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Less fluff, more of the right stuff on Pia Hontiveros’ Solar TV newscast

/ 12:47 AM June 23, 2012

HONTIVEROS. Rigorously fact-based anchoring style. Photo from coolambo.ca

THE big news in local TV journalism last week was the return of top anchor, Pia Hontiveros, after a long hiatus, by way of a new weeknight show on Solar TV.

The program’s best suit is Hontiveros herself—she set a high standard with her news and political analysis shows on ABS-CBN before she went on maternity leave—which turned out to presage her permanent departure from the network.

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Pia’s presence alone makes her new Solar TV news show significantly viewable. She brings to it her many years of experience, proven probity and sterling standards—and the fact that she’s the loveliest news anchor on TV is a welcome bonus!

As in the past, she doesn’t feel the need to doll herself up, as some other on-cam broadcast journalists do, to impress viewers. Neither does she try to “jazz up” the news to make it more “interesting,” “dramatic” and “entertaining.” With Hontiveros in charge of things, you get the news, period—no quotation marks or other subjective and speculative strings attached.

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In addition, she conducts insightful interviews with newsmakers or analysts, who clarify the key events of the day, and their significance to viewers’ lives.

On the debit side, some of the reporters on Solar TV’s nightly newscast are new, and their occasionally skittish reports make viewers feel a bit out of sorts. —But, we choose to overlook the occasional rough edges and minor gaffes (“alarmed of their safety,” “poperty”) and expect them to diminish after the tyro staffers gain their reportorial sea legs.

Technical gaffes

Less easy to overlook are the occasional technical gaffes, like mikes not working, but better coordination should rectify that problem, as well.

Back to the plus points: Hontiveros’ nightly newscast is less distractingly garish and hortatory in its choice of events to cover, and its way of covering them, than the more entrenched competition. It has fewer “nonnews” items and gives the foreign news more time and importance.

These improvements are appreciated by viewers who want less fluff and more of the right stuff in the news they get on TV, and we hope that the Solar TV News program sticks to its guns despite the “commercial” importunings of “for the fans” and “peanut gallery” reporting.

Other naysayers fault Hontiveros for “boring” reportage due to her rigorously fact-based anchoring style. They want her to add “color” and “drama” to her “performance,” but she should also remain steadfast and thus make viewers see that “coloring” the news would be a disservice to them, because it would get in the way of objective reporting and insightfully contextualized analysis.

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More viewers should appreciate Hontiveros’ new program for not demeaning their intelligence—and watch the show more regularly from here on in!

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TAGS: broadcast, Journalism, Newscast, Solar TV, Television
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