TELEVIEWERS are getting younger nowadays: 68% of viewers are between 16 to 25 years old, says the latest survey by the Association of Governing Boards-Nielsen Media Research.

To cater to the youth market, television companies have increased the number of youth-oriented television shows.

Today, there are over 20 youth-oriented shows on Philippine television in various formats and genres such as teen dramas, magazine shows, and comedy programs. But the highly recommendable ones, as evidenced by recognitions and awards they’ve garnered, are the teen-hosted news and current affairs programs such as Studio 23’s Y-Speak, and ABC 5’s Dokyu.

Y-Speak: Hearing the youth’s say

With endorsements from the Department of Education and National Youth Commission and recognitions from Anak-TV, the Catholic Mass Media Awards (CMMA) and the USTV Student’s Choice Awards, Y-Speak has become the frontrunner in youth-oriented programs. Launched in 2002, the show originally had the debate format patterned after GMA 7’s defunct show, Debate. What separates Y-Speak from its predecessors is its effort to discuss aspects of current public issues using the youth’s point of view.

Throughout its five years, Y-Speak has shifted time slots, venues, show formats, and even main hosts. Among the roster of “Y-Speakers” were actor Ryan Agoncillo, celebrity-host Bianca Gonzales, youth activist Bam Aquino, and topnotch public speaker Patricia Evangelista. Commercial model Vince Liwanag, UST Occupational Therapy student, is even one of the segment hosts of the current format.

Three segments make-up Y-Speak. In the introduction segment, audiences and guests are ushered into the discussion, usually about seasonal topics such as youth participation in elections and job opportunities after graduation. It is immediately followed by judgments and points presented by two opposing teams formed by personalities coming from various fields, mostly from show biz.

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For UST Communication Arts professor Cielo Timbol-Perez, including celebrities in the show serves more the show’s publicity needs rather than adding substance to the discussion.

“It is one of the techniques used by most stations to up their ratings,” Perez said. “Of course if there are popular personalities in the show, their fans will be drawn to watch the program.”

Nevertheless, Y-Speak still provides a great venue for discussion of issues once it elicits educated opinions from the panel of experts featured in each episode. The panel members also give their analyses on the issue and summarize the salient points.

Dokyu: Real people, reel show

Showcasing fresh ideas and talents by aspiring Filipino student-filmmakers, ABC 5’s Dokyu is considered by budding directors a great platform to launch their amateur documentaries.

Launched in 2005, Dokyu was recognized by the Kapisanan ng Brodkaster sa Pilipinas and the CMMA as a “youth-friendly” program.

Although it took a brief hiatus last year, the show was rehashed and eventually returned to the air last May. Patricia Evangelista hosts this year’s revamped Dokyu.

To motivate more students to send in their entries, Dokyu has been transformed into a competition among various schools and universities, mostly offering mass communications programs.

A documentary by a group of senior Communication Arts students was aired last year in the show. Entitled, “Dangwa,” the group explored the unknown lives of flower vendors and florists living around the defunct bus station on Laong-Laan Street, which has become famous for its row of flower shops.

Though not mainstream, Dokyu has become popular because of its unique format and the venue it provides young student-filmmakers to display their skill in crafting promising documentaries that not only impress but inspire as well. Rieze Rose T. Calbay

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