Thursday, February 21, 2013

Rappler, Social Media And The Future

Last January 18, 2013 I attended Rappler's Move.PH Chat Series held at the University of St. La Salle in Bacolod.  Titled "Si Nanay, Si Tatay, Si Toto kag Si Inday," the rescheduled forum was Rappler's first for 2013, with the overall theme, "Social Media for Social Change".  But the day before that, a few people came to meet up with Chay Hofileña, Voltaire Tupaz and Stacy De Jesus at Cafe Bob's for an informal chat on current political and social issues. We were representatives from civil society, NGO's, reporters from the USLS college paper, The Spectrum, one journalist, a lawyer and of course myself, representing the Negros Bloggers. The discussions ranged from political dynasties in Negros, social media and how this will influence election results in May to the RH Bill (now law) and the idea of a Catholic vote.  We also talked about the reality of still feudalistic practices that some landowners do when it comes to ensuring that their favored candidates win in their respective haciendas.    It was very enlightening to interact with men and women of different ages coming from different points of view.



The lecture/chat series the next day was well attended by college students and some professors.  I think there were only a handful from civil society.  The first speaker was Maria Ressa, Rappler's CEO who spoke about the power of social media in bringing about social change.  I always thought that social media's reach was limited only to people who have access to it, but after listening to her experiences, mappings, statistics and projections, I realized that indeed, social media has the power to create change.  She also spoke of how social media is slowly but surely overpowering traditional media.  After all, breaking news gets posted while it happens in social media, while traditional media can only report it after it happens.

Chay Hofileña, head of Rappler's citizen journalism arm, Move.PH talked about how anyone can be a "journalist" with the use of social media.

Patricia Evangelista spoke about how stories are written and how each writer's personal biases and beliefs can color these stories.  She started her talk with a disclaimer of sorts by informing us about her stand on current issues like the RH law, divorce and the legalization of marijuana. Well, I might not agree with her views but at least she's honest. Hahahahahah!  

There were two more speakers, Josh Villanueva Rappler's social media head who talked on the uses of social media like Facebook, and Ayee Macaraig, who hilariously showed us the working conditions of a Rappler reporter.

All in all, it was a great afternoon and the chat series got me seriously thinking about the mind-boggling possibilities that can happen in the future because of social media. And to tell you the truth, it is a bit scary thought because in the wrong hands, anything can happen.  This is why even if I do not agree with all the provisions of the Cybercrime Law, I believe that in order to ensure ethical practices and behavior in social media, some kind of law is needed.  I have read about codes of conduct (my blog has one) as guides but is it enough?  If organized media cannot even implement their own ethical code for journalists and other media practitioners, how can social media do otherwise?   What do you think?

9 comments:

  1. Social media has really gone a long way since the very first time it was introduced. Now it is not just used to interact with friends and families,but also to spread awareness, disseminate information and boost businesses.

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  2. I think social media right now is faster or can get updates rather that offline media.. I mean for example last time when there's an earthquake scenario people from social media posted the result or effect quickly compare with radio or television.

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  3. This is so cool! Hope someone would invite me to attend a similar event. :)

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  4. social media is being popular today and i am happy it is going somewhere in future. maria ressa is a brillant woman.you can read more about her on http://thenewmedia.com/interview-with-maria-ressa-ceo-of-rappler-com/

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  5. Wow! I've been a fan of Rappler and of course, Ms. Maria Ressa herself. Is Move.Ph a sister company of Rappler?

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  6. I read and visited Rappler's site. It's amazing. Social Media is really the means of interacting online.

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  7. I considered myself as a journalist(hilaw na manunulat) and you need to max out your communication up to the newest interactive online chatting.... to express ourselves.

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  8. I don't know about Rappler, gonna look at it. But the impact of social media for information is obviously huge.

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  9. Her choice to leave her previous job was one of her best decisions ever made. Now Maria Ressa still continues to do her passion and this time in a different setting. still continues to do her passion and this time in a different setting.

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