- In the Age of Facebook and Twitter, Journalism Rules Still Apply
This year’s graduates may have cut their teeth on new media where stories are sourced and shared in new ways but the old fundamentals of journalism—accuracy, balance, ethics, attribution—hold true as ever.
Reuters Philippine Bureau Chief John Mair told students this at the Thomson Reuters forum “Journalism: Challenges and Opportunities," part of UP College of Mass Communication’s 46th foundation week talk-series. “Anyone can blog, tweet or post video but both the challenge and opportunity is sifting for what’s relevant and true from streaming information, putting that in context, and explaining its meaning.”
Mair cited how the recent anniversary-celebration of the peaceful EDSA people-power revolt of February 1986 presents a counterpoint on how covering media has changed—compared to say, real-time reports of violence as the Libya uprising unfolded. “Control of communications reaches people on the ground, courts sympathy everywhere else, and helps win revolutions. Radio Veritas did that for the Philippines then. Now, in the Middle East, smart phones enable anyone to feed video, photos and messages globally. People are being organized through Facebook and Twitter!”
Mair added however that the other camp can also use the same channels to reach their supporters or misinform, reporters can still get hurt in the crossfire, and copyright and libel laws apply to the internet too.
Back to Journalism Basics
Supporting the UP College of Mass Communications in its 46th year of instilling accuracy, balance and integrity in information-delivery, Thomson Reuters donated 20 desktop computers. Said Senior Site Officer Raoul Teh, “Information is our business—Thomson Reuters is the world’s largest information provider for financial, legal, tax and accounting, and scientific and healthcare professionals, as well as the world’s largest international news agency. Providing the facts and telling the truth run across our businesses. We hope CMC students put the PCs to good use in their own mission of telling the truth.”
Dean Roland Tolentino responded, “Since I became CMC dean, a pressing need was for a central media lab for scriptwriting and post production for film students, statistical and analytical software for communication research students, and web design and editorial work for journalism students. That the ‘world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals’ is providing tools in the shaping of excellent communicators—that is a mutually beneficial gift indeed.”
Because the next reporters will be documenting a world that is a lot more interconnected. Said Mair, “The crisis in Libya for example has a much larger resonance—i.e. the watching investors, US-policy implications, oil-supply disruption, and 30,000 overseas Filipinos workers. From the floods in Pakistan and Australia, to the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile—journalism’s rule and role is to really see the various angles. Because one can’t be everywhere, the variety of net reporting is an asset but: always verify the source, tell the truth, and think before you post.”
Reuters Philippine Bureau Chief John Mair chats with mass communication students at a Thomson Reuters journalism forum.
Thomson Reuters donated 20 desktop computers to the UP College of Mass Communication during its 46th foundation week, witnessed by (from right) UP CMC Dean Roland Tolentino, Reuters Philippine Bureau Chief John Mair, Thomson Reuters Senior Site Officer Raoul Teh, and UP CMC Foundation Executive Director Gina Lumauig.