The Inquirer’s new Readers’ Advocate

It’s a shame I wasn’t able to congratulate the Inquirer soon enough for their new Readers’ Advocate, Dr. Elena Pernia, former dean of the UP College of Mass Communication.

The Inquirer reported this in their June 10 issue, mentioning how they lacked such an ‘official’ in the past four years.

A Readers’ Advocate — or “news ombudsman” — polices a particular paper to ensure that “fair, accurate, and balance[d] news” is served to the reader.

According to the Inquirer, “Pernia is tasked to review and respond to readers’ views and complaints about the Inquirer’s content as well as call the attention of editors to violations of the Journalists Code of Ethics and failure to observe the Canons of Taste for Journalists.” (So now I’m thinking of requesting the Inquirer to publish these “Canons” for the benefit of their readers.)

Dr. Pernia is a respected communication scholar known for her feisty, go-go-go attitude. When I graduated from the College, I knew her as the “Queen” of Sangkamaskoman.

With Her Majesty as the paper’s in-house critic, I’ve never been more optimistic about the Inquirer than now.

Leave your mark on Rappler’s pages

Rappler has recently added a commenting system to its pages, allowing readers to publish feedback.

One of the more notable recent developments in Philippine online journalism was probably the inception of Rappler late last year. It describes itself as a “social news network” run by veteran journalists and young digital natives.

But it was disappointing that it didn’t have a comments section on its pages. Sure, the social media buttons helped — for sharing, liking, tweeting. After all, Rappler was supposed to be about engaging people into intelligent conversation.

But having the readers’ comments on the page is still different. It empowers readers to be almost on the same level of exposure as the content producer himself. It also allows readers to criticize the content and its producer directly.

And now — I don’t know when they started it — Rappler is enriched with a commenting system on every page.

Here’s to a more engaged and transparent community!