And now for something that’s not lifestyle- related. There is a snowballing move – with the imprimatur of Malacanang itself – to accredit bloggers for the all-important coverage of President Duterte’s activities and of course, the Presidency itself.
For an old-time blogger like me who’s been in the industry for 12 or so years, this is an historic move which shouldn’t be ignored and should elicit the cooperation of dear blogging colleagues. We know how disparate and independent we are but for this one time, we should band together for the long-term survival of our media. The industry has grown substantially in the past 5 years that it’s time we move towards professionalizing our ranks, and the proposed accreditation by no less than the highest office in the land is a good first step.
We heard it from Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar himself who met our group in an effort to drive consensus. Secretary Andanar’s office promptly acted after President Duterte gave the go-signal to let bloggers cover him in Malacanang. Accreditation is necessary because presidential coverage is under the umbrella of the Malacanang Press Corps who must admit new members according to certain criteria. It hasn’t happened before that individual bloggers are proposed to be part of the team, so the nitty-gritty of the matter must be determined.
Group photo with Secretary Andanar. Thank you Sir for hosting the dinner 🙂
In traditional media, covering the Malacanang beat is a plum post usually given to the most senior reporter(s) who did the rounds of the other beats already.In the same vein, meeting certain criteria is sought to be imposed for bloggers who will be accredited to cover the President or some of his activities.
From what’s been put forward by other bloggers, the requirements are not daunting at all.
Our colleague, Arpee Lazaro, put forward some of the criteria to include the following:
1. The blogger is not a newbie but must have been blogging for a certain period of time. This is designed to qualify only those with ample know-how and experience.
2. Blog must have at least 15 posts in a year to ensure that it is still active
3. Blogger must be of good moral character.
Am sure there will be more qualifications that will be proposed. The Presidential Communications Office promised to hold consultations and even create a Technical Working Group so we should hear about more about this matter soon.
As I said before, this is the first step. Truth to tell, some PR friends have intimated to me in the past their same desire for bloggers to professionalize their ranks. They would like to be able to talk to a professional blogger organization which will put a semblance of order and implement working, ethical guidelines. Police the ranks, if you may say, but this organization can do a lot more too in providing its members more opportunities for growth, rather than the kanya-kanya mentality at present.
If you are a reader, a follower or simply a concerned citizen, support the move for bloggers’ accreditation by signing the petition here: