If there is one word to describe Karen Davila it’s unflappable. Whether it’s dealing with a controversial interviewee, her dogged detractors, vicious online trolls, or a stray leaf swatting her in the face during her recent return broadcast as anchor for TV Patrol, the journalist always remains unflappable and steadfast in her calmness and conviction.
Many would suggest that the 51-year broadcaster has arrived at the pinnacle of her career by securing her role as one of the three main anchors, replacing the iconic Noli de Castro in the Philippines’ most-watched news show. However, the 2021 National Winner of the Best News Anchor by the prestigious Asian Academy Creative Awards doesn’t see it this way. “The thing is, I don’t consider myself at the top of my game. That’s not how I think. I’ve been in the industry for 28 years and I just feel I am where I’m meant to be at this point in time.”
Admired for her hard-hitting interviews on ANC’s Headstart, Davila has worked her way from the ground up, beginning her career as an investigative journalist. Her 2005 documentary, Children in Jail, earned her several prestigious accolades, notably the Unicef Child Rights Award. Before the controversial shutdown of ABS-CBN, Davila was anchoring three live broadcasts daily as well as writing and producing the magazine show My Puhunan.
“I think being a news anchor is about your track record,” Davila states. “It’s not about fitting a certain image, but about the work that you do. What is most important is effective communication and storytelling. And being relatable to your audience.”
The thing is I don't consider myself at the top of my game . . . I just feel I am where I'm meant to be at this point in time— Karen Davila
Rather than stay comfortably in her lane, Davila sought to capture a wider audience via the internet. She launched her YouTube channel only last May 2021 and already has over 500,000 subscribers. “I was wondering who would watch me,” she exclaims. “I knew I couldn’t be a vlogger in the real sense of the word because vloggers share their lives so intimately. When you are a journalist, it’s not about you; I want to feature the lives of other people and share inspiring stories that my viewers can learn from. I feel that people need different sources of joy, especially now.”