Ethics or social media measures?

journalists, reporters, press
Microphones from news agencies on the sidelines of the National Electoral Commission debates on April 3, 2022. ( / Deejae Dumlao)

Incoming Presidential Communications Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said vloggers and bloggers with high social media engagements and a high number of followers will be more preferred for accreditation to cover the Malacañang briefings.

Angeles, an attorney-vlogger, said the goal of the incoming Marcos Jr. administration’s communications office was to review the policy created by the Duterte administration on bloggers and vloggers.

She admitted, however, that they were unsure “if the time was right to include them” alongside accredited journalists from the news organizations.

“We are examining whether the current policy is correct. Whether [it would be] right to include them in press briefings, how often, what qualifications, etc. cited on DZMM TeleRadio.

“Under the old kasi policy, there is a limit of 20,000 subscribers na kailangan malagpasan po nila to be considered,” Cruz-Angeles said. added.

“Right now, tinitingnan din po namin ‘yung engagements, kasi engagements really mean people reacting to what you’ve written or shown, in the case of vloggers, to interesado o sila o nai-involve sila doon sa sinasabi “, she continued. said.

“So ngayon, ang kino-consider namin both followings and engagements kasi makaiba po ‘yun,” the lawyer-vlogger continued.

Engagements on social networks refer to the number and frequency of comments, likes and shares on the content. It shows how people interact with published content.

Follower count, on the other hand, refers to accounts that are subscribed to a page or channel.

Despite this, Cruz-Angeles pointed out that they decide whether or not to allow vloggers to attend regular Palace briefings.

Vloggers played a huge role in Marcos Jr’s presidential campaign. Some have better access to him than journalists when going out.

READ ALSO : Doc Adam jokes that he could be among the vloggers accredited by the new PCOO

What about ethics?

Critics of Cruz-Angeles’ comments reminded her that ethics play a bigger role in reporting than social media metrics.

“It’s not just popularity. Should be responsible writing,” said twitter user commented.

“So popularity contest, veracity of Hindi reporting? Walang standard of ethics and fact-checking? ” another one online user wrote.

“What about knowledge, training, professionalism? Then decency, honesty, responsibility,” another commented. user.

Journalists have a code of ethics or a set of professional values ​​and moral principles to which they are expected to adhere.

The Philippine Press Institute gives an idea of ​​what’s on his website. It reads:

  • I will report and interpret the news scrupulously, taking care not to suppress essential facts or distort the truth by omission or improper emphasis. I acknowledge the duty to voice the other party and the duty to promptly correct substantive errors.
  • I will not violate confidential information on material given to me in the exercise of my vocation.
  • I will use only fair and honest methods in my efforts to obtain news, photographs and/or documents, and will properly identify myself as a representative of the press when obtaining any personal interviews. intended for publication.
  • I will refrain from writing reports which would damage a private reputation unless the public interest justifies it. At the same time, I will write vigorously for public access to information, as provided for in the constitution.
  • I will not allow personal motives or interests to influence me in the performance of my duties; I will not accept or offer any gift, present or other consideration that would call into question my professional integrity.
  • I will not commit any act of plagiarism.
  • I will not ridicule, slander or in any way degrade anyone because of their gender, creed, religious beliefs, political beliefs, cultural and ethnic background.
  • I will presume that people charged with a crime are innocent until proven guilty. I will exercise caution in publishing the names of minors and women involved in criminal cases so that they do not unjustly lose their status in society.
  • I will not take unfair advantage of a fellow journalist.
  • I will only accept tasks consistent with the integrity and dignity of my profession, invoking the “conscience clause” when the duties imposed on me conflict with the voice of my conscience.
  • I will behave in public or in the performance of my duties as a journalist in such a way as to maintain the dignity of my profession. When in doubt, decency should be my watchword.

The code has been endorsed by the Philippine Press Institute, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines and the national press club in 1988.

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