‘Prospects abound’ between mainstream, emerging media-A A +A
Friday, August 12, 2011
THERE are opportunities for collaboration between mainstream media and the emerging media of bloggers and citizen journalists, according to participants of a forum yesterday organized by the Probe Media Foundation Inc. and Sun.Star Cebu, in cooperation with the United States Embassy of the Philippines.
The collaboration can range from alerting mainstream media on news events, helping in news gathering, providing content and serving as feedback mechanism.
Yesterday’s forum was attended by Cebu journalists, bloggers and representatives from various non-government organizations.
“Valuable knowledge is all around us but to tap into it, you need to build trust,” said Andrew Haeg, co-founder of the Public Insight Network and Knight fellow for change and innovation in journalism at Standford University.
Participants of the seminar were grouped into four to hold discussions on potential areas for collaboration. Among the suggestions raised were for mainstream media, bloggers and citizen journalists to work together to provide new content.
Mainstream media and new media can also collaborate to improve each other’s relevance to each other’s specific communities.
Haeg said “there’s not a lot of journalism going on” in websites marketed as “citizen journalism” sections that accept contributions from people.
Haeg said it will be helpful to the community if the collaboration results in public service journalism, which serves “to identify and help address social issues, hold powerful people and institutions accountable, uncover corruption and wrongdoing, give citizens information they need to avoid being cheated, abused, or killed, and give citizens information to be informed citizens.”
Kevin Ray Chua, president of the Cebu Bloggers’ Society, said people are skeptical of the credibility of bloggers because of their youth and lack of formal training in journalism. Chua and the other bloggers who attended the forum said training on writing and journalism is a good area for collaboration.
Haeg presented to the group the 90-9-1 Principle, which states that at any given online community, only one percent will create content, nine percent will serve as editors, modifying the content, while 90 percent will serve as the audience or lurkers.
Haeg said the challenge is to engage the 90 percent. He shared his experience in building the Public Insight Network, which provides a private back channel that is confidential and serves to link newsrooms to people who want to share information.
To share with journalists, Haeg said, people are motivated by a sense of civic duty, by the chance to share their story and be listened to, and by the opportunity to get the word out.
“What people share can matter a great deal but only if it's collected, analyzed and stored,” he said.
He said collaboration between mainstream and new media will allow for iterative journalism, where mainstream media get inputs on how to improve a report while it is still being written or created.
The Philippines has “a lot of pressing social issues that require sustained journalism,” Haeg said.
While people are still groping their way forward in a changing new media landscape, forum participants agreed to push for collaboration on reporting and journalism projects.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 13, 2011.