Manila Bulletin interviews GMA News TV Head Nessa Valdellon

By Media Newser Philippines | Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Image: Manila Bulletin
Nessa Valdellon, the architect of the country's number one news channel, was the subject of a lengthy Manila Bulletin profile.

Writer Rachel Balawid noted out some of the groundbreaking projects Valdellon created — for GMA News TV and its parent company GMA-7 — in her storied 19-year career as a journalist.
The internationally-acclaimed shows she has conceptualized, written and produced such as the original series “Bayan Ko” and “Titser;” the groundbreaking newscast “State of the Nation with Jessica Soho;” and innovative investigative programs like “Front Row” and “Reel Time” among others, speak of the kind of work that this 41-year-old lady executive does.
Some of the takeaways from the interview include life-changing experiences, lessons, and principles that she’s using to shape the future of broadcast journalism.

Portions of the interview:

MB: What is the program that you are most proud of?
NV: I’d say “Bayan Ko!” It was just a dream. We’ve never done a drama before in News and Public Affairs and we didn’t have skills to do it but we felt that it was time to do a series about serious issues, and that inspires people to believe that good governance is possible and you can have a leader. ‘Yun, and it worked and it became such a hit. Parang every time I think about it, I feel glad we did it.

MB: What do you think Philippine TV should improve on?
NV: I think that if we want to make better drama, we should start putting in serious issues. Hindi lang laging na-aamnesia or nagkakapalitan ng baby, lagi na lang may betrayal. Okay lang naman ‘yun pero there has to be more and even the characterization, naging standard na may heredera, may hacienda. Eh nagka-land reform na sa Pilipinas, ano bang mga hacienda ang pinag-uusapan? They have to keep up with the times. You rarely see soaps about working girls, about people with regular ordinary jobs like the kind that we hold. So sana mas maging realistic na, hindi na ‘yung parang Latinovela na may malaking lupain tapos laging may may-ari ng malaking lupain o malaking negosyo. Hindi naman ganun ang katotohanan sa Pilipinas.

MB: For broadcasting, how do you see its future in the next five to 10 years?
NV: Broadcasting’s going mobile, online and on demand. You won’t have majority of the population staring at a big television box at the same time each night in the near future.  And I believe this to be true even for the (socio-economic class) DE families. They will eventually all be online in search of content that’s appealing to them as individuals.  It’s just a matter of time.

MB: What are your future plans for GMA News TV?
NV: I hope to lead the channel into the future – when we become a content provider and not simply a television station.

(Read full interview here)