Sheila Manalac, News Editor
On January 29, The Manila Times College students together with the Department of Education (DepEd)’s Regional Information Officers (RIOs) toured the grounds of GMA 7, one of the largest television and radio network in the Philippines.
A day before the end of the two-week seminar on “Effective Communication for Information Officers,” the participants, including the students, were toured around the GMA 7 compound, located at EDSA corner Timog Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City.
The tour began in the building’s lobby, where costumes of different characters from the network’s most popular “fantaseryes” were displayed. Original costumes from Darna and Encantadia characters were enclosed in glass, showing off its huge size with intricate details.
This was followed by a tour around the network’s News and Current Affairs section, where tour participants were able to see studios of Saksi, 24-Oras, Unang Hirit, Flash Report, to name of few. Although they shoot a lot of news programs, there are about three to four medium sized studios with state-of-the-art equipment in their technical booths. The lights filled the ceilings and walls, and their studio set looks a lot smaller than what is seen on television.
As future journalists, it is important that the students know the work it entails to become successful as a news personality. The tour guide, Mr. Mike, disclosed how it will be like to apply in their news and current affairs department, and what it takes move up to become a news anchor.
He said the most famous anchors came from being a researcher or a news writer. They are the ones who are usually doing the leg work such as verification of facts, looking for contacts, writing news that is read on television, to name a few.
“The next step is to become a field reporter,” Mike says. “But before you get in front of the camera, you are given enough training to avoid buckling on live television,” he adds.
Once a field reporter, you are expected to look for stories and write your own news. Mike says that reporters usually have an outline and would deliver the news as they see or experience it. No one can memorize or read their news story, so they don’t have one when they report it.
That will be the true test.
The group got to meet and greet Mr. Mark Salazar, who’s been with GMA 7 News and Current Affairs for seven years. He is a mainstay news anchor in Balita Pilipinas Ngayon, the afternoon news show aired in GMA News Cable TV Channel 11. He narrated his life as a news anchor.
“I wake up as early as 7am every day, and then I don’t stop until late at night; my only rest is on Saturdays” he says.
Indeed, the life of a newsman is never-ending as the news never stops.
The tour moved on to the oldest building of the network, where all their nationally-aired radio stations are located. There was German Moreno, popularly known as “Kuya Germs,” on his regular afternoon show in DZBB 594. He welcomed the DepEd participants and TMTC students to the studio, even interviewing one of the RIOs from the group.
After the News and Current Affairs section, the group moved on to the entertainment section of the GMA grounds. Studio 6 and 7 accommodates approximately 400 people, depending on the production set of a particular show. It is sound proofed with mesh walls, perfectly done to wean sound coming from outside traffic of EDSA.
This is where popular shows such as Party Pilipinas and Bubble Gang are recorded. Folding seats were carefully placed on the side of the big studio room, making the studio seem like a stadium with the 38 people included in the tour.
The two-week program ended with a small celebration at the Bulwagan in the DepEd building in Pasig City.