BLOGGERS LAUNCH 2010 ELECTIONS PORTAL
By EDWIN P. SALLAN
AS if taking their cue from an earlier Comelec pronouncement acknowledging the internet as “the most efficient way of disseminating information,” a group of bloggers recently launched a news web portal called Blogwatch.ph.
Hosted by the Philippine Online Chronicles (www.thepoc.net), a news and features website under the Vibal Foundation, Blogwatch.ph is described in its Facebook page as “a new media initiative where bloggers join forces to cover the 2010 elections and help raise public awareness by tapping the burgeoning blogosphere in the Philippines to provide different perspectives on the elections apart from that of traditional media.”
Led by its project editor, Noemi Lardizabal-Dado, other bloggers involved in Blogwatch.ph include Philippine Blog Awards president Juned Sonido, Dine Racoma, Carlo Ople, Vince Golangco, Jane Uymatiao, Pierre Galla, Angel Abella, Brian Ong and Fritz Tentativa, among others.
During its launch, Lardizabal-Dado said the Blogwatch.ph portal “will harness the power of new media to present a multiperspective, multimedia coverage of next year’s elections, the events leading up to it, and relevant topics such as election automation, campaign finance, and the personal and political backgrounds of candidates.”
“The decision to blog about presidentiables started as far back as last year,” recalls Lardizabal-Dado in one of her recent posts in her own blog site, aboutmyrecovery.com. “As luck would have it, an invitation from the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism for a training seminar on “Covering Elections in the Era of Internet and Automation” provided me with a framework to cover the Elections 2010 with more focus. Then in one of my meetings with Vibal Foundation’s Philippine Online Chronicles, Tin Mandigma of Vibal thought of a citizen’s journalism portal for their site. And just like that, Vibal Foundation provided us with the support and logistics for this bloggers’ own 2010 Election Coverage Project.”
Even as the site covers election-related stories in various formats normally used by bloggers such as podcasts, articles, and videos, Blogwatch.ph will also utilize social networking tools such as sites like Plurk, Twitter, Ustream, Facebook, YouTube, and Qik to spread information and connect with users.
Another thing that will distinguish the portal is its use of social networking media to spread information and connect with its readers. Already, the site has Plurk, Twitter, Ustream, Facebook, YouTube, and Qik accounts so that BlogWatch.ph can be made accessible to everyone online.
Blogwatch.ph is independent of the Commission On Elections’ own online initiatives. Launched a little earlier, Bagong Botante (bagongbotante.ph), I.B.A. Na Ngayon (ibanangayon.ph) and Political Arena (ph.politicalarena.com) also present different ways where the general public can familiarize themselves not only with the new automated electoral process as a whole but also with the general platforms of the candidates running for national positions.