ASIDE from bloggers with massive following, campus journalists should also be accredited to cover Malacañang, a legislator said.
1-Ang Edukasyon Party-list Rep. Salvador Belaro Jr. made the suggestion to Communications Secretary Martin Andanar following the accreditation of social media practitioners with followers of at least 5,000.
"I take this opportunity to recommend to Communications Secretary Martin Andanar that the PCOO (Presidential Communications Operations Office) accredit the Philippine Collegian and other official student publications of the major colleges and universities, so that these legitimate members of the campus press can also cover Malacañang and other government offices," he said.
"In my view, PCOO should also accredit official student papers of high schools," he added.
The Philippine Collegian is the school paper of the University of the Philippines.
Belaro, in a statement issued Friday, November 10, also slammed Assistant Secretary Esther Margaux “Mocha” Uson for seeking the reclassification of Rappler into social media.
In her first letter, Uson sought clarification with the PCOO on Rappler's category, whether it is among media entites belonging to the Malacañang Press Corps or the social media practitioners accredited by her office.
In her second letter, she asked the PCOO for a list of the regulations covering media entites belonging to the MPC to cover the President. She also asked for copies of the Securities and Exchange Commission documents on the MPC's registration.
Belaro, a former newspaper reporter, said he believes these should have been explained to Uson immediately after she assumed office.
"Press corps covering different beats and various government offices need not have SEC registration," he said.
"The accreditation process of government agencies is what is at work because that is not a strictly regulatory approach, merely an administrative necessity for coordination purposes," he added.
The lawmaker stood behind Rappler, now being attacked by Uson for allegedly being biased and critical to the administration, saying the news organization abides by journalism policies.
"Rappler is a different entity from the blogsites because it abides by journalism editorial policies, ethics and norms that we respect and the PCOO ought to as well," Belaro said. (SunStar Philippines)