Rappler’s new brand of collaborative journalism is making waves. What can we learn from them?
In an age when anyone and everyone can write their own news in their own localities, responsible and honest news reporting does not have to take a back seat. Controversies and heated discussions have sprung from the way people have been utilizing modern technology to sensationalize news and spread rumors. Lest the internet become an electronic version of notorious tabloids peddling hyped and inaccurate headlines, online communicator should be instilled with the true spirit of journalism – to inform the public and to inspire change.
Rappler.com is an example of how the face of journalism has considerably changed over the recent years. Serving the public’s right to know is combined with high standards of journalism ethics and a “heart” for this country’s people. In contrast to the traditional emotionless straightforward news, news reporting in Rappler.com takes its readers’ emotions singly and collectively as part of its reportage. It is, as their website declares, the emotions of people that heavily influence the decisions that they make. It is this effect of news on its audiences that make it all the more important to be responsible and honest in news reporting. Rappler.com tells its stories in order to direct people’s emotions towards small actions for positive change.
Another difference that this new brand of journalism presents is the way that it engages its audience. It has a citizen’s journalism arm called move.ph where people from all over the country can turn in their own reports. In what the Rappler.com refers to as collaborative journalism, they put together the power of social media in spreading news and sparking action. They have taken to social networking sites as Facebook and Twitter to engage people in intelligent conversations about the latest issues making the headlines.
This kind of social media interaction gives them first row seats to people’s reactions. An online tool, the Mood Meter, is installed in their website that their readers can use to indicate how they feel about the articles that they read in their website. This way, according to an online media’s interview with Rappler.com editor and CEO, Maria Ressa, they are able to “mitigate the spread of emotions through social networks online and offline.” From this perspective, I believe that Rappler.com takes to heart its responsibility not only to inform the public but also to help them understand and to guide their emotions towards the right direction.
Rappler.com is anchored heavily on the huge opportunities presented by rich media or technology. From social media engagement, online workshops, and journalism chat series, this collaborative news site draws in people from all over the country to make their voices heard. I do appreciate the efforts that Rappler.com has been exerting towards educating their social media followers and partners about journalism ethics and standards; that this online news website has at its helm seasoned multi-media journalists gives audiences a whole lot of reasons to look regard this new brand of journalism with credence and optimism. This kind of social media journalism presents yet another way for Filipinos to band together in an informed and impassioned show of force.