Last February 4, 2013 ABS-CBN held their Bayan Mo Patrol Mo Bloggers Conference at ABS-CBN Broadcasting Center. I was one of the lucky bloggers who got invited in the event. (Thanks to Flow Galindez of http://angsawariko.com)
During the registration for the guests, they also gave a Bayan Mo Patrol Mo sign up form, which makes us officially Bayan Patrollers.
Ms. Jing Castañeda gave her opening remarks and later on Tita Inday, the head of Bayan Mo Patrol mo team talked to us as well. First thing that was tackled was about how to use the ABS-CBN News and Comelec Halalan 2013 app to send reports to Bayan Mo Patrol mo on the iOS platform and later on it was discussed on how to use it on the Android OS platform as well. After downloading the app/s just simply navigate to the “BMPM” tab and click send report. They said apps are a good portal to send your reports if you want to protect your privacy. After sending a report, you will get a confirmation email from BMPM that they have received your message.
Other ways on how to send reports was also discussed. You can send reports via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, to their website, BMPM.abs.cbnNews.com (Note: Watch out for the relaunch of the BMPM website soon!), Facebook account, Bayan Mo Ipatrol Mo: Ako Ang Simula and to tweet @BayanMo. You can also use their contact numbers 412-3781, 415-2272 or 0917-569-1439. According to them, the best way to contact BMPM in case of no internet connection, but you have at least P2.50 mobile credits, and it’s an urgent report, you may text IREPORT <space> Name, Address, and report to 2366. Like in the apps, you will receive a confirmation that BMPM have received your report.
Some of the questions raised during the conference was about how BMPM prioritizes the reports. BMPM classifies the report by the number of people affected. If only one person is affected they encourage the reporter to at least gain help from people who probably can help support you with your report. For example, if the report is about a parcel he always sends to the Philippines never arrives, BMPM encourages the reporter to look for people who might be experiencing this as well. “Encourage others to join your advocacy” according to Tita Inday. And finally, Tita Inday said storms and disasters comes first as well.
Tita Inday also noted how people are actually good in using social media to organize, that’s also the reason why they opened portals in social media to send reports and also contacted bloggers to join the conference as bloggers are powerful in reaching out to the netizens. In fact, an average student now has more than one thousand Facebook friends, and that makes social media a good tool to reach out and gain audience. Tita Inday said, “Social media. if its good, it’s very good, but if it’s bad, it’s really really bad.” At the end of the day, “social media is just a tool.”
Another question that was raised during the conference was how they filter the reports. They said, they filter the reports by what is newsworthy. They talk to the reporter and even do Skype just to verify the story. To make sure that everything that’s aired are already verified.
They also gave us guides on how to report to Bayan Mo Patrol Mo.
- Make sure that the details of the report are complete by answering the what, when, how, where and who questions. Also, the BMPM noted that they prefer to talk to the reporter, they are willing to protect your identity but they at least wanted to talk to the reported to verify the credibility of the report and get to know more about the issue as well. As much as possible, they even do Skype with the reporter.
- Attach any document, pictures or videos that may be related to the report.
- In taking pictures and videos, make sure this matches your report. BMPM noted that you must take note of your safety. If it’s not safe to take pictures or videos please don’t do so. For example, if there are flying roofs, hid yourself to safety, no need to risk your life to take a picture. And I would like to quote what Ms Jing Castañeda said during the conference; “There is no story that is worth your life.”
- If the subject of the report is sensitive, you may always request BMPM know to protect your identity.
After the question, it was Ms. Ging Reyes who gave the closing remarks. After the closing remarks, we have a little talk with Ms. Ging Reyes, Tita Inday and Ms. Jing Castañeda. It was just a free talk between them and the bloggers. Some of the questions that were opened during the free talk was if bloggers can be considered as journalists. All in all, the Bayan Mo Patrol Mo Bloggers Conference was a good experience since I learned a lot and I can share them to my readers.