Thursday ∗ 20 Jun 2013

online journalism fail 1: c’mon rappler

i think Spinbusters does a pretty fantastic job of keeping track of Rappler.com’s foibles, and where my tendency is to generally refuse to even click on any link that leads to that site, in the past year or so, i’ve been clicking more and more. they’ve been messing up.

and no, i don’t even mean the bad writing, or the ungrammatical mood meter — or the mood meter itself as a measure of how people feel about issues (susmiyo, what are we 10 years old?). let me not begin about crowdsourcing, and the-one-thing-worse-than-censoring Pol Medina — making him do choose-your-own-punchline strips. the better to render his commentary toothless, yeah. 

i mean Rappler settling into this niche that reveals how their notion of “new” media is one that’s really just … old. they also prove that they are in over their heads about how exactly to use social media, given journalistic practice.

this blog entry appears courtesy of a most recent Rappler foible, one that reveals the pits of Pinoy journalism, if it is true that this is what’s “new” about it.

on the morning of June 19, Renato Reyes, Secretary-General of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN), posted this status on his Facebook account.

nato_june19

at 6:59 pm of the same day, Rappler would publish a piece “Padilla out? Aquino abandoning peace process – Bayan”. it would be updated again at 9:39 pm.

it would take from this Facebook status. no sorry, it would only take from this Facebook status. which was public, yes, but which also needs to be properly contextualized as a series of rhetorical questions from Nato, who was not speaking in an interview as the Sec Gen of Bayan.

ah, but that article could’ve fooled you. it cuts up this Facebook status into a series of assertions from Nato, only once mentioning where it came from. and then it’s written as if a conversation ensued where it didn’t. i can’t believe purported “new” media, would think this acceptable. i can’t believe anyone would think this acceptable.

and no, Rappler cannot get away with saying that it is Nato who should be more responsible about what he says. because this is not about what Nato said, as it was about how it was taken and torn apart to write a “breaking news story,” Rappler-style.

this is not only irresponsible, as it is also dangerous.

that is, it did not care about discussing at length, if not properly contextualizing, Oplan Bayanihan vis a vis the peace process that is the subject of the news article. so it doesn’t only take a person’s Facebook status to make a news article; it also fails to do justice to the cause that was at the core of that status. in fact a discussion of Oplan Bayanihan is crucial to the peace process, but Rappler doesn’t seem to care.

and Rappler ain’t done. after it uses Nato’s status to come up with a news article, it also carelessly endangers his life for good measure via the sentence:

Bayan is identified with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). The government is negotiating with its political arm, the National Democratic Front (NDF).

and then it proceeds to have as one and only source, Nato, as Sec-Gen of Bayan.

now tagged as communist by Rappler, now open to being targeted because Rappler says he’s a communist.

and no, this is not an over reaction. as it is the state of the nation, Rappler. communists are enemies of the state. and you just put a red flag over Nato’s head, even as you have yet to prove who exactly “identified” Bayan with the CPP, and whose political arm exactly is the NDF.

the latter is a matter of bad writing. the former? it’s carelessness that endangers the life of a high profile activist, as it does endanger every other activist who is with Bayan.

that i even have to explain all this to Rappler, tells me that “new” media, isn’t only old journalism. it is also working from the ideological standpoint of government. one, by the way, that has killed and disappeared activists via Oplan Bayanihan.

ah, but Rappler didn’t spend time finding out what that is.

Posted in: aktibismo, bayan, gobyerno, komentaryo, media, pulitika

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3 Comments/Pingbacks

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