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Seventeen years of media reportage of modern biotechnology in the Philippines.

Abstract

A 17-year (2000-2016) study was conducted to understand the print media representation of modern biotechnology in the Philippines. The first 10 years (2000-2009) of print media reportage was published in 2011 covering the development and commercialization of biotech corn in the country. An addition of seven years (2010-2016) of print and online news articles covering the recent happenings in the biotechnology arena of the country such as the research and development of biotech food crops (Bt eggplant and Golden Rice) were analyzed to investigate if there was a change in the manner of news reporting about biotechnology. A total of 2,219 articles on biotechnology from the leading national newspapers, Manila Bulletin, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Star, and Business Mirror, covering a total of 17 years (2000-2016), were analyzed in terms of article type (news, feature, opinion, and photo release), tone (positive, neutral, or negative), news sources, message frames, and metaphors used. Results showed that Manila Bulletin published the most number of articles during the 17-year time period. The majority of the articles in the four newspapers were local in focus, and appeared in dedicated sections of the newspaper. The number of articles with positive tone increased from 41% in the first decade to 59% in 2010-2016, mostly published by Manila Bulletin. National government agencies and representatives were consistently cited as main sources of information for both time periods. Biotechnology and genetic modification were the major keywords used since 2000. In the recent seven years (2010-2016), less number of negative keywords such as "Frankenfood" and "poison", were used in the articles, thus the decline in the use of fear appeal. Another dominant metaphor domain used was potential or promise using phrases such as "new hope", "answer to farmers' dreams", and "light of hope". The number of articles framed towards social progress also increased significantly over the last seven years (2010-2016), indicating a more positive discussion of biotechnology in the media. These results show a gradual progression of editorial perspective in the Philippine newspapers towards modern biotechnology.

Abstract details

  • Author Affiliation
  • Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, 4030 Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines.
  • ISSN
  • 0115-463X
  • Publisher information
  • Crop Science Society of the Philippines College Philippines
  • Language of Summary
  • English
  • Record Number
  • 20173165150