UNTV’s English Language Evening Newscast ‘Why News’ Could Be Philippine TV’s Next Big Thing

It’s finally official! After waiting for my favorite TV network to launch its English news program, the Public Service Channel finally came up with something fresh and intriguing. Aptly called Why News, the show is quite refreshing, sharp and in-depth yet so fact-based and current.

Why News is UNTV's latest show, an English language early evening newscast that asks the question, Why.
Why News is UNTV’s latest show, an English language early evening newscast that asks the question, Why.

The UNTV English-language newscast aired its pilot broadcast last February 2. Its 30-minute running time is short because there’s so much issues to report and cover within the day, but it’s also a smart move, making Why News quite the most innovative thing to happen on national television in recent memory.

It being an English show is not what makes the show quite a novelty because other networks also bring newscast in English. But what makes Why News apart is its being something that others might be missing and forgetting: that news is a form of public service and accountable in making people understand why certain news matter to them and the public participation to the mix is essential to reflect positive social change.

Why News is also the newscast type that goes full throttle for laying only the essential news you might have missed within the day and cutting the unnecessary crusts of news that cling to sensationalism and poor tabloidy taste of most mainstream news coverage.

Its being an English newscast has also not gone overboard and there’s a quiet sincerity to how Why News covers the biggest newsmakers of the day by not merely giving the What, Where, When, Who, and How of a particular news. It also seeks to give answers Why this news matter.

One more admirable thing: Why News never insults the intelligence of Filipino audience. It might not have the loud bang of mainstream local news which deliver loads of junk, pseudo news slash character assasinations, biased reportage and dwelling on the mostly negative.

Why News got Angelo Castro III as one of its news anchor. Yes, he’s the Diego Castro of the now-debunked TGIS teen drama show of 90s. He’s aged a bit but by joining UNTV for the early evening newscast is like reliving and following the footsteps of his deceased father Angelo Castro Jr., who’s quite a legend already when it comes to his news anchoring stints for the late evening newscast of ABS-CBN called “The World Tonight” and other ANC news and current affairs shows.

Ateneo De Manila alumnus Gerry Alcantara co-anchors the newscast. Alcantara is presently a consultant for the University of the Philippines’ UPecon-HPDP, a USAID-funded development program. According to her LinkedIn profile, Alcantara’s also took a Senior Research Consultant works at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), contributing her skills in the institution’s CSR, social innovation and social entrepreneurship programmes.

So in brief, Why News is the kind of newscast that Filipinos deserve to watch. It’s admirable for courageously taking a different path and for trusting the thinking public. So if Why News for you looks “hindi pang-masa”, trust me that that’s only a perception you’ll immediately realize to be gravely unfounded.

Why News of UNTV could be the next big thing in Filipino news programming. It’s what newscast should be like whether in Filipino or English: bringing only what matters to your life.

Why News won me over because it’s easily one smart newscast that you can add to your busy schedule and plethora of social media distractions: short, simple and sweet. Don’t drop the word intelligent. I am pinning hopes the show will improve to even greater heights.

Catch the show at UNTV, from Monday to Friday, 7:30PM to 8PM. If you’re still on the go by that time, you can watch the free live streaming at www.untvweb.com. You can also watch past episodes of Why News at the station’s video archive page and its playlist on UNTV Youtube channel.


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