In the middle of shared outrage over the heightened presence of Chinese militia vessels in the West Philippine Sea, a number of Filipinos are understandably wary of efforts to justify this trespassing in Philippine waters. This was the case when ABS-CBN announced its partnership with Filipino-Chinese media company Chinese News TV (CNTV).
Hey Kapamilya, your Filipino Chinese newscast CNTV is coming soon to ANC 24/7!
Starting April 12, catch CNTV every…
Posted by CNTV 菲中新闻台 on Wednesday, April 7, 2021
On Apr. 7, CNTV announced that it will be airing its Mandarin newscast on the ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) from Mondays to Fridays, 9:30-10:00 PM starting Apr. 12. ANC describes the show, which the network has since started calling “Chinatown News TV” after the original name “Chinese News TV” raised concerns, “a 30-minute news program that regularly reports Philippine headlines in Mandarin Chinese. It also reports international headlines using Mandarin as the principal language, with English and Filipino as supporting languages. CNTV aims to deliver concise and factual headlines both locally and globally, in a language and medium that addresses the Filipino-Chinese community.”
or ethnicity. The airing on ANC of Chinatown News should not be equated with the intrusions in the West Ph Sea. Chinatown News is produced by fellow Filipinos who belong to the Filipino-Chinese community. They are part of Philippine society. Rather than belittle their attempt
— GING REYES (@gingreyes) April 14, 2021
ANC news chief Ging Reyes posted a series of tweets on Apr. 14 to address the demands made by some viewers to remove the show from the network’s platform. “We resist discrimination against any race or ethnicity. The airing on ANC of Chinatown News should not be equated with the intrusions in the West [Philippine] Sea. Chinatown News is produced by fellow Filipinos who belong to the Filipino-Chinese community. They are part of Philippine society,” Reyes wrote. “Rather than belittle their attempt to provide a service to their local community, it’s time we considered embracing the diversity of this land we all call home. We have editorial control over their content, provide national news stories [and] ensure accuracy of the translation from Mandarin to English subtitles.”
However, a number of netizens were not satisfied with Reyes’ response and stated that the issue isn’t a matter of discrimination. There were those who noted that CNTV produced the “Iisang Dagat” music video that seemed to imply the West Philippine Sea as Chinese territory. Others mentioned how it’s stated on CNTV’s website that it aims to promote Beijing’s One Belt One Road economic advocacy.
At this point, a lot of us are more concerned about the implications of such actions by ABS-CBN & ANC in this time when our country's sovereignty & territorial integrity are being held in contempt by Chinese state forces.
— Rauf Sissay (@raufsissay) April 14, 2021
BBC News correspondent Howard Johnson said, “The bulletin opens with [a] map of [China and the Philippines] in the same colour [and there’s this] disclaimer: ‘The views and opinions… do not necessarily reflect the policies [and] positions of this network.’ Is that full editorial control?”
The lead story is President Duterte's phone call with Russia's Vladimir Putin. There is no mention at all of the ongoing West Philippine Sea / Whitsun Reef row between the Philippines and China. pic.twitter.com/WRzvzZ2AS4
— Howard Johnson (@Howardrjohnson) April 15, 2021
Twitter user @BIENsays even created a thread on why ABS-CBN should rethink the new partnership. Among the reasons is how CNTV’s Facebook page shares articles published by CRI Filipino Service and the Chinese state-affiliated CGTN (China Global Television Network).
3. CNTV FB page also shares news from @CGTNOfficial, a #CCPChina affiliated media organization. https://t.co/t2kANrwgKL pic.twitter.com/RotsR0lfZy
— Tea Sommelier #RegisterToVote #WeDeserveBetter (@BIENsays) April 14, 2021
For Twitter user @JimGumboc, the move seemed to contradict the efforts of ANC correspondent Chiara Zambrano and her team who risked their lives during an Apr. 8 coverage in the West Philippine Sea where they were chased by Chinese militia vessels. The Armed Forces of the Philippines has since awarded Zambrano a plaque of recognition for her team’s journalistic efforts.
ABS-CBN entering into an agreement with the Filipino-Chinese company/CNTV after Chiara Zambrano and her team risked their lives just to get a scoop in the West Philippine Sea: pic.twitter.com/ARzRjrT3Zl
— Jim RN|PH (@JimGumboc) April 14, 2021
While many questioned the move, some didn’t think the show had any particular political leaning upon observation. After viewing CNTV’s Apr. 14 episode, journalist Barnaby Lo tweeted: “CNTV is produced by Chinoys (we are Pinoys). So this is essentially a Filipino-produced Chinese, English, and Filipino language newscast. If anything, I think it should make Pinoys not of Chinese descent understand our diversity. Watch to see ang galing mag-Tagalog ng anchors.”
CNTV is produced by Chinoys (we are Pinoys). So this is essentially a Filipino-produced Chinese, English, and Filipino language newscast. If anything, I think it should make Pinoys not of Chinese descent understand our diversity. Watch to see ang galing mag-Tagalog ng anchors.
— Barnaby Lo 吳宗鴻 (@barnabychuck) April 14, 2021
“If the producers do have a certain political leaning, then it’s ABS-CBN’s job to maintain the show’s editorial independence. ABS-CBN said they have editorial control, so far it shows,” he added in another tweet. However, he clarified with Preen that he will reserve further judgment as the show progresses.
What do you think of the issue?
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