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Daquigan, P. & Rada, J. N (2013). The Monitor at the “Forefront” of Martial Law – A Historical and Textual Analysis of a Community Newspaper in Tarlac During the Marcos Regime. (Unpublished undergraduate thesis). University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication, Diliman, Quezon City

The Monitor was a community newsweekly in Tarlac which continued to run despite the heavy censorship during the Martial Law. Using the Marxist Media Theory and the Theory of Gate Keeping, the researchers analyzed The Monitor from the years 1971 and 1977. These years best represented the changes caused by Martial Law to the specific publication and, more broadly, to the state of press freedom in the province during that time. The study disregards the existence of the mosquito press and other underground publications.

Pertinent findings include the drastic shift of news selection from the 1971 copies to the 1977. Through interviews, the researchers were able to substantiate the hypothesis that the changes in The Monitor were brought about by the State gaining control over the press in Tarlac during the Martial Law. The study makes an informed stand about the state of press freedom in Tarlac during the authoritarian rule – that it served the interest of the State because it was subjected to gate keeping processes, also determined by the ruling class. To take it further, true freedom of the press could not be achieved until the struggle for control over it between the State and the people cease to exist.

Key words: community press, martial law, Tarlac press, Ferdinand Marcos

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