NUMBED somewhat by the turbulent political situation in the country, we almost forgot to announce the release of an important handbook about what is being hailed as “the vanguard of a new information revolution” — blogs.
Two weeks ago, the Reporters Without Borders came out with the Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-dissidents. By its name, the handbook is primarily a guide meant for those who wish to be provided handy tips and technical advice on how to remain anonymous and to get around censorship. But it is also for bloggers in general as it contains chapters on how to set up and make the most of a blog, to publicize it (getting it picked up efficiently by search engines) and to establish its credibility through observing basic ethical and journalistic principles.
The release of the handbook is also timely in light of a blogging conference for journalists that we are holding on October 22 to introduce blogging to our colleagues in the mainstream media.
As a powerful medium for free expression, blogging, has been luring millions of people around the world. In the U.S. and elsewhere, it is spawning a new kind of journalism, one that blog pioneer Dan Gillmor calls ‘grassroots journalism.” In the Philippines, the mainstream media, however, have been rather slow in seizing the potential of blogs in journalism despite its many features that could help journalists do their work more efficiently in a highly technology-mediated world. The traditional media are only belatedly realizing the inherent benefits of its ease of use and immediacy, the ubiquity of links, and access to a borderless audience.
As has been shown by the experience of some of our colleagues, as well as our own, blogging offers a lot more to journalists. We therefore invite our fellow journalists in the mainstream media in Metro Manila, bloggers and non-bloggers alike, to take part in the conference for a fruitful discussion and sharing of experiences and insights on this relatively new medium, its concepts and technical aspects. The one-day activity will also thresh out issues of law, ethics and corporate policy affecting blogging, and the impact and directions of journalism in the country in the Internet age.
For journalists who want to participate, kindly send an email to the PCIJ indicating the following:
- your name
- news/media organization
- blog name and URL (if applicable)
- contact details (address, landline/mobile phone numbers, email)
Inclusion in the conference is on a first come, first served basis. The venue and program will be announced later.