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TV5 news team battles the giants

By Bibsy M. Carballo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 18:24:00 04/09/2010

Filed Under: Television, News, Entertainment (general)

AS NEWS BREAKS ABOUT GMA-7 winning its third Peabody award for ?I-Witness,? Luchi Cruz-Valdes, head of TV5?s news team, admits it won?t be easy going against the established giants on the news front.

The network?s news profile includes the daily broadcast, ?Aksyon? (9-9:30 p.m.); weekly shows hosted by Luchi, Lourd de Veyra, Chris Tiu, Winnie Monsod, and comedians, Ariel and Maverick, and a 6:30 p.m. weekend news show, anchored by Cheri Mercado and Jove Francisco.

Topless

The early morning news, ?Sapul,? which uses the chika format, at 6 a.m. opposite similar shows on channels 2 and 7, brings the hard-hitting Erwin Tulfo with Lourd, Martin Andanar and Shawn Yao, whom we find the weirdest of the lot. A Filipino-Chinese model, Shawn made waves when she posed topless for Rouge Magazine, which so enraged her parents that they purportedly bought all the copies of the said issue in print.

Another addition is Cong.Dom, the political-analyst puppet who will answer questions on ?Sapul? twice a week. Our verdict: Wild, especially when the hosts loosen up and go to town with their conflicting opinions.

Novel mix

This is perhaps what Luchi meant about TV5?s news being a novel mix of news and reality TV, which we interpret as hard news with a healthy dose of gossip and scandal.

TV5?s nine news and public information shows focus on viewers 35 years and younger. Luchi remains candid about her team?s position being a young station. The challenge isn?t to fight the other two networks, she says, but to come up with something they don?t have.

That could be humor, which explains the presence of Ariel and Maverick hosting ?TotooTV? Mondays at 9:30 p.m., an on-the-spot public service/educational show with some comedy. We watched the wacky duo as they helped a seaman apply for a license?which included bribing, cajoling, and a lot of waiting! But, how do they sustain something like this?

Keeping ?Aksyon,? the evening newscast, interesting is admittedly a challenge. The team?s solution is to use Anderson Cooper?s CNN coverage of the Haiti tragedy as a model, in which his group pulled a girl from the rubble and brought her to the hospital?a case of so-called ?action journalism.?



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