After overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Wilson Paguyo exposed GMA-7 for an abusive content-producing deal, the network’s news and public affairs division said it would immediately put a stop to its practice of sourcing third party material without compensation.
“We acknowledge concerns raised about how GMA Public Affairs has been sourcing video and photos for some of its programs,” GMA News said.
“Our immediate action is to put a stop to the practice of our teams requesting for use of photos and videos without compensation, particularly requesting interview subjects to shoot a video for us for free,” it added.
Two days ago, Getty Images photographer Ezra Acayan shared on his social media his conversation with Paguyo who aired his concern about deal he entered into with GMA News.
Paguyo, a chef in Paris, has been organizing relief drives for fellow Filipinos in France amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
GMA News reached out to Paguyo to ask if he could be featured in its documentaries, and in the process asked him for photos and videos it could use, even going as far as giving him a detailed list of things he should provide and do such as interview other people.
In its statement, GMA News didn’t particularly mention Paguyo, nor did it issue an apology to him.
But the network said it “recognizes the need to standardize our processes and improve”.
GMA News noted that a good number of its programs provide financial incentives to those who contribute their footage, while others consistently secure permission from contacts to air their material for free.
“In the spirit of healthy dialogue, we also request that the rights of our staffers be respected and that their private information be protected from undue exposure that may lead to public shaming,” GMA News said.
“Our Public Affairs teams have only done their best to produce our programs during these unprecedented times,” it pointed out.