The Philippine Star
Front page from July 28, 2014
|Owner(s)||MediaQuest Holdings (51%)
Belmonte Family (21%)
Private stock (28%)
(PhilStar Daily, Inc.)
Maximo V. Soliven
|President||Miguel G. Belmonte|
|Editor-in-chief||Ana Marie Pamintuan|
|Founded||July 28, 1986|
|Headquarters||202 Roberto S. Oca St. cor Railroad St. Port Area, Manila, Philippines|
|Circulation||222,900 daily (2008)|
|Sister newspapers||Pilipino Star Ngayon
The Philippine STAR is the flagship newspaper of the Star Group of Publications. It is owned and published by Philstar Daily Inc., which also publishes tabloids Pilipino Star Ngayon, Pang-Masa, The Freeman, and Banat, as well as People Asia and the Sunday magazine Starweek. The STAR's journalistic principle is anchored on the Biblical motto, Truth Shall Prevail.
Veteran journalists Max Soliven, Betty Go-Belmonte, and Art Borjal founded The Philippine STAR on 28 July 1986 a few months after the EDSA Revolution that toppled strongman Ferdinand Marcos and propelled Corazon Aquino to the Philippine presidency.
Belmonte, Soliven, and Borjal, together with Eugenia Apostol, Louie Beltran, and Florangel Braid, were co-founders of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, another newspaper founded a few months earlier on 9 December 1985. Questions about finances and a divergence of priorities caused a rift among the founders which led to Belmonte, Soliven, and Borjal's founding of STAR.
The first issue only had eight pages, no advertisements, and an initial print run of only “a few thousand copies”. The insistence of advertisers and the economic sustainability of the paper opened its pages to ads. From the 23rd most read newspaper in 1986, STAR rose to become the leading and most respected newspaper in the Philippines, distinguished for its balanced, objective, and fair reporting.
On 4 August 1995, The Philippine STAR became the first Philippine broadsheet newspaper to publish a full-color front page. By 2001, the newspaper was published in color from cover to cover, thus giving birth to its slogan "The only paper you read from cover to cover." In 2003, it became the first daily newspaper to tie up with a fast food restaurant, Jollibee Foods Corporation, the Philippines' largest fast food chain. A complimentary copy of the newspaper is given to restaurant clients nationwide for every purchase of a Jollibee breakfast meal.
In 2013, it entered a new digital realm with the launch of its Read It! Live It! augmented reality app which allowed tablet and mobile phone users to access a variety of multimedia content when used to take a photo of a QR code printed alongside selected sections of the newspaper.
Acquisition by MediaQuest Holdings
In 2014, businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan, chairman of MediaQuest Holdings, Inc. (the media conglomerate of PLDT), acquired a majority stake of 51% in the newspaper. The Belmonte family retained a 21% stake, as well as management and editorial control. Pangilinan has since appointed Atty. Ray Espinosa as the company's new chairman of the board.
The Philippine STAR is a three-time winner of the Newspaper of the Year award given by the Rotary Club of Manila. In 2006, it received the prestigious Marketing Company of the Year Award from the Philippine Marketing Association. In the same year, it also received the "Outstanding Newspaper of the Year" award from the Filipino civic group Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) in recognition of its "invaluable service to the community by courageously sticking to the truth and to the basic tenets of professional journalism."
In STAR’s maiden issue on 28 July 1986, the day’s biggest news was the death of 22-year-old Steven Rodriguez at the hands of Marcos loyalists, just because he was wearing yellow. The headline screamed, "Wear yellow and die," and was accompanied by photos of the mob beating Rodriguez to death.
For several days, the paper closely followed the story and, through photos, those responsible were eventually caught. The story touched founding chairperson Betty Go-Belmonte so much that she extended financial (from donations solicited through her column "Pebbles") and emotional support to Rodriguez's widow and children. This was the beginning of the causes that the newspaper would support and embrace with a passion, combining journalism with advocacy, that would eventually lay the foundation of Operation Damayan, the STAR's corporate social responsibility arm.
Operation Damayan, the formal organization, however, was formed 1989 from a team of writers, photographers, staff, and even janitors united behind the spirit of volunteerism. It started as an open door project for sick children who sought medical assistance. Funds used were from the company and from generous readers. In the following years, it would extend help in the aftermath of every major calamity in the Philippines, including the 1990 Luzon earthquake, the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption, Typhoon Ketsana in 2009, and Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.
Today, the tradition continues and has helped thousands of indigent Filipino communities. It remains a primary family affair for the company's employees. It has supported the studies of poor Filipino students in the form of scholarships. It has also initiated an Adopt-a-School program in various provinces in the country and has conducted medical missions nationwide.
28 Stories of Giving
In 2014, STAR launched its 28 Stories of Giving which featured 28 selected stories of indigent individuals and the caring individuals or groups helping them. The STAR raised an estimated P2 million from sales and pledges made through social media to help the individuals featured.
- Chairman: Atty. Ray Espinosa
- President & CEO: Miguel Belmonte
- Head, Editorial Board: Isaac G. Belmonte
- Editor-in-Chief: Ana Marie Pamintuan
- Managing Editor: Romel A. Lara
- SVP, Sales & Marketing: Lucien Dy Tioco
- VP, Circulation: Fernando Lopez
- VP, Operations: Teresa Mendoza
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- "Police break up rally in Manila park". The Montreal Gazette. 28 July 1986. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
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- Ubaldo, Aye (2014). "The Star’s #28storiesofgiving Goes Social, Taps Wired and Willing to Help". Philippine Association of National Advertisers. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
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