Thursday, July 21, 2005

 

Shit Ba Ang Nasa TV? (Part 2)

"rey, i mostly agree with what you said. pero i'm still wondering...whatever happened to "making the audience want what they need?" hindi na ba possible yun? para kasing napaka-defeatist din ng attitude eh. na parang, e eto gusto nila, okay fine, kahit na napaka-walang kwenta. it's hard, pero sana may ginagawa pa rin, di ba? and maybe after 5 years or so, we would have re-educated the viewers. wala lang. ayoko lang kasi mawalan ng pag-asa na mababago pa ang ganitong mindset ng tao. ayokong isipin na bobo ang audience. pero napakalaking role ng media sa pagiging bobo ng mga tao. hindi ko kayo tinitira, pero sana lang talaga may magawa pa, instead of showing statistics and saying "we give what the audience wants."

Hindi ko inexpect na matutuwa ako sa pagba-blog pero kakaibang saya talaga kapag may nagko-comment or bumabati sa sinulat mo in person. That's why I make it a point to respond to comments. But my good friend Sunshine's comments on a recent post is just too provocative that it deserves a blog entry. Her comment, quoted in full above, is again an exciting starting point for media content discussions. Here's my take.

The problem with "making the audience want what they need" is knowing who's to say what they need. Sa Pilipinas, unlike, say, in the US (which I chose as an examle kasi feeling ko ito ang foreign TV industry na pinakapamilyar sa atin), developed na ang social system such that hindi malayo ang agwat ng mayayaman at mahihirap. That is not the case sa Philippine free TV industry. Ang laki ng social, economic, cultural at educational disparity between the media producers (ang mga tao responsible for what you see on TV) and the media consumers (the audience).

Example na lang ako: Lumaki akong bawal manood ng Tagalog TV shows, I am fluent in English, exclusive boys' school ako nag-aral, nagtapos ako ng college, never ko pang naranasang magutom dahil walang pambili kaming pagkain, sa isang subdivision ako lumaki, nagkakape ako sa Starbucks, nandidiri ako sa isaw...Ngayon, bilang writer, sa tingin mo ba'y normal na darating sa akin ang mga bagay na panonoorin ng audience ko?

D'yan pumapasok ang research, ang ratings, at misan trial-and-error na lang sa pag-produce ng isang TV show. That's why hindi ako basta-basta magsusulat nang hindi iniisip kung ano ang panonoorin ng audience ko. Baka sa ibang media puwede 'yon. At mas lalong hindi ko i-i-impose ang mga bagay na feeling ko kelangan ('yung sinasabing "need") ng audience. Sino ba'ko para i-impose ang taste ko sa kanila? (Baka araw-araw puro porno na lang ang nasa TV kung ganu'n) At sino ba'ko para sabihin sa kanila na: "Heto ang kelangan n'yo! Panoorin n'yo!" (Baka puro tips on Family Planning ang shows) Sino ba tayong lahat?

Sa lalong paghina ng ibang popular mass media tulad ng pelikula at ng komiks, ang telebisyon ang nag-e-emerge na social tool ng masa. Sila na hindi maka-afford magpakabit ng cable, o kung meron man na-e-alienate sa Westernized content nito, sa free TV nahahanap ang mga bagay na gusto nilang panoorin. Again, it's hard to please everyone. Sa mga taong tulad ni Sunshine na middle-class ang background maaring walang kuwenta ang mga Tagalized telenovela na'yan, ang mga celebrity talk shows, ang mga baklang nagli-lipsynch, at mga reality contests na'yan. But consider, na meron ding mga tao na hindi natatawa sa Friends, na hindi nabibilib kay Carrie Underwood compared kay Sarah Geronimo, at hindi ma-gets kung asan ang Fear Factor sa pagkain ng "balut eggs." Para sa kanila, 'yun ang mga walang-kuwentang show.

A case in point, for the longest time, all our News and Public Affairs Programs were in English. Ang Filipino naman sa Entertainment Programs lang ginagamit. Parang sinasabi na sa mga seryosong diskusyon, mas mainam na gamitin ang Ingles. Pero with TV Patrol unti-unting nabago 'yan. Pero the late-night newscasts and current affairs programs were still in English. Then Saksi came. Ngayon, LAHAT na ng balita at public affairs programs sa Philippine Free TV ay in Filipino. Ratings ang nag-push niya, dahil dini-demand ng majority of the audience na isalaysay sa kanila ang mga balita at pag-usapan ang mga isyu sa wikang pinakanaiintindihan nila.

Kaya na-o-offend ako sa mga well-meaning advocacies to "re-educate the audience," followed up pa ng "naniniwala akong hindi bobo ang audience" dahil hindi man sila sosyal, that doesn't make the audience BOBO either. And hindi man nila panonoorin ang Discovery Channel kahit na isalampak 'yan sa mga TV sets nila nang libre, that doesn't mean they need to be re-educated. Sometimes, in discussions about media content, the educated needs to be educated.

Yes, dapat vigilant pa rin tayong lahat sa kung anuman ang ipinapalabas sa TV. Pero hindi porque hindi nag-a-appeal sa'yong middle-to-upperclass sensibilities ang mga Pinoy sitcoms, noontime shows at fantaserye, eh, walang kuwenta na ito at wala na'tong naidudulot na mabuti sa audience.

Hindi ito pagiging defeatist. Hindi ito ang paniniwala ko dahil nilamon na'ko ng sistema ng komersiyalismo sa telebisyon. Sa limang taon kong pagsusulat sa TV, higit kong na-appreciate ang audience ko na noong halos dalawapung taon kong pag-aaral eh hindi ko nakilala nang mabuti (gayung sila ang majority). Ang pagtindi ng ratings war ay patunay ng patuloy na tumataas ng antas ng kanilang demands at tastes. Hindi kami puwedeng magpabandying-bandying sa trabaho namin dahil hihingi nang hihingi ng mas magandang programa ang audience. At patuloy silang magde-demand na dinggin sila, ang mga gusto nila, ang mga kailangan nila! Sila mismo ang magsasabi, hindi kung anumang sektor na hindi naman talaga gumugugol sa pananaliksik tungkol sa kanila pero push lang ng push ng kanilang sariling konsepto ng makabubuti sa kanila (more educational shows, more religious programs, more whatever!)

Puwede kong pakinggan ang ibang sektor pero magiging mas matimbang sa'kin ang audience ko. Tungkulin kong ibigay ang hinihingi nila dahil 'yun ang gusto nila at 'yun ang kailangan nila. And I am so happy to oblige. 'Yun ang mumunti kong ambag sa bansang ito, if I must say.


Comments:
after reading your topic for today, something that comes into my mind is the fact that our politicians love making speeches in english and some have a difficulty expressing themselves in the vernacular.

this is of particular interest to me, because in my travels to other asian countries, like malaysia, indonesia, thailand the politicians communicate always in their own languages,

what i mean to say is that politicians who want to really reach out to their constituents, should and must communicate in the vernacular

that is one reason why erap was able to endear himself with the public, because he could express himself clearly in tagalog,

its also why chiz escudero, amazes me, is that he is able to concisely express himself in tagalog,

i hope we have more politicians like him,

its not that i am against the use of english as a form of communication, which we all know is important in this day and age,

but i feel using our own language is one way of putting our step forward and telling investors that hey if you want to invest here, learn the language.
 
thanks for your comments...

oonga. on the issue of language, i was just telling some friends a few minutes ago na surprisingly hindi na'ko nakakapagsulat in English. whereas before, I think in English then translate it to Fililpino as I write.

personally, naniniwala pa rin ako sa halaga ng english. our knowledge of it is something that we must strengthen. but never at the expense of our national and local languages.
 
best regards, nice info
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