Dumaguetenos learn Rappler reporting for Palaro 2013
DUMAGUETE CITY, Philippines - The Palarong Pambansa 2013 is not just about the medals and rankings, it's about the athletes and people as well.
In the hopes of making the coverage as wide-reaching as possible, Rappler, through its citizen journalism arm, Move.PH, trained about 20 local student volunteers, mostly from Silliman University, to help and contribute in the network's endeavors.
Rappler multimedia reporter Natashya Gutierrez put it best when she stressed the importance of finding the heart of every sports story.
"Finding the heart of every story is very important. Stories of victories and defeat relate to us all," she said. "Sports is so powerful because it is a test of the human spirit. It tells stories of victories and losses. But above all, it acts as an inspiration."
These stories include athletes who ran barefoot but were able to beat records, athletes who look at excelling in sports as their only way out of poverty and other stories that appeal to people's hearts and minds.
Social media as a tool
In this day and age of technology, breaking news is just a tweet away. The biggest stories and videos of killings and bombings can be shared in just a click of a button, Rappler and Move.PH coordinator Zak Yuson and Volaire Tupaz emphasized.
But social media is a tool, and both Yuson and Tupaz said the goodness and badness of social media depends on how one uses it.
“Armed with just a smartphone or a simple digital camera, anyone can be a citizen journalist,” Tupaz added.
With the surging popularity of different social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, Yuson and Tupaz said anyone can be part of the collective goal of bringing the truth to every reader. Being a Rappler Mover, however, entails qualifications such as being a citizen journalist, a good storyteller, dedicated changemaker and community developer while also being ethical and passionate.
Some of the Rapplers who also shared their expertise with the student volunteers for the coverage of Palarong Pambansa 2013 include Adrian Portugal for videography, Josiah Albelda for sports writing and Josh Albelda for photography.
Asked about the lessons they learned from the Move.PH workshop aimed to train them for the coverage of the annual sports tournament, the student volunteers have these words to say.
Incoming senior mass communication students Yuys Escareal and Grace Enojo said the event opened their eyes to the vast uses and reach of social media in citizen journalism.
"The event taught me how to use social media not just for traditional networking, but also for actual journalism," Escarea said.
Nineteen-year-old Grace Enojo added the Move.PH event changed her "idea of how social media inform other people and bring about change in society."
Junior mass communication student Hannah Ombi-on said it made her more aware of how to cover sports events and knowledgeably of how powerful social media is as a tool for effective and efficient journalism.
Palarong Pambansa 2013 will be held in Dumaguete City from April 21 to 27, 2013. - Rappler.com