Social media will play a bigger role in the future of the nation and there is a clear need for its truthful and quality content.
This was stressed during the Digital Media Forum with the theme, “Advocating Positive Change Through Digital Media” held on Tuesday, March 7, at Kalayaan Hall in Malacañan Palace.
The forum was sponsored by the Office of the President through the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) and the Presidential Security Group (PSG).
Former Department of Interior and Local Government secretary Rafael Alunan III said that parents should be responsible for their children’s use of social media.
“Social media is an important part of socialization that markets goods and services as well as motivate people to become part of a larger community,” Alunan said.
“It offers our kids new ways to access communication and entertainment but let’s put it this way — the long-term effects on our children are still unknown because there are pluses and negatives,” he said.
Alunan said there is a continuing need for “quality content” and asserted that “the opposite of that is garbage in, garbage out, you feed our mind garbage and we turn out garbage.”
Alunan added that a discerning online citizenry is the best defense against the prevalence of “fake news,” adding that the phenomenon was a product of the political climate.
“We have to self regulate and… fake news has to be condemned because it’s not the truth,” he said. “If we want to be a just society, justice requires truth to back it up,” he added, saying that failing to filter fake news creates social ills.
Meanwhile, Therese “Gang” Badoy Capati, founder of RockEd Philippines, opined that fake news traces its roots to the tendency of humans to tell untruths.
Badoy said the best defense would be to be more discerning about consuming news online and be more responsible in reading all dimensions, including contradictory positions on issues.
For his part, PCOO secretary Martin Andanar said the thrust to support social media reflects the administration’s commitment to public accountability.
“This administration is all about transparency,” Andanar said. “Wala po tayong tinatago. As a matter of fact, the second Executive Order that the President signed… was Executive Order No. 2 on Freedom of Information.”
Andanar pointed out that the Duterte administration is crafting guidelines that will allow bloggers to cover Malacañang events along with mainstream media.
Andanar also announced the government’s plans to beef up the state’s media agencies, particularly Radio Television Malacañang (RTVM), People’s Television Network (PTV 4), Philippine News Agency (PNA), Radyo ng Bayan, and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).
“PNA is supposed to be the premiere newswire of the country. How do we communicate the good news of government out there if we don’t have a credible wire agency? So we’re fixing that too. Soon PNA will have its own newscast, its own TV channel. We are fixing its online presence,” Andanar said. – PNA