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«BALITANG TROOLALOO, WALANG HALONG EKLAVOO: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF AUDIENCE PERCEPTION OF THE NEWS AS REPORTED BY GAY NEWS ANCHORS IN THE DZMM RADIO ...»

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BALITANG TROOLALOO, WALANG HALONG EKLAVOO:

A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF AUDIENCE PERCEPTION OF THE NEWS AS

REPORTED BY GAY NEWS ANCHORS IN THE

DZMM RADIO SHOW TALAKAN

EIRA MAURICE LIANZA ERFE

Submitted to the

COLLEGE OF MASS COMMUNICATION

University of the Philippines Diliman In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN BROADCAST COMMUNICATION

April 2011

BALITANG TROOLALOO, WALANG HALONG EKLAVOO:

A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF AUDIENCE PERCEPTION OF THE NEWS AS

REPORTED BY GAY NEWS ANCHORS IN THE

DZMM RADIO SHOW TALAKAN

EIRA MAURICE LIANZA ERFE

Submitted to the

COLLEGE OF MASS COMMUNICATION

University of the Philippines Diliman In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN BROADCAST COMMUNICATION

April 2011

BALITANG TROOLALOO, WALANG HALONG EKLAVOO:

A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF AUDIENCE PERCEPTION OF THE NEWS AS

REPORTED BY GAY NEWS ANCHORS IN THE DZMM RADIO SHOW TALAKAN

by

EIRA MAURICE LIANZA ERFE

has been approved for the Department of Broadcast Communication and the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication by Professor Rosa Maria T. Feliciano, M.A.

Thesis Adviser Professor Roland B. Tolentino, Ph.D Dean, College of Mass Communication   iii   

BIOGRAPHICAL DATA

PERSONAL DATA

Name Eira Maurice Lianza Erfe Permanent Address 542 Carpenter Street, Moonwalk Village Phase II, Barangay Moonwalk Village, Paranaque City, Philippines Telephone Number (+632) 931-1943; (+632) 824-2468 Mobile Number (+63) 917-5546898 Email Address eira_maurice@yahoo.co.uk Date and Place of Birth 18 October 1990, Manila EDUCATION Tertiary Level Bachelor of Arts Major in Broadcast Communication, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City Secondary Level Valedictorian, Colegio de San Juan De Letran, Calamba City, Laguna Primary Level Academic Achiever, Immaculate Conception Cathedral

–  –  –

This thesis would not have been completed without the valuable time and effort of the following individuals who in their own ways extended their generous assistance in the preparation and accomplishment of this research.

To my thesis adviser, Professor Rosa Maria T. Feliciano, for her everlasting patience, understanding, and guidance from the conceptualization of my thesis topic until the submission of the final output. May she still continue to inspire more students never to settle with mediocrity but to always aspire for excellence.

To my BC 196 Professor, Congressman Angelo Palmones, for his unconditional support and assistance in this thesis and for making the formal interview with the program’s executive producer possible.

To Talakan’s Executive Producer, Miss Nanette Baler-Quong, for giving up an hour of her precious time for the sake of new knowledge and for providing the necessary materials required by this study. May she continue to encourage potential talents and create programs that break traditions.

To Mister Ahwel Paz, for being one of the inspirations of this research, and for sharing a nice one hour of his time for our own version of Talakan.

To Professor Eric Julian Manalastas for generously sharing his expertise to help in the analysis and interpretation of this study’s initial findings. May you continue to uphold LGBT rights.

To my uncle, Vermond Lianza, for his unconditional help in making my data

–  –  –

To the barangay captain and residents of Barangay Balong-Bato in the city of San Juan, for their active participation in my data gathering.

To my cousins, Vernon, Mika, and Cocoy for willingly assisting me during my data gathering.

To my other cousin Mark and his friends from San Beda College, for their help in transcribing the episodes of Talakan.

To my BC 196 classmates, Blessie Clemente, Jessamine Pacis, Marymize Toraja, Eastword Manlises, and Ea Antonio, for their assistance in transcribing the episodes of Talakan.

To my best friend, Pork Steak, for her prayers and support and for staying up late just to make sure I finish my drafts on time.

To my cousin, Kristal Gale Erfe for leaving everything behind just to help me finish my thesis. Although she did not live long enough to witness the completion of this study, her contributions not only to this research, but also in my life will always be cherished and remembered. May she rest in peace.

To my thesis buddies, Dane, Gen, and Bianca, my personal cheerleaders who showed their undying support all throughout the duration of this research.

To my parents, Erwin Erfe and Veronica Erfe, for providing financial support to this study and for showering me with their unconditional love and support.





And last but not the least, to the Heavenly Father who makes all things possible. I offer this thesis, and my entire being to your merciful hands. Thank you, Papa God!

Sa Panginoon na siyang may likha ng

–  –  –

Erfe, E.L. (2011). Balitang Troolaloo, Walang Halong Eklavoo: A Critical Analysis of Audience Perception of the News as Reported by Gay News Anchors in the DZMM Radio Show Talakan, Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines Diliman College of Mass Communication The researcher decided to conduct this study while listening to the DZMM radio program Talakan and its gay news anchors. The entertainment that the researcher got from listening to the gay news anchors of the program and their use of gay language and expressions in delivering the news motivated her to pursue this study.

The study’s main objective was to determine whether having gay news anchors and using gay language and expressions in news reporting and interpretation influence the audience’s perception of the news.

The researcher used qualitative methods to gather the necessary data for the study.

Three sets of focus group discussion were conducted among the residents of Barangay Balong-Bato, in the city of San Juan to determine their perception of the gay news anchors of the program and whether the “gay style” of news reporting employed by the anchors influenced their perception of the news.

In-depth interviews with the executive producer of the program and its hosts were conducted to determine the reason behind the program’s creation (and later its cancelation). An expert on Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transvestite Psychology was also interviewed to help in the analysis and interpretation of the reactions of the participants during the FGD toward the gay news anchors and the gay style of news reporting.

Two theories were used in the study: Stuart Hall’s Encoding and Decoding Theory, and the Language Expectancy Theory. The Encoding and Decoding Theory categorized the informants according to the three ways of reading the text, which in this case are the gay news anchors of Talakan. The three categories were the dominant reading, negotiated reading, and oppositional reading. The Language Expectancy Theory was used to analyze and interpret the effect of the gay news anchors and the gay style of news reporting on the audience perception of the news.

The study showed that the new elements in news reporting introduced by the DZMM radio program Talakan, such as having gays as news anchors and the use of gay style in news reporting, influenced the audience perception of the news in both positive and negative ways. Results showed that while the impact of the news on the audience

–  –  –

C. The FGD Participants and the “Gay Style” of News Reporting 83 D. The Credibility of the News as Viewed by the FGD Participants 88

–  –  –

C. Talakan’s Gay Style of News Reporting and Its Implications 107 D. The FGD Participants and Their Perception of Gay Language 109

–  –  –

E. Letter of Invitation to the Barangay Captain of Balong-Bato, San Juan 131 F. Letter of Invitation to the LGBT Community Psychology Expert 132 G. Transcription of Interview with Talakan’s Executive Producer 133

–  –  –

“Just remember that you’re not just reading the news, you’re narrating it… you’re selling them this idea of you. You’re sort of saying, ‘trust me, I’m credible.’ So when you feel yourself just reading, stop! Start selling a little.” - Tom Grunick, Broadcast News, (Brooks, 1987) A news anchor is one of the most important team players in the game of broadcast news production. These anchorpersons are essentially “the news staffers who get the most public recognition for what is really a team effort,” (Hunter & Gross, 1980, p. 92).

This is because they are the ones who deliver the news in front of the camera, and thus, theirs are the performances often seen by the audience.

Though their job seems glamorous at a glance, being a news anchor is not as easy as eating a piece of cake. As Green (1969) puts it, anchorpersons are the ones responsible in “carrying” the show while they are on, even though disasters of any kind may occur.

As the bearer of the program, the anchor must “perform with ease and surety under all circumstances, conceivable or not,” (Green, 1969, p. 193).

With all these pressures placed upon the shoulders of news anchors, hiring and choosing one for a news program is not simple. An old Time Magazine article once said that in order for someone to make it really big as an anchor in the United States broadcast news industry, “it helps to be male, white, fortyish, and have at least ten years of broadcast journalism experience,” (Hunter & Gross, 1980, p. 92).

In 1978, Hunter and Gross (1980) conducted a random survey among news directors across the United States and asked them for the top qualities they look for in

–  –  –

good looks and credibility (See Review of Related Literature). These criteria mentioned by the survey and the magazine article were perhaps the reasons why broadcast announcing, both for television and radio, “has, until the recent years, been a maledominated profession,” (Keith, 1989, p.2).

Keith (1989) mentioned that because male voice is more authoritative and commanding of attention, they are better suited for air work than women (p.2). From the early years of radio until the dawn of the television in the United States, women’s names were absent from the long list of famous radio and television news anchors, which includes the likes of H.V. Kaltenborn, Orson Welles, Gabriel Heatter and Walter Cronkite (p.3) (Hunter & Gross, 1980).

Up until the 1950s, male announcers were still the standard. Women were just the voices in the commercials of domestic products because as Dumit and Henneke (1950) said in their book, The Announcer’s Handbook, women’s delivery lacks the authority needed to come up with a convincing newscast, and that it’s just right for household product commercials and fashion trends (Keith, 1989, p. 3).

Since the news anchor profession has been male-dominated during those years, the same tradition reached the Philippines in the first half of the 20th century when the Americans colonized the country and brought with them the technology of radio broadcasting (Enriquez, 2003).

Just like in the United States, the first radio personalities in the Philippines were men, and mostly Americans. Tomy Worthen, George Vogel, Johnny Wightman, Don Bell, and Dave Harvey were among the famous newscasters in the Philippines during that

–  –  –

It was only after the Second World War that more and more women entered the radio news and public affairs scene in the Philippines.

Many years have passed and the situation slowly changed. The criteria for choosing anchorpersons might still be the same, with credibility and physical appearance still among the top qualities of bankable news anchors. However, the once maledominated profession gradually started accepting women anchors. Today, names like Korina Sanchez, Mel Tiangco, Karen Davila, Jessica Soho, Ces Drilon, top the list of the country’s famous newscasters.

Another ‘selling’ trait of broadcast news programs aside from its news anchors is its uniquely serious and straightforward style in delivering information. News programs are all about delivering information, not entertainment. Hawes (1991) differentiated the performers who deliver the news and information about the world, and the performers who entertain (p. ix).

Observing the present news programs in primetime and non-primetime television and radio, it is noticeable that the serious and straightforward style of news delivery is still the dominant trend. This is particularly true with local and international news on politics, economics, and other issues that are considered serious and significant.

In contrast to the serious tone used in political and social issues, showbiz gossip and entertainment news require a different treatment. That is why gay personalities with fun and flamboyant personalities are allowed and accepted by the Philippine media to deliver such news.

Aside from Boy Abunda, Ricky Lo, and Jobert Sucaldito who are famous in

–  –  –

The Philippines has gay actors like John Lapus and Vice Ganda.. In the fashion industry the famous names are Fanny Serrano and Ricky Reyes. But despite the overwhelming number of gays in the movie and television industries, there is still this one unchartered territory where gay personalities could not freely thrive: the broadcast news industry.

In the United States, although studies show that attitudes of Americans towards homosexuals are becoming positive (Schroeder, 2004), the number of openly gay news anchors in American television is still low.



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