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Global Media Registry

Undesirable mix of business and politics

When then President Rodrigo R. Duterte instigated the 2020 shutdown of ABS-CBN, he not only decapitated the broadcast giant whose coverage of his 2016 election campaign he found displeasing; he also sent a grim message to Philippine media who’s the “Boss.”

Two years earlier, Duterte instigated the filing of tax charges against the Rufino-Prieto family, owners of the hard-hitting Philippine Daily Inquirer, one of the country’s top newspapers.

Media ownership in the Philippines is still dominated by big business which needs to be in the good graces of government resulting in a situation where they have to carefully do the balancing act between journalistic integrity and business interest.

There are politicians who are media owners (there is no law that prohibits politicians from owning a media organization) and in some cases, not openly.

Media demands transparency from the subject of the news reports but they themselves do not practice transparency. In a number of media companies monitored in this research, the identity of publicly-known owners is hidden through multi-layered corporate structure.

Online media rules the landscape as TV, radio and print continue to decline as source of news.

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