IT'S mind-boggling how some media practitioners are very much against the accreditation of social media in covering Malacañang. Listening to the arguments, there is the apparent sense of privilege reserved only for the people they believe should be in their league, and that goes against the grain of real journalism.
A journalist does not choose who he or she shares space with when getting the news. One's credibility is measured by what you write, broadcast, or blog and how you engage your audience and encourage them to come out with their own views and solutions to pressing concerns. After all, journalists and the medium they deliver their stories are but the media, the means through which the stories are delivered. We, as a person occupying one seat inside Malacanañg is not important. What is important is what we bring out and tell the people.
That there are press corps formed is just a way to police our own ranks, it does not cover the ranks of other people, in this case, the social media practitioners.
In the first place, these bloggers would not have gathered Malacanang's interest had they not been engaging the public, sometimes more than what mainstream media can engage.
There are messages to deliver, there are issues to discuss, whoever and whichever way these can be trickled down to the masses at the most preferred medium is the primary concern of any establishment that wants to engage people, Malacañang included. It is not up to the journalist to dictate who these are.
It's much like dealing with clients, where it's the clients who choose the medium by which to advertise and the media company they will entertain.
Bottomline, it's the story and the engagement.
And yes, sitting beside a blogger does not spell the end of journalism. But the end of journalism can be triggered when journalists themselves start to believe that they are more important than the story and thus turn their backs to their role of delivering the message. The end of journalism can be triggered when journalists become concerned with whom they sit with in events they are not even the organizers of.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on August 15, 2017.
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