PERCEPTIONS ABOUT FILIPINO BLOGGERS
It was one of those forums that I encountered this remark. A journalist was discussing how they were able to get a photo using social media. It then illicited a remark from one of the audience regarding privacy. The journalist then said that the decision to publish the photo was deliberated upon by the editorial board and all sides were considered. Then the journalist ended the statement that “we are not bloggers and something else”. I forgot the rest, the remark struck me and began to work its way into my mind.
Has the reputation of Filipino Bloggers sunk so low that someone views us collectively with contempt?
This is of course not the first time I encountered this. I met a leader of a media group who was biased against bloggers because one had written a post against him – affecting him and his family. Such an encounter led him to distrust bloggers. Often times you also hear remarks here and there how bloggers are unprofessional; lack a code of ethics; lack the journalistic discipline; and are violators of grammar and composition.
There is of course no denying that such things do happen. There are unprofessional bloggers as well as there are unprofessional media practitioners. Bloggers and media who abuse the hospitality of press conferences and events. There are members of media and blogosphere that even accept and solicit compensation to favor a person, a product , a cause or an opinion. It cannot also be denied that there are times when bloggers and media do tell a slanted story. Bloggers and media can be irresponsible. Also grammatical errors and faulty compositions are not the sole kingdom of bloggers – media has their fair share of mistakes.
It reminds one of the tale of the kettle calling the pot black.
Given this shortcomings of both media and bloggers; One must remember that there are those members from both groups that make it a point to be professional; Do not abuse the hospitality of their hosts; Do not solicit or accept gifts or bribes in exchange for a favorable post or report; Do write balanced articles; There are responsible bloggers and media. And there are bloggers and media who make it a point to craft coherent pieces.
There are bad, Irresponsible and corrupt bloggers and there are bad, irresponsible and corrupt media practitioners. It does not make every blogger or media person bad, irresponsible or corrupt.
MEDIA , BLOGGERS, AND OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA USERS: Dislike of Some Members of the Fourth Estate Against the Fifth Estate
It is unfortunate that the perception of a bad, irresponsible and corrupt blogger do exist. It is something one has to live with. And in the age of information and social media this perception is not limited to bloggers but to nearly all social media users.
I wonder though is this negative perception of some media against bloggers and social media users come from the dislike of the media: the fourth estate to the fifth estate – social media: netizens: bloggers: digitally empowered citizens. There should not be and I think in most cases there are not. Unfortunately, there are a minority that are tainted with bad experience or bitter troglodytes.
The distinction between media, bloggers and all social media users in certain cases are becoming blurred. Digital platforms used by media and all other social media users are the same – joomla, WordPress, blogger, and Drupal used by media are all blogger platforms. Media harness social media to get video and photos. Media uses twitter to get and disseminate news. In a session at the Internet Governance Forum, there was a session on protection for journalists and those who practice journalism. There are Press Clubs outside of the Philippines who have bloggers as media practitioner members.
Yet even as the lines between media, bloggers and other social media users are becoming blurred, each brings with them their own unique strengths. Media has the time and resources to cover a wide array of things. While bloggers and other social media users have the advantage being embedded in their locality: the advantage of the native; and their unique knowledge and experience in their subject of expertise.
Does this dislike between the fourth and fifth estate exist? Probably but fortunately not in the majority. At least I hope not.