Journ Classroom

March 17, 2009

Journalists on Facebook

Filed under: Journalism ethics — Luz Rimban @ 8:33 am
Tags: , ,

Filipinos are so addicted to social networking our country has been called the “Friendster capital of the world” orfacebook1 the “social networking capital of the world.”

In its Power to the People Wave 3 Report, Universal McCann found that of all countries in the world, the Philippines has the most number of Internet users belonging to a social network, whether Friendster, Multiply, Facebook or what have you. The top five countries are: the Philippines (83.1%), Hungary (79.9%), Poland (76.8%), Mexico (76.3%), and Brazil (75.6%).

Journalists figure prominently among social networkers. They attract many friends and contacts on these sites. But an article in the Society of Professional Journalists’ website raises the question: Should journalists connect with sources on Facebook, or other social networking sites? Should they be friends, even on a virtual level, with people they cover?

Here’s the article  “Facebook blurs the lines of friendship” by Andy Schotz in the SPJ site.

I’m stuck on the word “friend.” Friends get together to see movies, talk about their families, maybe swap secrets.

The people we cover should not be our friends. If they are, we shouldn’t cover them.

Sixteen years ago, my closest friend, Melissa Hale-Spencer, with whom I worked at a weekly newspaper in upstate New York, wrote a piece that stuck with me.

She was covering the startling bankruptcy of a popular auctioneer whose downfall was vigorously, blindly denied by his many supporters — people who were snookered and lost a lot of money through him.

Melissa had written a profile of the auctioneer and had been to his auctions. It was a grim, difficult demise for her to document.

When she said hello in a court hallway, the defiant auctioneer wouldn’t respond. “You aren’t anybody’s friend,” he told her.

She agreed, and later expanded on her role in a prize-winning column. (Read the full SPJ article.)



  1. Good site. http://www.samsondada/com/articles

    Comment by 16sd — March 18, 2009 @ 5:31 am | Reply

  2. Hello ma’am Rimban!

    I am a student from the University of the Philippines and would like to hopefully contact you about an article you wrote that is the basis of our final case analysis.
    Would it be okay if I get your contact details?
    Thank you and we hope for your cooperation.

    Comment by Kara — February 24, 2010 @ 9:24 pm | Reply

  3. My apologies for being out-of-place. I just would like to establish awareness.

    Do consider
    5. Dr. Martin Bautista
    for the next elections obviously (a senatorial candidate of Liberal Party). He’s a 47-year-old gastroenterologist in the US who came home after 17 years. You can see from his background that he truly means service. For those who find him to be a hypocrite for working abroad, do understand he’s a family man who needs to sustain his family, that he will be able to keep his independence by not relying on public funds to support his family. He helps his countrymen in his capacity but it’s just not enough for there are millions of Filipinos. And as proof of his sincerity, he didn’t renounce his citizenship nor became a dual citizen even if he was long eligible. He’s able to work in the US by being a legalized alien instead. It’s a good start in Philippine Politics to have him around.
    He used to be with the ‘Ang Kapatiran’ party but because of internal conflicts, he’s now with Liberal Party. But allow me to discuss this Ang Kapatiran party.
    The BIG DIFFERENCE is the ‘Ang Kapatiran’ party is God-centered. There is no lesser-evil component. Its members will be disciplined by its own party should they stray from its code of ethics. They promised to restore what a true public servant means: to serve the public and not make it as a means of livelihood.
    Below are the lists of Senatoriables of the Ang Kapatiran:

    11 Rizalito David
    21 Jo Imbong
    43 Zosimo Paredes
    45 Maria Gracia Rinoza-Plazo
    52 Adrian Sison
    55 Reginald Tamayo
    56 Hector Tarrazona
    59 Manuel Valdehuesa

    You will be able to gauge Dr. Martin Bautista’s intelligence by reading the articles he posts in his website here:
    I urge you to INFORM BY E-MAIL/TEXT/INFORM all your contacts about them. I believe they only lack exposure that’s why I’m doing this. But I can’t do it alone so I’m appealing to everyone’s help. If all will inform their contacts about them and urge them as well to forward, we might hit millions.
    We cannot afford to be indifferent now if we want meaningful change. Otherwise we only have ourselves to blame. BUT TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

    Comment by pian — May 4, 2010 @ 2:52 pm | Reply

  4. Also, in case you don’t have party list yet to vote… you may want to consider ABA.
    Spread the news and make ABA known to our extended families, relatives and friends. ABA is

    Alyansang Bayanihan ng mga Magsasaka, Manggagawang-Bukid at Mangingisda

    ABA is a pro-people, pro-life and pro-family party list. The Catholic church supports ABA.
    ABA is an alliance of groups that represent the rural poor, the urban poor, and the traditional natural family.

    The nominees of ABA are:
    1. 2009-10 party list representative Leonardo Montemayor
    2. former ABA party list representative Dioscoro Granada
    3. JOSE NEBRAO – founding member/president of Serve Life, founding member/vice-president for Task Force for Family and Life, Proponent of Organic Farming and Small Agri-based Business,
    4. Jose Morales
    5. Atty. Makilito Mahinay

    ABA has been advancing and advocating the following legislations and housing policy reforms within and outside of the halls of Philippine Congress. These are:

    • Legislation: Exemptions for cooperatives from EVAT; extension of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program; strengthening of the Crop Insurance Program; Agricultural and Fisheries Modernization Act; Party List Act; Comprehensive Integrated Shelter Financing Act; Indigenous Peoples Rights Act; Fisheries Code; and the Safeguard Measures Act.
    • Housing policy reforms: fast-tracking the identification of government lands for social housing projects thru Presidential proclamations; and the just and humane eviction of squatters through EO 152.
    • Other advocacies: the creation of a congressional commission on the strengthening of the Filipino Family; the creation of the Omnibus Human Resource Development policy; and the promotion of bio-organic farming.

    Here are some priority measures of ABA in Congress:

    • To formulate new laws for: a National Land and Water Use Policy; a Magna Carta for the Urban Poor; and the creation of a Department of Housing.
    • To properly implement Agrarian, Urban Land, and Natural Resources Reforms so as to attain the true benefits to the people.
    • To strengthen: Sustainable Agricultural Modernization; the Cooperative sector; the micro-finance system; organic agriculture and community-based watershed/forest management programs; and the Party-List system.
    • To work for the early recovery and proper use of the coconut levy funds.
    • To nurture a Culture of Life and reject the death penalty, euthanasia, abortion, and radical fertility control; to defend the natural family as society’s primary unit and oppose divorce and same-sex marriage; and to preserve the primacy of the family in the rearing and education of its own children in all matters.

    Comment by pian — May 4, 2010 @ 3:03 pm | Reply

  5. ha, moze powinnam odrazu mu wyjachac – co za krolewna do Wuja wafla;) Click

    Comment by claudinejustice153 — April 9, 2016 @ 4:04 pm | Reply

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