Face-off: Analyzing ABS-CBN’s “Harapan” and GMA7’s “Isang Tanong” Presidential and Vice Presidential Debates


This study examines the role of media-generated presidential and vice presidential debate programs Harapan and Isang Tanong in shaping public opinion during the 2010 Philippine national elections. Given the significance of this election, it is important to find out whether programs like Harapan and Isang Tanong provide useful and substantial information that the voters could consider in their political decision-making. By conducting textual analyses of the above-mentioned debate programs and interviewing audiences and key informants, the study reveals that the debates deliver valuable information that are unique from other sources. The main advantage of these debate programs is their ability to present the candidates in two ways: the candidate’s competency as shown in the content of his/her answers and the candidate’s personality and character as shown through his/her manner of answering questions and interacting with his/her competitors. Previous researches, as well as the responses from the audience in this study, have shown that these two factors greatly influence the political preferences of Filipino voters. However, the debates suffer from time constraints, limiting the amount of information that it can convey. Still, debate programs like Harapan and Isang Tanong can be considered good sources of useful, balanced information about the candidates and the elections.

Hernandez, J.B., Rafanan, F.M. (2011). Face-off: Analyzing ABS-CBN’s “Harapan” and GMA7’s “Isang Tanong” Presidential and Vice Presidential Debates. Unpublished undergraduate thesis, University of the Philippines Diliman College of Mass Communication

Election, Harapan, Isang Tanong, ABS-CBN, GMA7

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Subject Index : Political Campaigns--Philippines, Television broadcasting of news--Philippines