Tweet ur views, attach #phmedia

SINCE WRITING ENTRIES to this blog is not exactly a popular pastime, we now open the experimental Twitter hashtag #phmedia! [Applause] That’s for you and I to air our  views regarding journalism practice in the Philippines…in 140 characters or less! (Or you can Twitlonger.) 🙂

This way, the (harried and concerned) news media consumer (i.e. you) does away with writing the relatively longer blog entry-length commentaries for this blog. Now all you have to do whenever you want to comment about certain news media articles/videos is tweet about it and attach the hashtag #phmedia. And everyone who’d look for that hashtag on Twitter will be swimming in a stream (hopefully) of ordinary people’s takes on media.

Sweet, I know. 😉

OK, many of you are probably not into Twitter yet. Now is the time you become part of it. And follow @peopleformedia, and keep yourself updated about what other people think about Philippine media by following #phmedia. Simple!

Of course, People for Media will still publish blog posts for commentaries that are (a) worth it and/or (b) reasonably cathartic. 🙂

Journalists are accountable to us. Let’s make #phmedia work and have them hear us!

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A footnote on technology and journalism

I’VE read somewhere that digital advances in journalism will lead us to greater transparency, contributing — as academics would say — to a more truthful discourse in society; and that we have to thank social media tools for that.

For example, look at how some news stories first came out as Facebook updates or as tweets. Recently, when Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago accidentally fell off the stage in a speaking engagement in Turkey (was it ala MIRIAM Quiambao? I’m unsure), her tweet about the sad fall became the primary source. The news unfolded in real time on my Twitter timeline. And Miriam’s tweet was publicly accessible, so news about the event already came as nearly insignificant.

Now gone, somehow, is the instance when it is impossible for readers immediately to verify the supposed truth of some reports. If the news is about a public person — preferably tech-savvy — you can now go straight to that person’s Twitter account to check his or her recent whereabouts (e.g. “Eating Buffalo wings. Yum!”). Instant primary source! No need for mediators.

And as regards online reading experience, Google Labs’ new guinea pig, Google Fast Flip, also has promise. With it, one no longer has to wait for 10 seconds or more (because of slow loading) in order to scan a news webpage…

Now all this is very, very commendable.

But it is good to remember that the value of media as an industry is not so much the media it uses as it is the integrity of the content it produces. We can each have iPads (or its likes) in the privacy of the john, reading the day’s “papers.” But if the papers’ contents are still not ethical or truthful, still we would rather flip through newsprint broadsheets that are.

Thus, amidst all these technological progress, going back to the basics of truth-telling and pursuing the good of each person should still possess supreme value in the practice of journalism. As a media consumer, I deserve nothing less than the true and the good, which are beautiful and the same.