Tuesday, November 03, 2009

My OK! editorial policy

In response to some OK! magazine readers who want us to print sensational stories, I want to share this video to give them and you an idea of how I run my magazine:

I know that creating sensational stories and scandals will definitely boost my mag's circulation. We're doing very well, sure, but stories like "Stars and Their Cellulite Revealed!" will get people's attention and their money. But I have directed my staff that we will never print anything ugly. For some celebrity watchers, this means we're not showing the whole truth. But do we really need to see these people naked in every possible way? Well, if you do, there are a lot of magazines out there that will satisfy your curiosity.

Every day, we get photos of the stars and a lot of them are not flattering. Some of them are alarming. I've seen some stars naked or canoodling with someone they shouldn't be canoodling with. These never see print. Do we Photoshop? Yes. A stray hair, a powdery armpit, a sanitary napkin that got displaced, a pimple, a visible panty line. My policy with Photoshop is if it's not a permanent feature, then we can gently remove it. But if she's really fat, wrinkly, veiny, then we choose the photos that show a star's best angle.

Sometimes we really do need to report on something ugly (panty-less outings anyone?) but we carefully choose photos and we carefully choose words that will still treat the star gently. If we must raise an eyebrow or tease, we draw attention to the star's choice. For example, "The red dress is not flattering on her" is loads different from "Her fashion sense is clearly terrible."

Why do I do this? In Spanish/Tagalog, it's called delicadeza. Conchita Razon defines it as thus:
DELICADEZA is a Spanish word. It derives its almost intangible quality from the word, "delicado," which means delicate, fragile, easily broken, irreplaceable, precious. 
Delicadeza was once enshrined in Philippine culture. Like a precious diamond, the word has many facets. When it applies to how we handle objects, it denotes “care.” The Spanish synonyms are "cuidado" or "miramiento." 
"Miramiento" is closest in essence. It implies consideration, a deliberate effort to forego one’s pleasure to avoid someone else’s pain. It can also mean circumspection, a quality totally alien in today’s society. 
When dealing with people, delicadeza is kindness or attentiveness. It suggests gentleness – the exquisite qualities of sensitivity, tactfulness and refinement. All these virtues are born from a sense of propriety and decency. 
At the very foundation is character: doing the right thing when no one is looking.

A deliberate effort to forego one’s pleasure to avoid someone else’s pain. When I look at an incriminating photo, the question is "Do we print this, destroy this star and sell copies or do we protect our investment?"

Investment. As you all know, I earn my living from these stars and their work. Yes, I also make money from their lives. Some people think my job is despicable. They're certainly entitled to their opinion. My opinion, however, is to treat the stars with respect. As public figures, they've allowed us to pry and, yes, we do see some things that are not for public consumption. When this happens, we respectfully withdraw. For allowing us access, our response should be respect.

In today's society where ravenous curiosity cannot be sated thus the popularity of venomous celebrity blogs, reality shows and tabloids, it seems the response should be to satisfy the demand. My response is, OK!'s response is: Dear celebrities, thank you for letting us in your lives. For that, we repay you with the respect that you deserve.


  1. Frances, I don't know you but I admire you =) Keep up the good work!

  2. good for you..... i know we all like stories but imagine if we are on the other side, then it is not so funny uh....

  3. Actually, I've long ago noticed, in the Summit line up, Yes and OK magazines, while dealing with artistas, are better researched and better edited and more thoroughly done than the fashion magazines.

  4. I pick up US tabloid magazines and used to laugh at oversensationalized articles like stars having no make up or in none too glamorous clothes.

    Its their job to entertain us and act, sing or dance. We shouldn't rip them apart for that. They're human too. :(

  5. It's nice to have someone like you work for the industry. It's hard to find a writer with intact delicadeza these days. More power!

  6. Nice clip and well said, Frances! Let's put all this "crab mentality" and negative vibes out the door :D

  7. Great write up, indeed :) I agree that Ok! [I read your magazine, you know, just not as frequent as Cosmo, hehe] is very classy, all the more when compared with other celeb magazines. When I've read it, I haven't been reading your blog yet and I thought that it was possible for a celeb magazine to be classy, I thought it resembled InStyle. :)

    It's nice that you released something like this in your blog, too. IMO, some people, take freedom of writing in their blogs ever so freely, writing here and there of criticisms, posting embarrassing photos like it was nobody's business.

    Oh man, my comment is too long :( All I really wanted to say was good job and more power to the magazine :)

  8. Wow, Neighbor! You wrote this so well! And I loved the video, so cool :)

  9. Anna, that's because of all the magazines, we're the ones that can get sued for libel! So we're very very careful!

    Teeyah, get OK! na =P

  10. Bravo, Frances!

    Because of this post, I will be getting my first copy of OK! It seems like my kind of magazine.

  11. Frances? u are amazing!!!

    i actually enjoy OK! magazine. I do not get to buy it that often, but know that when I do, i read it from cover to cover.

    personally, im the type of person who enjoys a little chikka or two but i will never be the one that ruins a person's life... significant or not.

    i really loved what you wrote... very beautiful!

  12. I have always loved and will always love OK! Philippines. :) Always a great read. And I'm a fan of the EIC! :)

  13. i buy your magazine precisely for those beautiful and flattering pictures. Keep up the good work!

  14. Kudos to you and your staff for standing by this principle!

  15. Thanks everybody for thinking I'm not stupid to choose integrity over money =D Now if only people will reward the integrity by buying OK! mag!!!


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