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Context

Philippine media is a microcosm of the country with the complex interplay of its history, politics, religion, society and technology.

A Filipino poet described the Filipino as “pliant like a bamboo,” bending with the wind and surviving.

Three centuries as a colony of Spain, five decades under American rule and three years of Japanese occupation have left Filipinos scarred but enriched. That is reflected in Philippine media today.

The advantage of church-owned media with its “captive” faithful followers is reflected in the audience share numbers. Such massive influence is often parlayed into politics.

There is no specific legal prohibition on politicians owning media companies.  The desire of politicians to control media is manifested in various and innovative ways. In some cases, it has been detrimental to the media such as what happened to ABS-CBN and Rappler.

The rise of social media with its inherent attributes of no geographical boundaries, real-time publication, and anonymity compound the constitutional and legal challenges.

The economic elite, a number of them belonging to one family, continues to dominate ownership of media.

The internet and social media have dramatically changed the media landscape with traditional media losing out to digital media as a source of information.

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