When a Media Entity Humanizes its Identity Politics of Representation in The Filipino Channel’s Own Historiography


The study is a critical discourse analysis of the 'auto-historiography' of The Filipino Channel (TFC) in the form of periodic station IDs and 20th anniversary audio-visual presentation. It looks into how TFC constructs a humanized identity of itself as a transnational Filipino, and why maintaining such an identity is necessary for longevity. Using the three-dimensional framework of Norman Fairclough (1995) and taking the suggestion of Greg Philo (2007), I did not only analyze the media texts, but also my interviews with other TFC proponents not seen or heard in the aired materials; how I recorded my autoethnographic observation; and the dominant, negotiated, and oppositional comments of viewers online (Hall, 1980). As I problematized politics of representation in media's mediation of itself, the following were revealed: that several voices are 'muted' by the literal exclusion of soundbites that do not conform to the producer's mandate; that overseas Filipinos are essentialized as a race of heroes longing constantly for home, thus affirming their decision to migrate and convincing them to subscribe to TFC for many generations; and that more than empowering transnational Filipinos, TFC uses the power of naming them after itself as TFC: The Filipino Community Worldwide, thereby instilling loyalty that can prevent them from shifting to competition. Nonetheless, with TFC's global presence and interactive platforms, it can serve as a venue for transformative politics, where those it represents can negotiate their identities, offer their own versions of the past, or forge alliances for advocacies that require collective action.

Author Information
Cecile Angela Ilagan, Ateneo de Manila University and University of the Philippines, The Philippines

Paper Information
Conference: MediAsia2017
Stream: Broadcast Media & Globalization

This paper is part of the MediAsia2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon