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This study examines the audience’s process of evaluation of news programs, specifically that of TEN: The Evening News, whose deviance from traditional news programs was assumed to produce a generally negative assessment. It aims to provide an explanation on how the audience evaluates a news program to be socially responsible, including news programs that employ innovative strategies in delivering the news.

Two research methods were used in the study. First, a textual analysis was done to determine the features of TEN that make it different from traditional news. Results of the analysis were used to create a comprehensive guide for the focus interviews, which were conducted to gain insight on the dynamics of norms, perceptions, and motives on the general normative reading of news programs.

Results of the study showed that the audience considers TEN: The Evening News to be socially responsible despite its novelty of format. The audience made use of both their public and private norms in making their assessments, with the latter dominating and affecting the other. As long as the audience is satisfied with the information that they get from a news program, they would continue to watch it even if they produce a negative evaluation.

Subject Index: Television broadcasting, News Agencies--Philippines, News audiences, Social norms, Manners and customs

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