For seasoned GMA journalists Jiggy Manicad and Pia Arcangel, their job is about giving fact-based news always and in timely manner.
“I think ’yun ata ang isa sa pinagmamalaki namin dito sa GMA,” Pia said. “At hindi kami nagpapadala du’n sa ‘the race to be first’ kasi mas priority pa rin naman ang tama ’yung binabalita namin. Mas importante na palaging tama ang ibabalita,” Pia said.
Jiggy added: “Actually, palaging tinatanong sa akin ’yan. Kung scoop o accuracy (ang mas importante sa panahon ng social media). Kasi as a journalist talaga, kumpleto (dapat) ang paglalabas ng balita, kasi magsa-suffer din ’yung organization (kung hindi) eh. Aanhin mo naman ang bilis kung kulang o mali naman ’yung information?”
That said, Pia and Jiggy said they go through a “long process of fact-checking” before they deliver the news.
“It (news) goes through several levels of editing, fact-checking tapos dadaan sa mga producers, sa program managers. Kami naman as anchors, ang responsibility namin is to check the final product and if we still have questions, tsaka namin babalikan at aayusin,” Pia shared.
Of course, such efforts are necessary as they don’t want to be labeled as “fake news provider.”
Staying true to GMA’s tagline “Walang kinikilingan,” Pia and Jiggy said that as much as possible, they don’t state their personal opinions on certain topics online, especially politics.
“Hindi ako mahilig mag-comment kasi maraming opinion ang mga tao eh, kanya-kanyang opinion ’yan at madali sa kanila sumagot. I prefer… not necessarily to be silent but to not make public my sentiments on that. Kasi nga ’pag nagsalita ka sa isang isyu tapos may pinaboran ka, nawawala ’yung ‘Walang kinikilingan,’ so parang it’s better to just stay sa gitna.
“It doesn’t mean na wala kaming stand but of course, maapektuhan kasi ’yung integrity and credibility on how we deliver the news, and how you write your news. So as much as possible, ’wag na lang.”
Jiggy, on his part, said he treats social media as a major entity and that whatever he posts there might hurt someone.
“As a public figure kapag nagsalita ka, pwede i-share at i-quote ’yung sinabi mo kahit papa’no. So ang tendency, makakarating ’yan sa taong tatamaan ng opinion mo. Better na ’yung opinion ko o ’yung stand ko, sa akin na lang muna,” he maintained. “But at the same time, hindi dapat nawawala ’yung prinsipyo ko. Kung ano ’yung tama o mali ay hindi ka dapat malubog sa mga issues, ’yung prinsipyo mo dapat nandu’n. Black or white dapat at klaro pa rin kung anong gusto mo.”
Being in the business for years now, Jiggy and Pia shared the most exciting part of their job is serving the people.
Then there’s also the matter of being in the front row of history as they witness everything firsthand.
“Siguro it’s also the fact na different everyday, hindi mo alam kung anong mangyayari kapag pasok mo, iba-iba talaga siya,” Pia shared. “I guess ’yung best part is mayroon kang pagkakataon na gamitin ’yung trabaho mo for public service. I believe any career in broadcasting is a career in public in service so masaya na napapag-combine ko sila.”
Jiggy added: “Hindi kasi lahat ng trabaho nakakapag-serve sa public. Maganda may trabaho ka at the same time na-i-inform mo ’yung public sa tamang impormasyon na kailangan nila.”
Pia and Jiggy co-host “24 Oras Weekend.”
The news program started in the year 2010 and the two is happy that the show has been consistently part of the list of GMA’s top-rating weekend programs.
Recalling how they started, Pia shared, “I think, nagsimula itong ‘24 Oras Weekend,’ noong sunod-sunod na may malalaking istorya na pumuputok kapag weekend dati kasi mostly kapag election period lang may special coverage. As far as I can remember, (tropical storm) Ondoy ang first time na nag-air kami ng hindi election period.”
Shortly after that, “24 Oras Weekend” became a regular show.
“Mas tumaas ang interes ng publiko sa weekend news. Especially now na ang mga tao ay naghahanap ng credible source ng information. Tumatakbo pa rin ang mga tao sa credible news source at ito ’yung naging market namin, niche ng show para sa mga viewers,” Jiggy shared.
Pia and Jiggy, who also host “Saksi” and “Quick Response Team” respectively, related that they try to inject “feel good” news every weekend as part of their effort to “relax the audience.”
“We also came into consideration na ’yung weekdays kasi punong-puno na ng nakaka-stress na balita. So sana kapag weekend, relax lang ’yung mga tao,” she said, adding they also try to cater millennial audiences.
While “24 Oras Weekend” continues to rule with its strong ratings, Jiggy and Pia are not hogging all glory but credit the whole production team.
“So far, maganda po ’yung performance ng show. I think ang credit po nito ay lahat ng taong nag-trabaho para sa show, meaning ’yung production, ’yung gumagawa ng content. ’Yung istorya na binibigay namin sa publiko as a whole, ’yun po ’yung nagpapapataas ng ratings ng show,” Jiggy said.