On journalists, bloggers and netizens

To be honest I though this issue would not be tackled again but it has and it has provided an opportunity to look back, look now and look at the future of digital media — or media created on and in the digital space we call the Internet and Social Media. I am a blogger; a digital media scholar of sorts; a digital community organizer; a consultant on digital media, online-reputation management and communication; and I teach and discuss digital technology and social media. In this latest debate about accreditation and inviting bloggers I would like us to tackle the following:

First, What is a blogger and what is a netizen?
Second, What differentiates a journalist from a blogger and a netizen?
Third, What is the impact of digital technology on media, public discourse and democracy?


The advent of Internet and its related technology brought four things important to us once we were connected. First, It was easier to create content through it’s publishing platforms. Second, It was easier to share and distribute this content through out the connected world. Third, Interaction and commenting via the publishing platforms was almost instant. Fourth, In certain cases it was possible and even easy to take content and modify it. In other words the Internet, digital technology eventually made it easier for us to create, share, comment and change content. Self-publishing was made easier if you were connected online. This resulted in an explosion of content and the continuing process of classifying, tagging and fetching content for Internet users.

One of the first set of digital makers or self-publishers were the bloggers. Self-hosted blogging platforms and free blog farms churned out and shared content. In the Philippines soon after bloggers were being invited to press conferences, events and media engagements. Unsurprisingly, this was seen initially in the technology and telecommunication industry. Bloggers were being engaged and the practice soon spread to the other sectors and eventually politics. Along way the blogging community began to pick up the good and bad habits of media practitioners that have gone before them. The internal reaction of bloggers to these challenges were varied. There were those who kept their professionalism by adapting individual codes of conduct and principles. There were those who made efforts to better themselves by learning. There were those who banded together formally and informally because they believed in the blogging philosophy adapted by the group — examples of this include the Davao Bloggers, the Cebu Bloggers Society, the SocSaGen Bloggers, Bloggers Kapihan and Blog Watch. And there was even the Philippine Blog Awards that recognized excellence within blogging community.

One thing constant with digital technology and social media platforms is change. Through the years the technology and platform has diversified. Today it is not only easier but there are a vast number of ways to create content , share content, change content and interact with content. Twitter has brought to forth microblogging, youtube has allowed us to post videos, Instagram has made it easy to share photos, instant messaging apps have made communication and discussion easy; And Facebook has allowed us do a 100 and one things online. Today everything is more inclusive it is the time of Netizen or the Netizen. It one idea streams of science and technology — To make life easier. You have the blogger known as The Jester In Exile on twitter tweeting and facebooking about the personal, the social, the cultural, the technological and of course the political on twitter and of the more famous blogger in the Philippines Manolo Quezon actively facebooking and twittering as well.

Perhaps to sum it up all bloggers are netizens but not all netizens are bloggers. It is a choice of weapons platforms…All Filipino citizens who can connect to the Internet; who use digital technology to create content; Who publish content; And who share and interact online is a netizen. It is not limited to a specific platform.


First, A journalist — unless he or she is a freelance journalist — has the resources and backing of their media company while a blogger or a netizen relies on their own funds.

Second, A journalist is assigned to an event or beat while a blogger or a netizen creates on what happens in front of them and what picks up their interest.

It is quite clear that bloggers and netizens cannot fully cover news on the ground. However, a blogger and a netizen has the advantage when it comes to their locality and area of expertise, because they are respectively more familiar with the location and well-versed on the topic ; and that can add value to a story

Third, A journalist has an editor and boss while a blogger or a netizen is their own editor, photographer and publisher.

Bloggers and netizens have total ownership and responsibility on what they post/publish.

Fourth, A journalist is schooled in journalism while a blogger or a netizen is not. Aside from journalists who also blog and media organizations that use blogging platform. However, It should not be forgotten that bloggers and netizens are also educated: whether in the halls of tertiary education or what is called education of the common man. And because of this bloggers and netizens can bring in their expertise and forte to an issue, an event or a piece of news. Furthermore, There are bloggers and netizens who can discern right from wrong in the same way as there are those in the media who are the same.

Fifth, Blogs and posts from Netizen can be fake, biased, reckless and lead to conflict. This is true. However, A look at the history of journalism will reveal that is full of examples of fake, biased, reckless and war mongering. One of them affected the Philippines, It was the competition between the Hearst and Pulitzer newspapers — a form of sensationalist news crafting now associated with the term yellow journalism — that led to the Spanish American War and the colonization of the Philippines, Cuba and Puerto Rico. Edward Bernays used American newspapermen to create content that aided in the overthrow of Guatemalan government. In the recent US elections a number of newspaper and media organization have expressed support for and against Trump.

Sixth, Journalist deliver the news and sometimes writes commentary. A blogger and a netizen in most cases crafts opinion/a commentary. Although there are times when in the process of contextualization of a news story a journalist may fall into the pit biased reporting.

Seventh, A journalist, a blogger and a netizen can be tempted by corruption; acquire bad habits and also acquire good habits. No one group has a monopoly on goodness and badness,


Here is a list of blogs, bloggers and netizens to show the diversity and richness of blogs. Most bloggers listed here are netizens.

Avel Manansala and GenSan Online. Accessed: February 14, 2017.
Blog and blogger comes from General Santos and focuses on the events in Gen Santos. The blog was developed to make local news available but also to give readers a more comprehensive view of Mindanao. It should also be noted that Avel as a netizen has been forefront in using digital enabling technologies and a digital community builder: He is a google map maker, a google business group manager and country ambassador.

Life with Ria, Accessed: February 14, 2017.
Blog and bloggers comes from Davao City. Ria’s blog is about her life and her views about local and national issues. Ria is one of the founders of the Davao Bloggers and one of the Filipino Bloggers who became an International Visitor Leadership Program Fellow of the US State Department.

Mozilla Philippines: Accessed: February 14, 2017.
This is an example of blog used by Mozilla Philippines. A number of organizations use blog platforms to publish their content. This Mozilla Blog is managed by Bob Reyes and active netizen on Twitter and Facebook.

Probably one of first and most prolific blogger was the late Cambodian King.

The Royal Blog
By JULIA WALLACE date published JANUARY 29, 2013 7:54 AM date updated
January 29, 2013 7:54 am

Media groups and organizations that use blog platforms.

PCIJ. Accessed: February 14, 2017.

CMFR Blog – In Media Res: Accessed: February 14, 2017.


The Digital Technology, Internet and social media can be compared to the paper, ink and the printing press. It has allowed humanity to create, publish, distribute, change and interact with content. It has also speeded up the communication and discourse among us. Lastly and more importantly it has allowed through its use INCLUSIVITY in the discussion between citizens, groups and the government. If you look down history you can tie the spirit of bloggers and netizens to pamphleteers Thomas Paine and his pamphlet Common Sense and the snarky Witte Corneliszoon de With.

To look down on bloggers and netizens or to bar access would be similar to strangling the democratic exchange of ideas and democracy itself.

So for me it is not a question whether or not to invite bloggers and netizens to a press conferences, media events and media engagements but when. President Duterte has the right to invite anyone to cover the Presidency. First, It has been the practice here in the Philippines for years. Second, Other governments have been doing that — locally the US Embassy Manila and other embassies have interacted with bloggers and netizens. Third and most importance it is INCLUSIVITY inherent and manifest in a Democracy and the democratic exchange of ideas that is important for Nation Building.

Also I do not think bloggers or netizens want to be journalists. Bloggers are bloggers. Netizens are netizens. All bloggers are netizens but not all netizens are bloggers. And the spirit of democracy requires government be inclusive or in other words open to all.

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Science Technology and Society: Syllabus and Requirements

I. Introduction:

We are living in a world that is a product of science, technology and society. All positive and negative occurrences in our collective history has a link or caused developments in science and technology. This is not surprising since the the two streams of science has constantly been first, the search for the truth in the universe and Second, to make our life easier and safer. Furthermore, as society and science moves forward there is a greater need to understand it and realises its importance for the most practical reason — how to survive — what do we do to prepare for a disaster or why is it bad to overindulge in sugar and alcohol.This is why STS is part of the GE curriculum to ensure that we will survive in our age. The second reason would be to be able to be the maximum what we can be the spirit of the Renaissance Ideal that will only enhance and not diminish us.

II. The Four MAIN Thematic Themes of STS

The teachings of STS can be divided into four main areas and one special topics area. For the purpose of brevity and clarity the term Science will be used for Science and Technology. The four main themes and one for Special Topics:

Science History, Society and Philosophy
Science in Daily Life
Science and Other Disciplines
Science and National Development
Special Topics

There will be special topics that will be include more than one or all of the subject areas like Communicating Science.

III. Course Description and Course Objectives

Course:  Science Technology and Society

Course Description: Analyses of the past, present and future of science and technology in society (including their nature, scope, role, and function) and the social, cultural, political, economic and environmental factors affecting the development of science and technology, with emphasis on the Philippine setting.

Course Objectives

At the end of this course, the students should be able to 

Explain the creative process of science and technology
Relate science to other disciplines and cultures
Discuss the influence of past and current scientific and technological on Philippines and Global  society
Be aware of the scientific methodology and critical thinking

IV. Course Syllabus

1. Science History, Society and Philosophy

The Two Streams of Science
Science and Ancient Greek Society
Daedalus and Greek Society
Alexander, Hellenism and Archimedes
Science and the Royal Library of Alexandria
Hypathia and the Destruction of the Serapeum Collection
Science and the Bayt Al-Hikma
Science and the Illuminated Books and Medieval City
Science and the City State of Florence and Renaissance Society
Science and the Aztec Society
Science Technology and Society in Asia
The Presence of Pyramids all over the world and its significance
The Royal Academy of Science
Science and Victorian Society
Philosophies Related to Science

2. Science in Daily Life
Technology and Gadgets
Social Media
The history and Science of Sugar
Affects and effects of the Internet (Social Media)
Books and their future
Photography, Science and Society
The Scientist
Science and Debate

3. Science and Other Disciplines

Science and Art
Science and Stories
Science and Films
Science and Culture
Science Investigating Mysteries

4. Science and National Development

The Game of Monopoly : US Business and Science – JP Morgan
The Current War: Edison, Tesla, Morgan and Westinghouse
The Geneticist War: Vaviloff, Lysenko and Stalin
The War Against the Four Pests: Mao Zedong
Nationalism and Science
Philippine Cases

5. Special Topics

Communicating Science
Fish: Japanese Culture of the Fish
Microcosms: Aquarium Keeping Art of Science
Dreams Theatre of the Mind
Propaganda, PR and Edward Bernays
Nicolo Machiavelli
Imelda: Martial Law Society
Weather Forecasting
Technology and Gender

There will be special topics that will be include more than one or all of the subject areas like Communicating Science.

V. Mode of Teaching: The blended Method

The class will be taught using a hybrid or a mix mode instruction, To be specific the Blended Mode class has portions of the traditional face-to-face interaction is replaced or augmented by other forms of learning. This may include but no limited to the following: (I) On-line interactions; (II) 0n-site exercises and tasks; (III) And watching and hearing of audio-visual media.

The student will be exposed the different learning actives, such as:

Video Lecture
Guest Lecturers and Resource Persons
Multi Media Material:
Group and Plenary Discussions
Forums, Round Table Talks and Debates
On-line discussion using different digital media platform
Exercises and Discussions
Group Work and Group Project


1. Attendance and Deportment

The class the approved rules and guidelines of Science and Society Program

2. Exam: Viva Voce/Individual Oral Exam. Details:

Five Questions
Will start just before mid-semester
Will be conducted at the SSP Office
Coverage from start to what has been covered

One Question covers a book assignment

On the book a ssignment: You will be selecting one (1) book to read. One question in the voce will be about the book you have read . Below is a list of books to choose from:

Dune by Frank Frank Herbert
Silent Spring: Rachel by Carson
A Canticle for Leibowitz Walter Miller
The Watchmen Alan Moore et al
The Invention of Hugo Cabret Brian Selznick
The Name of the Rose Umberto Eco
Frankenstein Mary Shelley
Barefoot Gen Keiji Nakazawa
Propaganda Edward Bernays
The Grapes of Math Alex Bellos
DC Universe of Alan Moore Alan Moore et al
Solomon’s Ring Konrad Lorenz
Agents of Apocalypse Ken De Bevois
Exemplar of American Imperialism: The Philippine Career of Dean C. Worster Rodney J. Sullivan
The Digital Divide Mark Baurian
Connected: How your friends’ friends’ friends Affect Everything you Feel Think and Do Nicholas Kristakis and James Fowler
Future Shock by Alvin Toffler
Life of Galileo (Play) by Berthold Brecht
Man for All Seasons (Play) by Robert Bolt
The Werewolf of Paris by Guy Endore

3. Group Project: A science communication group exercise using a current scientific study.

Submit three academic papers published from 2014 to 2017.
One of the submitted academic papers will be selected and assigned to the group.
The selected academic paper will then be processed into the following:

One indicative abstract
One descriptive abstract
One critical abstract
One newspaper/magazine article
One presentation limited to five minutes

The presentation will be near the end of the semester.
The abstracts, the article and materials used during the presentation should be stored in thumb drive that will be submitted after the presentation.
A peer group assessment will ne conducted and submitted after the presentation

VII. Grade Breakdown

Viva Voce: Individual Oral Exam : 60% or .60 weight: 100 points x 0.60 = 60 points
Group Project: 30% or .30 weight: 100 points x 0.30 = 30 points
Recitation and Class Participation = 05 points
Others = 05 points


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Diabetes and I: Remembering my diabetes at a Sanofi event

I was recently invited to an event of Sanofi. Now Sanofi is a well known multinational company and one of tis key business areas is in pharmaceuticals and of interest to me has always been the treatment and management of diabetes. Now I discovered diabetes the hard way: I was afflicted with diabetec retinopathy — making me legally partly blind. I spent three months in a hospital and one month at home before going back to work.

Both sides of my family have been afflicted with Diabetes Type 2. Factor in my former daily habits and lifestyle it is no surprise that I was hospitalized and treated for diabetic retinopathy. During my hospital stay and a few months after my blood sugar level was monitored twie daily after breakfast and dinner. I also took maintenance drugs twice a day and insuling shots using an insulin pen. At present I still follow the same regime save for the insulin pen.

In other words. I abide. But it does not have to be that way, The Sanofi diabetes event or the sanofi information campaign reminded me how we are all vulneranle to taking the metformin habit — metformine in generic or branded form is one of the staple maintenane medicine a diabetic takes.

In their information campaign, Sanofi made available information about diabetes. One is the latest update or technology they have made in relation to diabetes management and the other information about diabetes and diabetes management. Take note though that although you may be informed you still need to consult an the experts like your endocrinoloist and nutritionist.

Here are the information resources of Sanofi regarding diabetes:

2. Sanofi Healthcare Solutions: Diabetes
3. Press Release from Sanofi

How to manage diabetes

The Philippines is one of the world’s emerging diabetes hotspots. According to the International Diabetes Federation, 4 million Filipinos are suffering from diabetes; making us one of the top 15 in the world for diabetes prevalence – and a worryingly large unknown number who are unaware they have diabetes. The IDF reported as well that in 2015, 3.51 million Filipinos ages 20-79 have been diagnosed with diabetes and 51,127 (adults) have died because of it.

The World Health Organization defines diabetes as a chronic disease which occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. It is characterized by the inability of the body to properly control the amount of sugar in the blood. Insulin is produced by the pancreas especially during meals and if insulin is not enough or is absent, sugar cannot enter the cells and stays in the blood leading to high blood sugar.

Anyone can get diabetes: young or old, rich or poor, male or female, living in the city or out there in the countryside. According to the Food and Nutrition Research Institute-Department of Science and Technology 8th National Nutrition Survey, diabetes prevalence has risen from 3.4 percent in 2003 to 5.4 percent in 2013. The greatest numbers of Filipinos with diabetes are 50 to 69 years of age and wealthy, and living in urban areas. Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), for example, is both a genetic and a lifestyle disease linked to aging, unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, obesity and urbanization.

Doctors recommend the use of insulin for prompt treatment and prevention of diabetes. Injections of insulin act as a supplement to the body’s insulin and it also helps control blood glucose levels. Insulin treatment is needed by patients with diabetes of all types and formulation will depend on the balance between insulin secretion and insulin resistance; Type 1 characterized when insulin is absent (T1DM) and Type 2 when there is a defective insulin receptor with insufficient insulin (T2DM). Using insulin may require a certain regimen but it is an effective way of managing diabetes and allows one to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.

Currently available insulin delivery tools consist of syringes, insulin pens and insulin pumps. The choice of insulin delivery tool is very individualized and should be decided by the individual living with diabetes. Knowing the onset of action, the peak action and duration of action of the insulin(s) that you use to treat one’s diabetes will help optimize blood glucose control and avoid any adverse reaction. For example, blood or urine glucose monitoring is recommended in patients who are at risk of hypoglycemia or who do not recognize the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia. The risk for developing hypoglycemia is higher in patients receiving intensive or continuous infusion insulin therapy.

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