Journalists urged to blog, set examples online

May 5, 2008

Written by Carmela Fonbuena, 05 May 2008

In the age of YouTube, Multiply and other popular online networking sites, Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) deputy director Luis Teodoro is urging journalists to put up their own blogs to “set examples” online.

“Journalists should consciously go into blogging to set examples,” Teodoro told Newsbreak.

Teodoro expressed concerns about the wealth of information made available online. “Many of those who post information online are irresponsible,” he said. “Sometimes, it becomes damaging. It disrupts the democratic dialogue.”

The YouTube Cebu rectal scandal and Australian Brian Gorrell’s allegations in Blogspot are just two of the latest controversies to emerge online that have raised concerns about information made available through the web. The first involves the broadcast of a medical operation against the patient’s consent; the latter involves publication of supposedly libelous content.

Teodoro is proposing that “there should be a means of self-regulation” in blogs. “Journalists should be models online,” he said. Be it a blog on political opinion or personal lifestyle, “the principles of journalism should apply.”

“There should be verification and fairness even if it’s an opinion piece. There should be an effort to get the other side no matter how little the space you allot,” said Ateneo de Manila University communication professor Chay Hofileña, who agreed with Teooro that journalists can set examples online.

“Ethics should show in your blogs,” Teodoro said.

Hofileña stressed that journalists should be very careful because the “the standard for a news reporter is higher.” She said journalists should come up with more substantial articles online .

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