Rappler featured in Reuters report on fighting online toxicity
MANILA, Philippines – Rappler, along with South Africa’s Daily Maverick and India’s The Quint, were featured in a new report by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism about battling online toxicity and political pressures.
Titled "What if Scale Breaks Community? Rebooting Audience Engagement When Journalism is Under Fire," the report is based on the findings of Julie Posetti, lead author and head of Reuters Journalism Innovation Project, known for her work on the impact of social media on news publications.
Key findings of the report include the following:
- Attacks on social media are often sexual in nature and target female journalists.
- When under attack, newsrooms can still engage their audience through smaller, more intimate online communities.
- As observed with Rappler, audience engagement can come full circle – Rappler’s online communities have also become active offline through events and community activism, in light of President Rodrigo Duterte’s attacks against the newsroom.
- As seen with The Quint, changes in tech platforms can greatly affect newsrooms – The Quint had to move its huge audience from WhatsApp to Telegram, since the former platform had made crucial changes in its terms and conditions on the fight against disinformation.
- All 3 newsrooms started membership programs, with The Maverick benefitting most from this strategy,with their program generating 22% of their revenue. Notably, The Maverick is the publication least active on social media, preferring offline interactions and engagement through personalized newsletters.
Rappler has long borne the brunt of attacks from pro-administration trolls for its extensive coverage on Duterte’s drug war, corruption allegations, and the government’s highly orchestrated disinformation network.
The attacks have even spread offline. To counter this, Rappler launched the #NoPlaceForHate campaign in August 2016, which involves a more aggressive policy against hate speech, and encouraging readers to speak up more against attacks, falsehoods, and misinformation.
Rappler has also launched two membership programs since to further quality engagement: Rappler PLUS, whose members get to access exclusive content and opportunities for collaboration; and Rappler’s Youtube members’ circle, whose members get exclusive access to behind-the-scenes footage and opportunities to interact with Rapplers and special guests. – Rappler.com