Driv­ing in­dus­try change

The Star Early Edition - - WAN IFRA CONGRESS - ARTHI GOPI

CAN so­cial me­dia drive gov­ern­ments to change, or can your hash­tag prayer chain make a dif­fer­ence?

One fe­male jour­nal­ist, Maria Ressa of the Philip­pines, is show­ing just that, with on­line con­tent geared to mak­ing a change.

She’s a thorn in the side of the Filipino gov­ern­ment, ad­mit­ted Ressa, who created on­line news site Rap­pler in 2012 spe­cial­is­ing in con­flict re­port­ing, which has made its mark on the me­dia land­scape in the coun­try.

She was the guest speaker at the Women in News sum­mit yes­ter­day at the Wan Ifra congress.

Ressa said jour­nal­ism called for fear­less cov­er­age of sto­ries.

“Be fear­less. But know your lim­its. I had some of my jour­nal­ists kid­napped in 2012 and those were the worst 10 days of my life but it worked out.

“We thought out of the box. By do­ing things dif­fer­ently and us­ing on­line me­dia, this is how me­dia will thrive and how sto­ries will be told, es­pe­cially if there are re­stric­tions on me­dia,” said Ressa.

The Philip­pines is cur­rently un­der mar­tial law, de­clared by Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte, be­cause of in­ci­dents in the south­ern is­land Min­danao and ad­ja­cent Sulu Sea.

Ressa shared her tips with fe­male jour­nal­ists, urg­ing them al­ways to learn new ways of do­ing things, to embrace fear, al­ways to as­sess the risks and to ex­er­cise con­trol.

Rap­pler spe­cialises not just in re­port­ing but in con­tent mar­ket­ing, so­cial me­dia en­gage­ment, ac­cess to crowd-sourc­ing and data.

One of the tools they created was a “mood nav­i­ga­tor” to mea­sure the mood and feel­ings of the Filipino.

“We are feeding off the en­ergy of emo­tions on so­cial me­dia,” said Ressa.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.