Interns Speak: A debate to be proud of
If I were to choose from the Mood Meter to identify how I felt last night while watching Rappler’s Senatorial Debate, I would click on “INSPIRED.”
Being able to participate in the debate in more ways than one gave me different perspectives on several important subjects.
Yesterday, I became part of the production team and part of the online audience as well. In the morning and throughout the afternoon, I was tasked to help with the seating layout, and I volunteered to help look for people who may be interested in asking questions at the debate. And in the evening, at home, I helped push and promote the debate to my friends and family online so that they too can participate.
Because of this, not only was I able to learn much about politics in the Philippines, but I was also able to learn much about social media, and media production.
Social media's impact
Perhaps one of the most important things I realized is the actual impact of social media in important events such as the elections. It is true, that social media has an impact in matters of campaigning. Candidates can promote themselves and inform citizens of their platforms and credentials. But the way Rappler creatively used social media in the debate yesterday certainly maximized its power.
Through the use of Twitter and Rappler’s Mood Meter, Rappler was able to demonstrate to the senatorial candidates the consequences of their words and actions in real time. The Mood Meter gave them an idea on what people felt about their ideas and platforms, and what really matters to the people outside their group of supporters. It was amusing to see them become slightly uneasy when “ANNOYED” was flashed on the screen. I know that they would pick up from this experience and improve their campaigning strategies and platforms.
But if a lot of people were made aware because of Rappler’s debate and use of social media, there were also those who chose to remain ignorant.
This is a sad reality that I discovered while scouting for ordinary people who would like to ask questions to the senators during the debate. At first, I believed it was going to be an easy task because I thought the vendors and families hanging out near the event would be interested to participate. After all, their opinions matter as well to the candidates who would be serving them in the future. However, it proved to be more difficult than I expected.
Most of the vendors we talked to were uninterested and insisted that they be paid or fed first before they participate. It gave me the impression that perhaps these were what the other candidates were doing to gain supporters from their sector.
Others merely shrugged the opportunity off, saying that it does not matter to them.
On one hand, it disappoints me, because if I were given the opportunity to ask the senators, I would immediately take it. On the other hand, it inspires me to keep informing others and to keep informed on matters of the State in the hopes to be part of the gradual change in the Philippine political scene.
Lastly, I learned that communication and teamwork are very important when it comes to production.
I will not lie. It was not easy to work under the scorching heat of the sun when it came to helping out with the seating layouts. But the task felt a lot lighter than I expected because of my newly found friends and fellow interns.
While taping signs to the seats, we chatted happily on things such as thesis, school work, and other interests. And while we rested, I observed how the Rappler staff worked and coordinated with each other to get the event running smoothly.
By the time I finished watching the debate online, I was swelling with pride. The debate was a success!
People were tweeting about it and got involved as well. It made me so proud to find out that #RapplerDebate made it to the 5th rank in Worldwide Trends.
And when the effects of the debate reached my friends and family, I felt all the more proud. People who I knew that were not interested in politics, also felt “INSPIRED” to get to know more about the candidates and voice out their opinions and participate via the Mood Meter.
I have a feeling that the Rappler Senatorial Debate would be embedded in the history of social media and Philippine politics. And I certainly am proud and very thankful to be a part of such an epic and exciting event. - Rappler.com
*Michaela Nadine D. Pacis is a Rappler intern and a Media Productions senior at Assumption College, Makati.
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