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MindaCOMNET faces challenges of new media

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Members of the Mindanao Communicators Network (MindaCOMNET) faces the challenges and opportunities that current technological advances offer in efficiently communicating good governance to the Filipino.

At the 9th Congress of the MindaCOMNET in General Santos City Tuesday, Jay Jaboneta of the Philippines for Kids (Bagong Pag-asa yellow boat foundation) shared how a one-time facebook status changed the life of school children in an island in Zamboanga City that swims through their way to school.

Jaboneta said that after the Philippine Information Agency in Region 9 wrote a story about those kids, a single facebook status posted about the plight of these kids has paved the way to the creation of the Philippines for Kids foundation. Responses from friends and concerned individuals made Jaboneta realize the potentials of the social network and the new media in bringing about change and progress in the lives of the people.

Recently honored by Yahoo Philippines as one of the 1st Pitong Pinoy awardees for his use of social media for change, Jaboneta reveals that according to a study some 30% of Filipinos get news online every month, some 27 million are on facebook, and about 10 million on tweeter.

He said that the new media provides the venue for people to be able to comment, react, interact, or gets involve on breaking news online right at the comfort of their homes and work places. Thus, “news has become a process” rather than just a finished product.

While it has the strength to fast track the spread of current news, it has also its downside of spreading rumors quickly and easily. Jaboneta said rumors quickly spread because these are what people read that is available online. That is why he challenged communicators and information officers to provide and “create compelling contents” and stories that will attract social network users.

He urged further to “use content to build communities” because he believes that this is what people are hungry about. He said that government and non-government communicators can build on social networking sites feedback mechanisms for the enhancement of government programs and activities.

Some one hundred communication and information officers gathered at General Santos city for the 9th MindaCOMNET Congress from November 28 to 30, 2011 with the theme: “Strengthening Governance Communication through the New Media.”

By Rene V. Carbayas-PIA9-ZBST




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