GMA Issues Statement on Unpaid Contributors Issue
GMA Network has been on the receiving end of some very public bashing after reports surfaced on social media that it has been sourcing unpaid photos and videos from regular citizens. The broadcast giant has finally issued a statement to address the issue.
“We acknowledge concerns raised about how GMA Public Affairs has been sourcing video and photos for some of its programs,” the statement, published on the Facebook page of GMA Public Affairs, said.
“This has led to an internal review of our practices in relation to sourcing third party material. Our audit shows that a good number of our programs provide financial incentives to those who contribute their footage, while others consistently secure permission from contacts to air their material for free. We recognize the need to standardize our processes and improve.
“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 video for us for free.”
Social media lit up over the past few weeks over the network’s practice of soliciting photo and video materials from people for its shows but not explicitly paying for them. International photographer Ezra Acayan was one of the first to call attention to the practice in a lengthy Facebook post.
In one instance, a researcher allegedly asked an OFW living in Paris, France to shoot video footage for one of its TV shows. Netizens rallied around the contributor who was not paid for his efforts.
In its statement, GMA appealed to people to spare its staff members from public shaming on social media.
“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. Our Public Affairs teams have only done their best to produce our programs during these unprecedented times.”