Ethics or social media metrics?

News agency microphones on the sidelines of the Commission’s national elections debates on April 3, 2022. ( / Deejae Dumlao)

Secretariat for incoming presidential communications Trixie Cruz Angeles said vloggers and bloggers with high social media engagement and follower count will be most preferred for accreditation to cover Malacañang briefings.

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

He admitted, however, that they are unsure “if now is the right time to include them” along with journalists accredited by the news outlets.

“We are checking if the current policy is correct. Self [it would be] right to include them in press briefings, how often, what are the qualifications and so on ”, he was quoted on DZMM TeleRadyo.

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

“Right now, tinitingnan din po namin ‘yung engagements, kasi engagements really means that people are responding to what you have written or shown, in the case of vloggers, at interesado o sila o nai-involve sila doon sa sinasabi”, he further he said.

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

Social media engagements refer to the number and frequency of comments, likes and shares on the content. Show how people interact with posted content.

The number of followers, on the other hand, refers to the accounts subscribed to a page or channel.

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

Vloggers played a huge role in Marcos Jr.’s presidential campaign. Some are granted more access to him than reporters during sorties.

READ ALSO: Doc Adam jokes that he may be among the PCOO-accredited vloggers on the way

What about ethics?

Critics of Cruz-Angeles’s comments reminded her that ethics plays a more important role in reportage than social media metrics.

“It’s not just popularity. He should be in charge of writing ”, a Twitter users commented.

“So popularity contest, Hindi veracity of reports? Walang standard of ethics and fact-checking? “Else online users he wrote.

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

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

the Philippine Printing Institute gives an idea of ​​what it is on its website. It is read:

  • I will scrupulously report and interpret the news, taking care not to suppress essential facts or to distort the truth by omission or improper emphasis. I recognize the duty to give the other party a voice and the duty to promptly correct substantive errors.
  • I will not violate confidential information on material provided to me in the exercise of my vocation.
  • I will only use fair and honest methods in my endeavor to obtain news, photographs and / or documents and will correctly identify myself as a press representative when obtaining any personal interviews intended for publication.
  • I will refrain from writing reports that negatively affect private reputation, unless the public interest justifies it. At the same time I will write vigorously for public access to information, as required by the constitution.
  • I will not let personal reasons or interests influence me in the performance of my duties; nor will I accept or offer any gifts, presents or other consideration of a nature that would cast doubt on my professional integrity.
  • I will not commit any act of plagiarism.
  • I will not ridicule, insult or degrade any person in any way for reasons of sex, creed, religious belief, political conviction, cultural or ethnic origin.
  • I assume that people accused of crime are innocent until proven guilty. I will exercise caution in publishing the names of minors and women involved in criminal proceedings, so that they do not unfairly lose their position in society.
  • I will not unfairly take advantage of a fellow journalist.
  • I will only accept positions compatible 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 conduct myself in public or in the performance of my duties as a journalist in order to preserve the dignity of my profession. When in doubt, decency should be my watchword.

The code was approved by the Philippine Press Institute, the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines and the National Press Club in 1988.

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