Bloggers group tackles credo, activism

caption: Cebu Blogging Community executive director and chief blogger Ruben Licera, Jr. leads discussion on Manifesto on Public Accountability for blogger-members of CBC and netizen media.

CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES — Cebu Blogging Community, which began September of last year as an informal group of blogging enthusiasts, initiated recently its first “Ultimate Meetup and Pool Party” at the Diamond Suites Cebu to gather its members, present a revised set of guidelines in both membership and in web logging, as well as social media responsibility.

Around 40 of the 50-member blogging group also agreed on a manifesto of public accountability for posts click-published on both its official community page and on bloggers’ respective social networking sites. This after the group underwent a renewal of membership and acceptance of close to 10 newbies.

According to CBC executive director/chief blogger Ruben Licera, Jr. the meetup is geared at accomplishing general objectives such as providing support to fellow bloggers and collaboration in covering various events. “It’s important that bloggers get to know each other during events, inspire each other as there could be varied aspects to write about in just a single event,” Lecera said.

The other is a specific objective to encourage transition from plain blogging to embracing netizen media reporting. This writer, former print media practitioner and now a CBC member, echoed a call for bloggers to ‘’go beyond personal logging.’ This after she attended the recent 10th Global Voices Citizen Media Summit at the Provincial Capitol graced by 300 international bloggers cum social media activists.

This writer shared that bloggers are called to go beyond the “it’s a personal thing” paradigm and take on serious blogging by tackling social issues in their posts (microblogging for example) to promote discussion, social good, empathy; and that these should espouse humanitarian interest.

“Social media activism may have started from a blogging experience while exploring the potential of internetworking but writers and blogging communities have to move from there to give meaning to open online expression,” this writer, in her presentation, quoted Manila blogger Tonyo Cruz who was one of the summit’s panelists.

“Yes, it might be a personal thing, expressing one’s personal views about issues but we have to agree on interview policies, perhaps; we can draft a unified statement to make certain disclosures more responsible and accountable. Digital natives, immigrants and creatives who have become bloggers look for guidelines from senior statesmen,” Tonyo Cruz accentuated.

CBC members agreed mutually to start small by adopting a Manifesto of Public Accountability using basic four points : to be honest with their blogs, to be fair always, to be accountable for items click-published, and to minimize harm. These are simple terms for a broad sense of journalistic principle.

“I think we don’t really have to go stringent or rigid since too few bloggers are journalists but we are adopting the Journalists Creed to guide us that a public journal is a public trust therefore we have to take full responsibility of our article,” Lecera reiterated.

As for CBC administrator Mary Tinio Narvasa, she cited that CBC gears at transpiring as the “wow group” when it comes to support for bloggers here in Cebu. “Blogging should be fun. This meetup looks at strengthening the group, devising mechanisms on meeting deadlines specifically for posts that require host-specific results such as movie reviews,” she said.

Further, Licera added that it is a specific objective to make CBC a cooperative so freelancers can avail of insurance policies at minimal cost.

The event was made possible through blogger-friendly entities like Diamond Suites Cebu, Flawless Face and Body Clinic, Cebu Teambuilding Services, Cebu Domain, and the Philippine Information Agency.###