On May 5, 2020, ABS-CBN, the Philippines’ leading radio and television network was forced to go off air after the Philippine House of Representatives failed to approve the franchise bill that would have allowed it to operate for another 25 years. This resulted in loss of jobs for thousands of media workers employed by the network. It reduced Filipinos’ access to information in many remote areas and made ABS-CBN refocus distribution on its digital resources.
Even before the shutdown, however, the Philippine media environment had already been in a state of flux for years, with the relentless growth of the mobile and digital space. This development affected not just media consumption, but also the way Filipinos interacted with the information ecosystem. The COVID-19 pandemic forced people to rely even more on digital, not only as a source of information, but also as the primary mechanism for connecting to the world of work and learning.
Given the growing dominance of digital media, this research conducted by Rappler with the support of Internews deep dives into the dynamics of this space to present a more robust understanding of the flow of information and disinformation in the new Philippine media landscape.