Kapuso viewers have surely seen "Panata," the current image-campaign ad of GMA News and Public Affairs, which turns 50 this year.
The 90-seconds plug not only gives a glimpse of the country’s rich and colorful broadcasting history, it also gathers people with "isa sa pinakamalakas ang integridad," as Mel Tiangco puts it.
In an article sent by GMA-7’s corporate communication’s department, Bessie Gonzales of Program Support Department wrote: "Sending a crew to the farthest corners of the earth may have been easier than getting the entire news force together for a day of primping before the cameras not to report an event but for the third of their ’Panata’ image campaign series."
BACKTRACK. It has been a tradition for the department to air plugs that clearly emphasize its mission.
Bessie Gonzales related, "The first one, aired in 2004, introduced the creed or oath that every GMA anchor and reporter adhered to and took to heart as they fulfilled their promise of serbisyong totoo to the country.
"The second depicted ordinary Filipinos talking about what they like in the news they watch, alternately with GMA news personalities on what they like about the job they do.
"While the two are different in treatment, the message essentially remained the same—all the things GMA stood for as a news organization: balance, fairness, getting it right and serving no other interest—political, business, or any other—but the public’s need to know the truth."
THE ANTHEM. The latest is more "hip," says Vicki Morales in an interview with 24 Oras, and makes use of an anthem titled "Panata sa Bayan," which was created by Sugarfree in collaboration with GMA Creative Services department. (CLICK HERE.)
Bessie Gonzales said, "The message takes the form of a song, an anthem, a paean to the ideals and aspirations that have guided GMA News through five decades of trailblazing broadcast journalism."
The "anthem" execution is becoming quite a sensation. Barely two weeks since its simultaneous TV, radio, and online launch, the important phrases have penetrated the consciousness of the Pinoys.
"The song’s timeless tune and powerful lyrics are meant to honor generations of GMA News veterans as well as to further inspire the present and future crop of reporters. Indeed, there is no better, more heartfelt and very Pinoy way to put it than through music," added Bessie.
THE SHOOT. Flyover, post office, rooftop, streets became the locations of the shoot.
And last February 13 in Taguig City, the men and women GMA News faced the camera wearing the colors of the Philippine flag: red and blue. The "pillars"—Mel Tiangco, Mike Enriquez, Jessica Sojo, Arnold Clavio, Howie Severino, and Vicky Morales were in their trademark white tops.
The gathering was also attended by Marissa Flores, who rose from the ranks as writer-researcher/program manager to become head of the now nearly 900-man strong news department.
THE PAST AND PRESENT. GMA Network’s news team sees itself as a formidable force not just in the field but in society as a whole.
It was the first Philippine network to break into the New York Festivals, winning its first bronze medal for coverage of a breaking news story in 1989. It also remains the only Filipino recipient of the Peabody award, widely regarded as the broadcast industry’s equivalent of a Pulitzer prize.
In both instances, Jessica Soho’s reporting was vital to GMA’s clinching the honors. Soho, who started out as a fledgling reporter in the twilight of the Marcos years—back in the days when being a TV journalist was anything but glamorous—now sits as vice president of GMA News Programs, heading a force that has grown exponentially both in number and in stature over the last two decades.
But the legacy of GMA News precedes even its preeminent reporter. Among its countless feats, aside from being the only mainstream media outfit alive during Martial Law, is its exclusive and most comprehensive coverage of the historic 1983 funeral of Ninoy Aquino that aired on GMA’s News at Seven and The 11:30 Report.
Remember the former news reporter Jimmy Gil? It was he who asked the question, at a press conference, that launched a million signatures for Cory Aquino to run against then President Ferdinand Marcos in the 1986 snap elections?
In the last few years, GMA delivered the news live from where it’s happening—Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, North Korea, Mt. Everest, the Vatican City for the papal conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI, and Washington D.C. for the Obama inauguration. In February, Jiggy Manicad’s live report from Port-au-Prince made GMA the only Philippine station to broadcast from earthquake-devastated Haiti.
Stalwarts such as Jose Mari Velez, Louie Beltran, Teddy Benigno, Dong Puno, Randy David and, of course, Tina Monzon-Palma, were among its earliest pillars, lording it over the news and late-night talk shows, then the barometers of public opinion over the raging issues of the time.
Today, as it celebrates 50 years of "uninterrupted" service, GMA News and Public Affairs vows to remain at the forefront in bringing all the news that matters to Filipinos—and going wherever in the world that may happen—in the name of its now famous battlecry, Serbisyong Totoo.