Driving industry change
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.