Sometimes an interview can bore viewers because it’s either too long or the questions being asked by the interviewer appear too repetitive. It can also turn you off when the interviewer tries so hard to grab a gotcha soundbite from the interviewee.
Fortunately for Sunday’s interview with President Noynoy Aquino, interviewer Mel Sta. Maria didn’t face any of those problems. His one-on-one with the president was straightforward, intelligently-done, and most importantly, answered many of our questions.
Whether you’re a pro or anti-administration, no one can argue with the fact that this interview was new and novel, like how it revealed that the president is open to the amendment of the 1987 Constitution, or what they call the Cory Constutition.
“Ang Senado po ay natapos na nila ang kanilang pagbabalangkas sa bersyon nila. Ang Malacañang naman po ay nag-sumite na rin ng kanilang bersyon. Ito pong Mababang Kapulungan medyo nababagalan sa iba’t ibang mga kadahilanan. Papaano po natin mapapabilis iyon?” asked Sta. Maria. “Yung inyong moral persuasion ay ginagamit niyo ba para itong ating mga tao sa Mababang Kapulungan ay bilis-bilisan naman?”
Sta. Maria also asked PNoy about his proudest moment yet as the leader of the country, given the many challenges he faced the past few years. “Hindi ko kasi pinapananawan na ginawa ko e. Parati kong sinasabi ginawi natin, ano,” Aquino said, then boasting about his administration’s actions pre-Yolanda.
“Mamili kayong krisis: Zamboanga, ‘yung Bohol. Paano nakakakilos ang gobyerno; paanong naagapan hindi parang napapadapa, na hindi malaman kung paano susolusyunan ito,” he said.
The interview won’t likely change the minds of Aquino critics, but for TV5, it finally gave them a rush of positive attention following the launch of the widely mocked Aksyon-branded programs and Paolo Bediones’ sex video scandal.
It was their biggest “get” yet this year — their 2nd interview with PNoy since 2010 with Jove Francisco — and it showed why executives should invest more in newsier content than flawed tabloid reporting, i.e. Aksyon sa Tanghali’s “Barangay Singko” segment.
— James Amante (@JamesAmante) August 17, 2014
Great intvw @attymeltweet ..
— Raym (@raymtweets) August 17, 2014
“@raymtweets: Finally one journalist asking the right questions to Pnoy.. Atty. Mel Sta Maria is good.. Worth watching News5 broadcast”
— Ibrahim Al-Fawaz™ (@daralwazgabriel) August 17, 2014
Notwithstanding the fact that the administration appreciates Sta. Maria’s smart analysis on issues, we can fully understand why they agreed to talk to him. Sta. Maria has always projected that “easy-to-approach” image and he’s always fair unlike some of his TV5 colleagues.
Throughout the interview, he appeared curious, pressing at times, but sympathetic and non-threatening which helped him in getting to know the president a little bit better. His skill set as a lawyer also served as an advantage, especially when discussing technical jargons which some of the viewers aren’t familiar with.
After this interview, Sta. Maria is likely to get more name recognition and respect he so rightfully deserves.
Memo to Manny Pangilinan and Noel Lorenzana: Give him what he needs to sign another contract with TV5. Give him more airtime and his own national platform — perhaps his own show where he can show us what he is capable of doing, as seen in this PNoy interview. We need more people like him on TV, especially on TV5. Who knows? He could be the answer to your ratings and credibility problems.
What do you think about this TV interview? Post your comments below.