MEDIA WATCHDOG DEMONSTRATES POWER OF BLOGGING
Yet far from leading the news agenda, traditional media are following online blogs for breaking news, reports the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR).
One blog, in particular, has become an indispensable source on the country's recent political crisis - Inside PCIJ (www.pcij.org/blog).
Run by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), the blog was the first to reveal tapes and transcripts of an alleged phone conversation between President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and an election official during the vote count for the 2004 presidential election. Arroyo has since admitted having such a conversation and has come under intense pressure to resign.
Created initially to complement mainstream media, Inside PCIJ has instead become the source for news tips and analyses, especially on the presidential scandal. The Center's staff of seven ventures out to cover stories, take pictures, transcribe tapes and fact-check tips from sources. At the peak of the scandal in June 2005, PCIJ's blog registered almost 500,000 hits that month.
"A blog has meant space for us to further enhance our reporting and at the same time expand the frontiers of information access," says PCIJ staffer Alecks Pabico. "With a blog, not only are we able to provide our readers with the mere text of our stories, but also downloadable copies of primary documents gathered in the research phase, images, links to relevant websites from which we got secondary materials, statistics, studies and human sources to give background and context to what we?ve written."
To read more about how blogging is redefining journalism and access to information in the Philippines, see:
- Beyond the Call of Duty: http://www.cmfr-phil.org/pjr-aug2.htm
- Blog Power in 2005: http://www.cmfr-phil.org/pjr-july.htm
- Inside PCIJ: http://www.pcij.org/blog/
- PCIJ: http://www.pcij.org/