Philippine media’s take on Ms. Universe


There has been a 42-year drought since the Philippines claimed the Ms. Universe crown and now that a Filipina holds the title, the Philippine news media cannot stop talking about her.

It has been more than a month since Steve Harvey, the 2015 Ms. Universe host, mistakenly announced that Ms. Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez, instead of Ms. Philippines, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, was the winner of the 2015 Ms. Universe Pageant.

Ever since the crown was removed (literally) from Gutierrez’s head and placed on top of Wurtzbach’s, Philippine news media have portrayed Gutierrez as a bitter first runner-up while Wurtzbach’s grace and humility have been put under the spotlight.

The phrase “love your own” certainly holds true in the case of Philippine media coverage of the pageant and of Wurtzbach. By all means, it is only typical that Filipinos show pride and favor towards their chosen representative in an international event. It does however become questionable when journalists come into the picture and compromise professionalism with nationalism.

Content that is viewed and published on a national scale must be kept transparent regardless the news that is being reported on. The pageant is no exception.

Negligently, Philippine media covered the turn of events in such a manner that merely highlighted a one-sided Filipino perspective. Whenever Ms. Colombia is mentioned on Philippine news websites, there has been a prevalent pattern suggesting that video clips and quotes have not been acquired as primary sources.

Although it may be unlikely and too costly to send reporters to Colombia, Philippine media could have made an effort to contact Gutierrez through phone call, at the very least.

Perhaps the emergence of the newly strained relationship between Philippine and Colombian fans has also played a role for the Philippine media to not reach out any further. After all, who would want to heighten the existing awkwardness going on between the two countries?