community media

demonstrates how media which is created for and by the community serve as an effective venue to express community issues and concerns, promote participation, and encourage cultural diversity.

Cagayan De Oro Mass Media



Cagayan de Oro City, a highly urbanized city with a population of more than 500,000 is the regional center for Northern Mindanao that also includes the cities of Gingoog, Malaybalay, Valencia, Ozamiz, Oroquieta, Tangub, Iligan and Marawi and the provinces of Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Bukidnon, Camiguin and Lanao del Norte.

The city’s mass media facilities include three community daily newspapers, 8 newsweeklies, 7 AM radio stations, 10 FM radio stations, 5 television stations and 2 cable systems.

Two of the local dailies are published in English—the Mindanao GoldStar Daily and the SunStar Cagayan de Oro City and one—Super Balita, a sister publication of SunStar Cagayan de Oro is published in the local dialect (Cebuano).

Mindanao Gold Star Daily is published by Ernesto Chu, a businessman while the SunStar Cagayan de Oro and Super Balita are published by the SunStar Publications of Cebu City.

The three local dailies have a combined circulation of some 30, 000 copies daily with each claiming to have a daily circulation of 10,000 copies. There is, however, no way of verifying the figures.

Mindanao Gold Star Daily is circulated in Cagayan de Oro City and other urban centers in Mindanao like Butuan City, Davao city, General Santos City, Zamboanga City, Dipolog City and Iligan City.

On the other hand, SunStar Cagayan de Oro City and Super Balita are circulated mainly in Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon and Camiguin.

Mindanao Today, another local daily newspaper folded up less than a year after its first publication in 2000. The daily broadsheet came out in full colors. Lack of financial resources, however, forced the paper to cease publication.

The eight other weekly community newspapers in Cagayan de Oro City include Ang Bag-ong Katarungan, published by Isidra Neri. It was founded in 1903 making it the oldest existing community newspaper in Cagayan de Oro City.

The other community newspapers in the city are:

Golden Chronicle published by Gladis Q. Munez, Mindanao Sunday Journal published by Bernardita Basay, Oro Gazette published by Oro Gazette Publishing, Golden Banner Atty. Gil Banaag, Sports Balita, Oro News Star Lulu Lapada and News Express published by Noli Olarte, Jr.

Except for the Golden Chronicle, which claims to have a weekly circulation of 1,000 copies, the other newsweeklies did not disclose their circulation figure.

The city also boasts of having one of the oldest existing radio broadcast station in Mindanao—DXCC of the Radio Mindanao Network. Established in 1952, the radio station is said to be the 2nd broadcast facility established in Mindanao.

DXCC broadcast with a power of 10 KW, a far cry from its 300 Watt power when it first went into the air on August 28,1952.

The local broadcast facilities include radio and television stations affiliated with the major broadcast network in the country—DXIF (Bombo Radio), DXIM (Radio Ng Bayan), DXCO (Radio Pilipino Corp.) all at 10 KW, and DXKO (RPN), DXCL (NBC) at 5 KW.

The DXJR AM station at 10 KW is operated by the Cagayan de Oro College Broadcast Nework of the Cagayan de Oro College.

The 10 FM Stations include DXKB “Killer Bee”, DXBL”Mellow Touch”,DXKS”Love Radio”,DXWS”Wild FM”, DXQR “Home Radio”,DXEQ”Star FM”,DXVM”Smile Radio”,DXRL(NBC), DXLX”Campus Radio and DXNU(PBC). All of them broadcast with a power of 10KW.

Of the five television stations, four are operated by broadcast networks—RPN TV 5 with 2.5 KW power, ABS-CBN TV 2 at 10 KW, RMNTV 8 and ABC TV 21. The fifth television station—DXDD with a power of 10 KW is operated by the Cagayan de Oro College Broadcast Network.

There are two Cable Systems in the city—the Parasat Cable TV Incorporated managed by Engr. Elpidio Paras, president and owner of the firm and Jade Cable TV managed by Engr. James Jardonio and owned by Engr. Eric Canoy and Engr. Charlie Canoy.


What is considered, as modern day mass media facilities were started in Cagayan de Oro City by a handful of personalities with diverse interests ranging from a passion for the communication field to an inclination for politics and business.

The Neri brothers—Ramon and Vicente, who introduced print media in the city were inclined to politics. Ramon became a representative to the pre-war Philippine legislative body while Vicente became governor of the province of Misamis Oriental.

On the other hand, Henry Canoy who established the first radio station in the city in 1952 belong to a family of educators and businessmen. Henry Canoy’s passion for broadcast communication was triggered by an incident in the family that developed in him interest in building and innovating.

Reuben Canoy, Henry’s younger brother and pioneering broadcaster in the city was later elected Assemblyman of the Batasang Pambansa and City Mayor of Cagayan de Oro City. He was also an Undersecretary of the defunct Department of Public Information.

Bienvenido Cruz, a businessman from Cebu City established the second newspaper in the city—the Mindanao Star that folded up with his death in 1995. Cruz was into the shoe manufacturing and repair and other business.

Edilberto S. Bustamante,Jr. who published the first local daily newspaper The SP Daily Tribune is into the printing business while Ernesto Chu of the Mindanao Gold Star Daily is also a businessman.

Local film industry

The local film industry had a brief fling with movie producing in the 70’s through the Reuben R. Canoy Productions. Before it folded up the local movie outfit produced two films, one in Pilipino and the other in the local dialect.

The first production was Sa Dulo ng Kris starring Joseph Estrada, Vic Vargas and Inez Manopol. The movie as reflected in the title depicts the Mindanao problem.the supporting cast were all residents of the city.

The other movie Sa Imong Lawas ug Dugo was the last Cebuano picture produced in the country before the return of Visayan movie with Panaghoy sa Suba. The screenplay was written and the movie directed by Lorrie de la Cerna.

The Cagayan de Oro Press Club, other media organizations:

The Cagayan de Oro Press Club is born

Among press clubs outside Metro Manila, the Cagayan de Oro Press Club (COPC), perhaps has the distinction of being the only press club with its own building. The building aside from housing the club’s office also generates income for the club from rentals of office spaces.

The COPC was officially born on August 2,1962 with the registration of its Articles of Incorporation with the Securities and Exchange Commission with the following as founding members—Reuben R. Canoy, Manuel V. Quisumbing, Lorenzo M. de la Cerna, Sarah A. Velez, Noli F. Olarte, Alfredo S. Cruz, Corazon A. Cid, Filomeno O. Apolinario,Jr.,Abelardo U. Clavano, Pureza N. Ramos and Emilio V. Corrales.

The COPC was initially intended for print media journalists as was stated in its purpose:

“THAT, the purpose for which said corporation is formed is to promote cooperation and understanding among newspapermen and newspaperwomen and to draft a code of ethics for the advancement of the newspaper profession.”

However, since then the COPC has expanded to include broadcast media journalists in its ranks.

Six other media organizations exist in the city—Misamis Or.-Cagayan de Oro Association of Publishers, Inc.(MOCAP), Association of Women Journalists, National Union of Journalists of the Philippines(NUJP),Cagayan de Oro Chapter, PNP Press Corps, and the Cagayan de Oro Chapter of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP).

Among the groups, the COPC is the more active. Among its significant activities lately was the conduct of a conference attended by all stakeholders in the media that addressed pressing concerns including media corruption.

The conference held on Feb. 25,2003 was attended by representatives of youth, professional organizations, business groups, academe, government and labor organizations, journalists, publishers and media owners.

The conference funded by the AusAid/PAGF examined the problems of media credibility, competence and corruption.

The AusAid/PAGF also funded a COPC project arising from the conference proceedings—the development of a Code of Ethics of Journalists, a Training Manual on Investigative Reporting against Corruption.

COPC, media corruption and other problems

It is just as well that the COPC has taken a serious look at the problems confronting the Cagayan de Oro City media in the face of accusations from the public against the local media ranging from corruption, irresponsibility, and involvement in partisan political activities.

Two Cagayan de Oro City media men in fact were discovered and admitted to being in the payroll of the Misamis Oriental Provincial Government. The two eventually were censured by the COPC and their respective media entities.

The problem of media corruption in the city is not something new if media history is to be taken into account. Henry Canoy said in his unpublished book: “What is now decried as “envelopmental journalism” had its start in 1949 when press agents bought reporters, editors, columnists and commentators to attack Quirino. As though on cue, the newspapers, radio and TV took turns assailing him for allegedly purchasing a P5,000 bed and a gold-plated chamber pot.”

This type of media corruption has taken new forms such as ATM, ACDC.

ATM refers to the bribery wherein the money is desposited in the ATM Account of the media men concerned while ACDC means “Attack Collect Defend Collect,” a practice of either criticizing or praising or defending a certain personality for a fee.

This form of media corruption becomes prevalent particularly during the election period when many candidates vie for the services of corrupt media men to promote their candidacies or destroy their opponents.

Accusations have also been made against some mediamen, mostly in the broadcast industry of being biased in their reportage or of being promoting the interests of some city officials.

It was in response to this concerns that the Cagayan de Oro Press Club conducted a conference attended by representatives from all sectors of society to examine the problems confronting mass media in the city.

A spin off of the conference is the formation of a new civil society organization Sangga Kagayanon that has set up an Independent Media Watch Committee with the full endorsement of the COPC.

This new civil society organization includes representatives from the academe, senior members of the local mass media, professional, business and youth groups. This body hopes to monitor, report and take action on reports of corruption and other problems in the local mass media.

The COPC has also formed the Journalists Against Corruption Network (JACNet) that includes grants for investigative journalism.

Officers of the Cagayan de Oro Press Club, however, were the first to admit that the problem of media corruption is something that will not easily die out.

“It is something that is deeply rooted and dependent also on other factors such as low remuneration of the media people particularly those in the provinces,” a COPC official admitted.

During a series of media forum initiated by COPC, it was also realized that the lack of formal training by many local media people was contributing to the irresponsible exercise of press freedom, if not abuse by many mediamen.

In many instances, newspaper columnists and broadcast commentators due to their lack of knowledge act as if they are the prosecutor, judge rolled into one in declaring suspects in criminal acts or suspected grafters as guilty even before a formal charge has been filed.

The COPC and the academe led by the Department of Development Communication of Xavier University is working on a training manual that will incorporate subject matters in the communication schools curriculum that will address the concerns of the local media. These were among the matters discussed during the public proceedings on mass media.

Communication Schools

Xavier University offered the first communication degree in 1976. Under its College of Agriculture it opened a major in Development Communication under its Bachelor of Agriculture program of the College of Agriculture.

Pilgrim Christian College since 1986 offers under its School of Communication a program leading to a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication. It has also a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Communication program.

Three other schools in Cagayan de Oro City offer communication programs—Lourdes College and Liceo de Cagayan de Oro University have AB in Mass Communication programs while Cagayan de Oro College has programs for AB Mass Communication, AB Journalism and AB Broadcast Communication.

Among the schools, Cagayan de Oro College has the best facilities. It has a radio and television station aside from having a radio production room and a photo laboratory. Pilgrim Christian College and Liceo de Cagayan de Oro University have a radio production room and a photo laboratory.

Many graduates from the local communication schools are now employed in the various Cagayan de Oro City mass media entities contributing to the upgrading of its professionalism and competence.

The Xavier University Development Communication Department, on the other hand is cooperating with the Cagayan de Oro Press Club on various programs and projects that address concerns of the local media.