PH+SocialGood: Good journalism, and the power of the crowd

Jee Y. Geronimo

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PH+SocialGood: Good journalism, and the power of the crowd
'Journalists have a role in helping educate society, helping them become discerning consumers'
THE POWER OF THE CROWD. Kelli Arena and Maria Ressa talks about crowdsourcing and the evolution of journalism at the PH+SocialGood Manila summit. Photo by Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – As the journalism industry continues to evolve, there is a need for both producer and consumer of news to take an active role in making sure good journalism persists.

“Good journalism is essential to the well-being of society,” Kelli Arena, Executive Director of the Global Center for Journalism and Democracy said on Tuesday, September 16.

Arena spoke about the evolution of journalism during the PH+SocialGood Manila summit on Tuesday.

She said more consumers are getting news in this age of social media, and they want it “wherever they are, whenever they want it.”

Because of this, there will be a need for journalists to deliver news differently. “[The] race to deliver news first than best will continue to be an issue we’ll grapple with for years to come,” she added.

Although journalism will always require journalists, Arena said there will be more citizen journalists as technology improves access to information.

Rappler Executive Editor Maria Ressa said the crowd is smarter than one person, but they need to engage and collaborate when discerning and processing information in the news. 

Arena agreed: “I believe it comes down to news consumers. Either you’re willing to hear and learn, or you’re not.” She said crowdsourcing is going to be a big component of where journalism is headed.

Ressa talked about crowdsourcing disaster response during Tuesday’s summit. 

Media literacy and transparency

Arena said journalists, who “can’t live without citizen journalists” must push for news literacy to help the crowd disseminate information responsibly.

“Journalists have a role in helping educate society, helping them become discerning consumers. If our role is to inform and educate, we should be pushing for more transparency,” she added.

Ressa said readers today hold journalists accountable. “Media is now more democratized, seemingly more chaotic, but far more colorful.”

This is why transparency between traditional and citizen journalists will be key, Arena explained.

“Journalism is a powerful development tool, and good journalism is more important than ever,” she added.

Rappler, Microsoft and the Global Center for Journalism and Democracy kicked off the first of 4 all-day think-sessions about what technology and the future hold for us.

On Wednesday, September 17, the same groups will hold the first of two journalism workshops on the changing landscapes of disasters, journalism, and technology as part of the PH+SocialGood Summit #2030NOW. It will also be held at the Mind Museum, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, from 8 am to 5 pm. 

Watch their talks below.

 Crowdsourcing disaster response – Maria Ressa


 The Evolution of Journalism, Kelli Arena

 Q & A with Maria Ressa and Kelli Arena


Watch the PH+SocialGood Manila summit and join the conversation here

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Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.