In the digital era, the rise of social media has given individuals the power to create content and amass a following. This abundance of alternative information and entertainment sources poses a challenge for mainstream television shows like “Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho” (KMJS) to maintain their credibility and relevance. However, award-winning journalist Jessica Soho recognizes that while technology has reshaped the media landscape, the core principles of journalism remain unchanged.
Soho emphasizes the importance of accuracy, fairness, and responsibility in the practice of journalism. In an email interview with the Inquirer, she explains that these principles are not merely rules but fundamental values that guide the work of journalists. With 38 years of experience as a journalist, Soho strives to produce content that upholds these values and sustains KMJS as a trusted brand.
Despite the evolving landscape of data sourcing, Soho believes that the quality and presentation of content remain crucial. She asserts that mainstream media possesses the necessary tools to thoroughly vet and package stories. By asking questions such as who presented the information better, which version went through rigorous fact-checking and editing, and which is merely a random anecdote, mainstream media can differentiate itself from social media. Soho commends news organizations that provide context, process data, utilize graphics, and enhance presentation online. She recalls her journalism professor, Mang Louie Beltran, teaching the concept of interpretative journalism in the 1980s, which goes beyond reporting the “what, where, and when” to explain the “hows and whys” based on factual information.
KMJS, which airs on GMA 7 on Sunday nights, produces six to seven stories, some of which are generated internally while others are crowdsourced. Soho highlights the stories that have had a palpable impact on people’s lives as the most significant. She mentions the case of Daxxen, a boy from Antique whose allergic reaction to epilepsy medicine caused bleeding eyes and blisters all over his body. Another touching story is that of Ranelyn, a malnourished girl whose dream was to wear her favorite dress. After these stories were aired, medical help and donations poured in, resulting in a positive change for Daxxen and Ranelyn. These stories have also garnered recognition from the New York Festivals, an esteemed media and arts award-giving body in the United States.
Soho takes pride in KMJS’s ability to reunite estranged family members and victims of baby-switching. She believes that stories have the power to give hope and change lives. Soho shares the sentiment expressed by Tolits Tan, the program manager, that for those in need, their stories serve as their only source of hope. Her recent contract renewal with GMA 7 signifies her commitment to sharing ideas, pitching storylines, and mentoring the production staff. Throughout her 38-year tenure with the network, Soho has been a driving force behind notable public affairs shows and has earned numerous accolades, including the prestigious Peabody Award for investigative reporting in 1999.
While journalism remains Soho’s core competence, she has recently explored the entertainment realm by conceptualizing the 2022 primetime series “Lolong.” She enjoys generating storylines for other genres and formats, finding inspiration from reading and occasionally indulging in K-Dramas on Netflix and shows like HBO’s “Succession.” Soho emphasizes the importance of staying informed about current events, as she believes it is crucial for journalists, reporters, and producers to be well-versed in what is happening around them.
As part of her contract renewal, Soho plans to create a digital archive of her award-winning stories. She aims to continue telling stories through KMJS for as long as she can, with a focus on narratives that inspire, help, bring people together, and instill hope while creating positive change in people’s lives. Soho’s dedication to storytelling and her desire to make a difference are evident in her commitment to KMJS and her ongoing pursuit of impactful narratives.