Why I #SupportRappler
April 28, 2015 – the day when one of the most successful online movements happened.
Who would have thought that social media could become much more than a platform for selfies?
I could still remember it. I was on my way to school when I learned that the execution of the convicted Filipino drug mule in Indonesia, Mary Jane Veloso, could happen that night. I was startled and saddened by the news thinking that overnight, two helpless children could possibly lose their mother. Her case was hopeless given that Indonesia has some of the strictest anti-drug laws, as drug-related offenses are penalized with death penalty. Only a miracle could save her from death row.
I personally believe that she was just a victim – a victim of illegal recruitment and a victim of the faulty system of the Philippine government. Mary Jane represents many unfortunate Filipinos who try their luck abroad and endure the pain of being away with their families because of poverty.
When news of her supposed execution broke online, Rappler through its civic engagement arm MovePH joined the call of the online movement #SaveMaryJane, which sparked a global conversation. On the night that the Indonesian government announced that the execution will push through, petitioners held on to the tiniest inch of hope that they could save Mary Jane. And before dawn of April 29, the miracle happened, and #MaryJaneLives.
"This is a huge and rare for a petition from the Philippines... MovePH was instrumental in making this happen," said Change.org senior campaigner Christine Roque. (READ: How the viral petition to save Mary Jane Veloso reached Jokowi)
When I first learned about Rappler in 2012, I already figured out what I wanted to do after graduation. As a development communication practitioner, I had always wondered how I could apply the values and principles of the discipline in mass media. After working for a year in a TV network, I found myself in Rappler. I found myself in an institution that values the impact of community service over commercial interests.
Rappler produces stories that make people act on social issues that matter to them. We expose the wrongdoings of leaders and hold them accountable. We tell the nation's stories. Going beyond traditional reporting, we mobilize citizens to help each other in times of disaster. We create communities online and offline, where smart conversations take place. Despite the attacks we've been receiving, we remain strong and committed to the public we serve.
On October 3, I’ll be marking my first year at Rappler. Cliche as it sounds, my experience has been a rollercoaster ride.
As part of the social media team of Rappler, I've seen the worst of social media. I deal with dreadful comments almost every day of my life. We've been called "bayaran," "dilawan," "bias," and more profane words. Inspite of the hateful comments, we see hope in people like us, who fight for the truth and democracy.
In this era of fake news and misinformation, Rappler’s work in producing in-depth stories is needed more than ever. Help us produce more groundbreaking investigative pieces. Be with us in this crusade against disinformation. Support free and fearless journalism. – Rappler.com