information,” Jake asserts. “What will they believe? We should be able to give our own stand and position on the issues. We shouldn’t compromise. I never compromised. They cannot question my integrity. I have enough background and credentials to let them know they cannot easily fool me.”

Jake traces his humble beginnings to DZXL, where he first worked as an editorial writer for Bobby Guanzon. After the EDSA Revolution, he spent a good number of years working for ABS-CBN until his early retirement in 2005.

He went on a sabbatical after he left ABS-CBN, but the call of the airwaves proved to be hard to ignore for the veteran broadcaster. Last year, he returned to his roots and made a homecoming to DZXL of Radio Mindanao Network (RMN), where he started his career in the mid-‘80s.

Understandably, Jake’s radio show, Taumbayan Naman, has been swamped with text messages from listeners all over the country. Reading the messages alone takes up most of his hour-long, daily radio airtime. Often, he is overwhelmed with how the public passionately reacts to certain issues. It pleases him that he has listeners who believe in what he espouses and appreciates what he does. In fact, there are message senders who rally for him to run for senator or even president simply because they believe in what he does.

From Roger of Marikina City: “Sir Jake, tumbok na tumbok mo ang mga tunay na issues. You are the true voice of the people. I’m your avid listener, mula pa sa ABS-CBN. Keep up the good work. God bless.”

From Carmen Panergo of Las Piñas: “Marami kaming mga senior citizens ‘di masyado naiintindihan ang balita sa dyaryo. Salamat ng marami sa maganda mong paliwanag. Mabuhay ang DZXL.”

From Lito Tidoy of Bulacan: “Kuya Jake, salamat po sa ‘yo dahil hindi lang kaming tagapakinig mo ang namumulat sa maraming bagay, nagsisilbi ka ring guro ng mga taga-Malacañang.”

From Chelsea, Tope and Edwin Arias of Montalban: “Maganda mga paliwanag mo sa mga nangyayari sa bansa kaya lagi kaming nakikinig sa ‘yo.”

From Lito Santos of Nueva Ecija: “Sana madagdagan pa ang airtime ng iyong programa upang mabasa mo pa ang mga ibang text reaction ng silent majority. Sana tularan ka ng mga mapagkunwaring broadcasters... Mabuhay ka, Jake. Saludo kami sa ‘yo.”

From Jose Cruz of Infanta, Quezon: “Just keep going, Sir Jake. More power to your very informative and interesting program.”

Jake returned to being a radio commentator on DZXL last year with Taumbayan Naman. “My dream is to have a radio show on primetime,” he says. “It’s easy to conceptualize a show, but it should be part of the development of journalism and the information absorbed by the people. My goal is to present to the people in their perspective the real scenario. Fortunately, the public has embraced the concept.”

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