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Is Digital media eating up Traditional media?

Digital Media is becoming more prominent than ever. With the rise of new technologies and the power of the Internet, is traditional media truly giving in to the force pulling them down? Or are they still in equal footing with their competitors?

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There are heavy challenges posed by the digital era to both long-established and new digital media companies. We want to dig into this phenomenon further by investigating how some organizations are addressing the digital age and are reacting to the challenges instituted on them. Problems such as short attention span (McSpadden), fake information (Mananga), and fast changing trends that are getting faster (Feedly, Newman) all play a role in creating the current climate for these publishers. Thankfully, content producers have also adopted tactics and philosophies that they utilize to combat the challenges that face them in this digital age. Amon this is embracing social media and utilizing it in any way they can.

Studies have explored the role of social media in gaining audiences and building credibility, and one of the attributes of social media is its speed and recency of updates (Westerman et. al, 9). In addition, traditional media seems to be in an especially problematic situation in the digital age (Edmonds). However, this does not really seem to be the case for radio. Different reports have shown that radios are still prominent in the lives of many Filipinos (Tuazon). It is still said to be the choice of the Filipino “masa” and even the Generation “X” can still find radio relevant despite the existence of the internet.

So with these in mind, we ask the following question: how are these organization facing the challenges of the digital? and How do they see themselves in this world of content producers?

• • •

MAGIC 89.9

Media Platform: Radio

Address: Unit 907 9/F Paragon Plaza, EDSA corner Reliance Street, Mandaluyong City 1550

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Date of Interview: February 22, 2017

Time of Interview: 3:00pm

Interviewee: Andrew Santiago

Position: Station Manager

About Andrew

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Andrew Santiago took up Business Management and graduated in San Beda College. He has been working with Magic 89.9 for 22 years now. He started out as a radio talent and was a DJ for 10 years until he was appointed to be the station manager in 2005. The big boss of Magic 89.9 that time offered him to join the team after seeing witnessing his potential. Back in 1995, the company was also forming K-Lite so some DJs that time were transferred, saving a lot of new rooms for DJs in Magic. This opened the door for Andrew and the rest was history.

As of now, he manages the station and oversees the operations, programming, content, direction-setting, sales and marketing. He’s pretty much supervises everything. He also oversees sister stations such as 99.5 Play FM and 103.5 K-Lite FM as he makes sure that the structure is being followed.

While working with Magic, he would often explore other things do especially his job as  a DJ is only up to 3 hours and since his family runs their own business, he had a lot of time to delve into various activities. Even now as a station manager, he still explores other opportunities not to leave Magic 89.9, but with business in mind. He also received offers from other companies but he decided to stay with Magic because it’s close to his heart. He witnessed the evolution of Magic, making it hard to detach himself because he already treats Magic as family more than anything.

If you want to check out our interview with Andrew Santiago, click here!

• • •

RAPPLER

Media Platform: Online News

Address: 1605, 21f Meralco Ave, Pasig, 1605 Metro Manila

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Date of Interview: February 21, 2017

Time of Interview: 11:30am

Interviewee: Zak Yuson

Position: Head of Citizen Journalism at MovePh

About Zak

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Zak Yuson tried his hand in journalism at a young age. He began his career working as a journalist in networks such as TV5 and Up. He has a masters degree in public policy from the Lee Kuan Yew School at the National University of Singapore and a BA in political science in UP Diliman.

Currently, he is the head of Citizen Journalism at MovePh. Additionally, he has previously been an associate producer at ABS-CBN and he is an active volunteer at CISV. He has also worked hands on with distilling policy papers as a division chief at the presidential management staff.

If you want to check out our interview with Zak Yuson, click here!

• • •

RAPPLER PODCASTS

Media Platform: Podcasts

Medium of Interview: Email

Date of email reply: February 25, 2017

Time of reply: 10:49am

Interviewee: Katerina Francisco

Position: Rappler Writer/Podcast Creator

About Katerina

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Graduated cum laude from Ateneo de Manila University, Katerina Francisco got into journalism when she became a news editor of their college publication called The Guidon, as well as the time when she had an internship in the Netherlands in 2011. Before she joined Rappler’s research and investigative team, she was a reporter and writer on the production team.

On the other hand, when she is not writing stories for Rappler, she does other things with her camera in hand and her will to find something worthwhile in the streets. Being an advocate of heritage, culture, human rights, and gender issues, she believes in ideologies that can change the world one step at a time.

If you want to check out our interview with Katerina Francisco, click here!

• • •

At first glance, comparing the worlds of Magic 89.9 and Rappler does not seem like a fit. One is a traditional radio station while the other is a news organization that broads into many topics. Yet, when you look deeper at the two, you can see some similar insights and lessons in how they face the digital world.

“Content is king” seems to be the mantra of these organizations. Whether it be being a creator or being a reliable source, content is the main strategy they use to stay alive in the digital age. Magic 89.9 actually explains their resilience against digital platforms like Spotify and Facebook to their ability to provide their own original content in the forms of DJ shows and relatable guests. On the other side, Rappler knows that it has a wide range of content that attracts different interests. With this comes the challenge of creating reliable, accurate and relevant content for their audience. At the end of the day, what’s important is creating something good that people will keep coming back to.

Change is another major theme in the answer of both organization. Living in times where trends are changing faster than they’ve ever been (feedly), it’s a challenge for everyone to keep up with the content they produce. Especially in the case of Magic 89.9, being a traditional type of organization challenges them to adapt and invest to new technologies and techniques. They are constantly challenged to explore and experiment. On the other hand, Rappler has to watch out for trends and be ready to change whatever they need to stay relevant to its “short attention spanned” audience. Along with this idea comes diversifying. Rappler handles many types of content from news and politics, to entertainment and podcasts. For podcasts, they are challenged to grow their audience by reinventing and expanding their podcasts due to its low popularity at the moment.

Community engagement is another common thread that ties the two together. On one hand, Magic 89.9 would frequently keep in touch with its communities by interacting with the dj’s. On the other hand, Rappler pays close attention to the social media opinions, reactions and crowdsourced content from their platforms. We can see how both organizations see their community as an important factor in staying relevant. Both are also using Facebook as a major tool to stay close to their audience. The community is then not just the end goal of the publishing process, they are also part of the cycle.

Social Media looms over these organizations no matter what they do. Whether it’s been a part of their history, or a disruption in their industry, social media sites like Facebook plays a significant role in industry of these organizations. None of them seem directly threatened by the prominence of such sites and they have actually seen opportunities in them. They take time to invest and engage with the audience in Facebook. They also believe that their strong content is what sets them apart from the other content floating around social media.

Some challenges were noted by both companies that are unique to their position. With having to constantly create new content, Magic 89.9 needs to find the right people working on the right job. There is a balance of egos that has be maintained, especially considering that they are an entertainment company. On the other hand, Rappler’s duty for its audience is also a public service. They need to continually make sure that their content is relevant and accurate, especially with the problem of fake news threatening the integrity of journalism. Another special challenge, faced in is this case by podcasts, is the slow internet speed of the country. This makes them less accessible and appealing to the audience.

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