Less than a year after its launch, pioneering mobile journalism newscast Stand for Truth has become a game-changer in Philippine mobile journalism, with its daily episodes earning over 2 million views a night online and being quoted in mainstream newscasts.
From 275,000 average daily views last April 2019, data from January 2020 shows that Stand for Truth now bats an average daily view of 2.3 million via GMA News’ Facebook page. On YouTube, Stand for Truth recorded average daily views of 405,000 last January—a 300 percent increase from its average daily views of 129,000 when it first aired.
Produced by GMA News and Public Affairs, Stand for Truth prides itself for getting and training a new breed of young reporters from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Bringing new blood to the most awarded broadcast news organization in the country, the Stand for Truth reporters have proven themselves worthy of the spotlight alongside award-winning broadcast journalist Atom Araullo and GMA resident political analyst Richard Heydarian.
Using just their mobile phones to capture stories, Stand for Truth reporters have established a niche in modern journalism. Just recently, its January 30 episode on the confirmed case of NCOV virus in the Philippines became the 8th trending topic on YouTube Philippines. This is the highest record of the online newscast to date.
Meanwhile, Stand for Truth’s episodes on the week of January 13 about the ashfall caused by Taal Volcano’s phreatic eruption posted 12 million total views on Facebook.
Just this week, Stand for Truth earned its first-ever awards nomination – at the prestigious 2020 New York Festivals, no less – with Atom Araullo’s reportage on the Hong Kong protests making at as finalist in the Best News Report: Coverage of a Continuing News Story category.
Stand for Truth reporters are also making their respective names in the industry, proving their journalistic skills in producing and reporting online news consumed by netizens. For instance, Manal Sugadol’s report last September 18, 2019 about a baby-faced teacher in Bulacan (“Baby Face Teacher) has reached 3.5 million views on YouTube and more than 2 million views on Facebook within 48 hours after its first airing. The episode remains the story with highest number of views with 6.6 million combined views on YouTube and Facebook to date.
At the same time, Nico Waje’s story last January 21 about the security guard who posed as a policeman (“Maangas na Sekyu”) and harassed the vendors in Manila earned 2 million views overnight. As of February 19, it already has 5.3 million combined views on YouTube and Facebook.
Other stories that reached million views (combined numbers from YouTube and Facebook) include Izzy Lee’s “Binigyan ng Bahay ni Heart” story (December 5, 2019) with 4.9 million views; Nico Waje’s “Tuyot na Ilog” (January 16, 2020) with 3.2 million views; Manal Sugadol’s “Coronavirus sa Paniki” (January 29, 2020) with 4 million views; “Barya-baryang Sahod” (October 15, 2019) by Manal Sugadol with 2.6 million views; Eduard Faraon’s “Exotic Meat, may Dalang Sakit?” (January 30, 2019) and “Kantang Neneng B” (November 20, 2019) with 5.2 and 2.1 million views, respectively; and Shai Lagarde’s “Inside Iran” (January 10, 2020) with 1 million views where she checked in with Filipinos living in the Middle East after tension between the U.S. and Iran escalated following the US airstrike that killed Iranian general Qassem Suleimani.
Stories first aired on Stand for Truth have been picked up as well by both GMA Network’s newscasts and Public Affairs programs. This only proves that the young reporters are creating content that can be used not just on mobile devices but for televisions as well. Last August 2019, Stand for Truth made its news and features available to viewers when it started airing back-to-back with State of the Nation (SONA) with Jessica Soho on leading local news channel GMA News TV.
On top of creating online buzz, stories produced by Stand for Truth also created public awareness that led to concerned groups taking necessary actions. One example was Manal Sugadol’s story on what happened to animals left behind in the 14-kilometer danger zone after Taal Volcano’s phreatic eruption. She found pigs floating on ash-covered waters, cows having lung problem symptoms, and other livestock abandoned by owners in the area. This story prompted lawmakers to include animals and livestock in the evacuation plan. At the same time, private groups also took initiatives to rescue these animals.
“The future of online news is here”. Indeed, Stand for Truth made this future already possible. And this year, netizens can only expect more stories from Stand for Truth reporters Nico Waje, Manal Sugadol, Shai Lagarde, Izzy Lee, Eduard Faraon, Mj Geronimo, Bhea Docyogen, Jm Encinas, and Anthony Esguerra as they continue the legacy and the principles the GMA newsroom has always stood for.
Stand for Truth is livestreamed from Mondays to Fridays, 8:30 p.m. via GMA News’ Facebook page and GMA Public Affairs’ YouTube channel with delayed telecast after State of the Nation (SONA) with Jessica Soho on GMA News TV.