Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Peoples Tonight

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The newspaper that was assigned to us was Peoples Tonight. After being given the assignment we bought a copy to have a better idea of what this newspaper is like. We had a hard time getting a copy because every time we go to the newspaper stand (the one literally in front of Jollibee) the paper already sold out. So I had to talk to the owner and reserve a copy, by the way the paper sells for 8 pesos.

Their main office is located at the 6th Floor of the Universal-Re Bldg., 106 Paseo de Roxas corner Perea St. Legaspi Village in Makati. Direct lines are 527-8421 to 43. Email address is and Website is

We went there unannounced last Friday, June 4. They were really nice to accommodate us. We met Sir Mike, the Head of the HR Department, gave him the letter of introduction and he was able to get us 15 minutes with the Editor-in-Chief and the Director of Advertising.


Sir Mike led us to the Editor-in-Chief’s office, it was a small cozy place and there were papers everywhere. Mr. Augusto Villanueva, the Editor-in-Chief, was really nice. So anyway, we found out that Mr. V is actually in charge of 4 other publications (the Peoples Journal, Taliba, Insider, and Women’s magazine) other than Peoples Tonight. In 1972, Mr. V along with several other journalists launched a company called the Philippine Journalist Inc. They launched a broadsheet called the Times Journal which was supposed to be the company’s ‘plug sheet’. The Peoples Journal took off in 1978 and was followed by the Peoples Tonight a year later, 1979, and Taliba came 3 or 4 years later. During the Martial Law, the publications were taken over by the pro-administration. According to Mr. V, the journal papers which used to be #1 lost its luster because the people who took over used the papers as mouthpiece of MalacaƱang. They published stories which were purely in favor of the administration. During the EDSA Revolution, their company was accused of being part of the Marcos Regime which was not true so they had to fight it out in court- the battle went on for 19 years. Finally in 2004 the Philippine Journalist Inc. got back on their feet because the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the group. The Times Journal was history and the publication of Women’s journal and INsider started.

The Peoples Journal caters to the A and B market meaning the professionals and businessmen and it is written purely in English. The news are supposed to be in broadsheet but are shortened to fit into a tabloid. The news are formal, it not the typical explicit tabloid. The Peoples Tonight is more for the masses for the B and C market. The news are written in Taglish and they sensationalize reports but still no provocative pictures. The Taliba is written purely in Tagalog and caters purely for the masses. The INsider is an entertainment magazine with a few sports articles and the Women’s journal is for both professional women and homemakers. All five publications are under one editor-in-chief but the other publishers are different for each journal.

The Publishers. Mr. V’s job is to ensure that all goes smoothly. He said, “Yeah, I’m in charge of all. Parang traffic policeman ako. I make sure that the situation is clear, walang traffic jam, that everything goes smoothly…” The Editor-in-Chief also sets policies and guidelines in the publications. He is responsible for the operations and decides the final content and layout of the journal. The executive editor sets the standard for performance. He mostly has the job of motivating and developing the staff and is also responsible for the publication budget. When we asked Mr. V about the executive editor, he said that Peoples Tonight including all the other four publications do not have an executive editor. For him the executive is a redundancy of the editor-in-chief and the key publishers are the managing editors, news editors, and city editor plus him, the editor-in-chief. The managing editor basically has certain supervisory over the editorial staff of the publication. The managing editor of Peoples Tonight resigned and they never got to replace him so the news editor took his place. The news editor is the one who plans the layout of the journals. He receives news copies, photographs and dummy page layouts marked to indicate columns occupied by advertising. He determines the significance of the news and where to place them. In the absence of the news editor the associate editor usually takes his place. He also helps in editing the paper. Mr. V also mentioned city editor, the city editor is the one who is directly linked with the reporters. He guides the reporters on how the story would be “slanted”. Everyday all the key editors of all five publications meet and decide among themselves what to put on the headline. Since they have the 5 papers under their publication they make sure that the top stories would not be identical.

Under the three newspapers: Peoples Tonight, Peoples Journal and Taliba, Mr. V’s estimate is they have more than a hundred reporters. The Peoples Tonight alone has 40 reporters and correspondents. They also have more than 10 columnists which are all fulltime columnists. The difference of a reporter from a correspondent is that the reporters have a regular pay and the correspondents are paid per article. Mr. V told us that he compels the reporters to pass at least 3 to 4 stories a day. They send their stories through the newspaper’s email but sometimes the stories are sent directly to his email. Articles sent by the reporters are monitored and if they are doing poorly Mr. V shuffles them and puts them on other assignments.

The stories should be in by 6pm but the editorial deadline extends until 730pm. There are more than a hundred thousand copies of Peoples Tonight printed everyday. The same number applies to weekends. They release two editions of Peoples Tonight whether there is breaking news or not. They have to put in the lotto results. When the lotto comes out they stop printing the first edition and print the second edition with the lotto results. The printing starts (by the way, printing is done in another location) at around 10pm and the papers are delivered around the metro at 3-330 am. The first edition usually catches the 11pm flight of PAL to Mindanao and to other provinces. They have no offices in the provinces but they have agents and supervisors who receive the papers when delivered.

Our fifteen minutes is up though it was more like 20 minutes but we did not want to keep him because he had a basketball game to catch. He was super nice, we thanked him and he even asked us to call him if we had anymore questions. We went back to Mr. Mike for the next interview but he went out so we waited for him. We used this time to take pictures around. When he came back he led us to the Director for Advertising, Ms. Vivienne Motomal.

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Ms. Motomal started, “advertising when you are in a publication business is when we get advertisements from different companies and ad agencies for them to advertise in our group of publication…” Advertisements are done daily and can come directly from clients or pass through ad agencies. The publication has account executives who would solicit ads from different ad agencies and companies to advertise in the paper. Display ads are the commercial ads and classified ads mostly are notices to public, rewards, wanted. There are two types of classified ads, the classified display and classified lines. Classified display ads are the classified ads with pictures and classified lines are purely words. A full page display ad usually costs P69000 per placement or per day, cheaper than in broadsheet but still depends on the size and color of the advertisement. If advertisers think that the rate is too high they go to other newspapers with lower rates so they usually talk it over and negotiate. Advertisements do not come cheap. It is the bread and butter of the publication wherein circulation comes second, according to Ms. Vivienne. We asked her how much advertisements placed in one edition and she said at least 5 or more than 10 per day, it changes but they have regular clients like big companies especially telecommunication companies.

Below is a copy of the advertising contract for Peoples Tonight:

The Advertisement Rates for Peoples Tonight are:

Size: 7 cols. x 33 cms. = 231 col. cms.

a) Display Ads (12% VAT Exclusive)

Weekdays- P230.00/ Sundays-P240.00/

b)Classified Display (12% VAT Inclusive)

Weekdays- P189.00/ Sundays- P199.00/col/cm

c)Classified Lines (12% VAT Inclusive)

Weekdays- P77.00/line.... Sundays p87.00/line

d) Front Page Foot Ads- (2) decks only standard size: (2x4). (3x4). (7x4)

Position Surcharge

Front Page- Plus 100% of the base rate

Back Page- Plus 100% of the base rate

Centerspread- Plus 30% of the base rate

Page3- Plus 30% of the base rate

Color (red)- Plus 30% of the total of the base rate and the position surcharge

4 colors- Plus 80% of the total of the base rate and the position surcharge

General Display Rate: P257.60/ (Inclusive 12% E-VAT)

Size Col. cm. B/W Full Color

Full Page (7x33) P59505.60 P107110.08

3/4 Page (6x33) P 51004.80 P91808.64

1/2 Page (7x16.5) P 29 752.80 P 53 555.04

1/4 Page (3x20) P 15 456.00 P27820.80

When you make a reservation for the newspaper it should be 1 week before and the ad materials should be in at least 3 days before the publication date. Clients send their ad materials but there are cases where they create the concept for the advertisement.

Since the printing and the circulation were done in a different office we have to go there in another day.


Last Sunday (July 6, 2008), our group went to the other location of People’s Tonight, wherein we would conduct an interview that would provide us with information regarding the production department of the said newspaper. The Journal Building is located in Port Area Manila, between the 19th and 20th street. Upon arrival, we had to present the letter that was given to us to the guard and after verification, we were led inside.

We were fortunate that Mr. Ariel Rivera, the production head, was still in his office. It was only in that moment that we discovered he left early every Sundays, probably at around two in the afternoon, because he was already there the day before. Mr. Rivera has been working with the company for 20 years.

The 2 initial questions we had in mind were this: how come they had two differently positioned buildings and how do they transfer the files and content from this one area to the other. The reason for having separate locations is that the contract of lease in Port Area Manila has already expired, so what they did was to find a new place, which is the one in Makati. The real plan is to transfer everything to the new site but because it is difficult to relocate all the huge printing machines, the only ones moved were other offices (like the editorial and advertising). The contents of the newspaper reach printing machines through transferring files with the use of internet access.

What we asked next were matters concerning the process of producing the newspaper itself. First off is about the page measurement of this newspaper. It is in terms of columns and centimeters, wherein the dimension is 7 columns by 33 centimeters. The size follows the standard dimension of tabloids.

Second, the typesetting of this newspaper is done in their branch in Makati but the employment of this process is no longer used because of the technology today. Instead of typesetting, what is done is a direct layout in the computer.

Page layout, on the other hand, is done by a layout artist. After the layout is finalized, it is transferred as a digital file.

Concerning the camera, it is no longer used in producing this newspaper. This machine was already replaced by the image setter and a computer that prints. After the layout is done, instead of having a hard copy printed out, what comes out is a negative. Having this makes the process easier.

This newspaper still makes use of stripping because they still process negatives. What happens is the negatives are layouted in a flat, wherein there are corresponding pages for each and they are composed together.

Platemaking is a process done after stripping. The flat is exposed so that it will be transferred to a plate, which is the one that is mounted in the printing machine. Then, it is finally ready for printing the paper itself.

Lastly, the printing time usually starts between 8:30 to 9:00 in the evening. Usually, delays are caused by late submission of editorials or advertising materials delay of transfer. Minor problems become easy to deal with because they have 2 working printers, so they have alternatives. But in the worst scenarios, where major problems take place, what they do is ask help for printing from the nearby printing presses.

The type of print that they use is the web offset. They have two printing machines, as mentioned earlier, and both of them are still functioning. With regards to the amount of newspaper that they print, they refer to the print order that is handed to them by the circulation department. They do not print more or less than the said number of copies. With regards to the copies that are not bought, they are returned to the newspaper company. It is a fact that everyday and for almost every kind of newspaper, there are returned copies.

After the interview, Mr. Rivero gave as a tour around the area. He showed us both the printing and, defunct and obsolete machines, roll of papers, process of paper segregation, and many other areas that he previously discussed. He also gave us free and unreleased issues of their two magazines, Insider and Women’s Journal.

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For the group’s concerns regarding circulation, instead of interviewing the first one referred to us, Ms. Marie Abulencia (head of the circulation department), Mr. Rivero suggested a different person to us that is a staff assistant of the circulation department, Ms. Cecille Bulacan. She was recommended to us because she has been with the newspaper for a long time and she knows how the process of circulation goes about, and also she was able to explain to us the procedure well.

After the production of newspapers and the printed material is already finished, everything is placed at the dispatch section. This is an open section that is located also at the same area where it was produced, in Port Area Manila. In here, there are three groups that actually receive these copies. First of which are the group of concessionaires. This group is the one who distributes to somehow distant places like the provinces. At around 10 to 11 in the evening, the newspapers delivered are either carried by land (those to be brought in Baguio and the like) and flown through the airplane (those to be brought in places in Visayas or Mindanao ). Second group are the news agents. These are the ones that are dependent on the location that they are in. Lastly, are the outlets. They are controlled and held by the company. They directly get newspapers.

Later, she showed us where the exact dispatching section was and told us how that place looks very different at night, especially when newspapers are about to be distributed.

Links for images:
For the GIF used, Click here:

For Raw images of Day One, Click here:

For Raw images of Day Two, Click here:

Lou Anne Yap
Abet Daag
Kristina Mauricio

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