BAYBAY, Leyte- In partnership with Visayas State University (VSU), Rappler brought its citizen journalism campaign Move.PH to Eastern Visayas.

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Rappler’s #MoveLeyte banner

The #MoveLeyte, which is the 11th of Rappler’s “Social Medial for Social Change” chat series was conducted Friday, January 25, at VSU’s convention center in Baybay City, Leyte.

With the theme, “Tukmang paggamit sa social media alang sa matinud-anong piniliay”(Harnessing social media for honest elections), Move.PH encouraged the attendees to participate in Rappler’s citizen journalism platform for their 2013 election coverage, #PHVote.

The event staged both veteran and new generation journalists from their team.  Rappler CEO and Executive Editor Maria Ressa talked about social media’s power to bring social change, especially this coming election; Rappler’s Citizen Journalism Director Chay Hofileña discussed how journalism can change election culture; reporter Natashya Gutierrez shared the fun and challenges of multimedia reporting; social media head Michael Josh Villanueva encouraged using social multimedia for an honest election; and multimedia reporter Patricia Evangelista inspired the participants to tell compelling stories.

The free event was attended by students and faculty members from different colleges and universities, government agencies, advocacy groups, youth organizations, and media groups from all over Eastern Visayas.

The Rappler Movement

During the press conference at the University of the Philippines Visayas Tacloban College (UPVTC), January 24, Hofileña encouraged citizens to join the #Move.PH cause by sharing truthful news in their communities regarding the upcoming election with Rappler.

According to the team, citizen journalists can share their news through Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram, just as Rappler people mentioned.

For those who are afraid to participate in this because of the Cybercrime Law, Rappler encouraged that as long as their information is true and credible, they should not be afraid.

Manila Channel even asked, “Sa rappler ba na experience nyo na ba na kasohan kayo? (Has Rappler been sued?)”

“Wala naman.” Evangelista answered.

Rappler, which is a combination of ‘rap’ and ‘ripple’ and means to discuss and make waves, is thankful for their two years in the social media journalism industry because they have served as their period of discovery, connection, and engagement.

As to what inspired the team to be in this field, these are the words:

“We were amazed at how diverse yet similar community concerns were in Baguio, Davao, Manila, Cagayan de Oro, Naga, Zamboanga, Los Baños, Bacolod, Dumaguete, and Cebu. From issues relating to the environment, power, politics and social media, the same message reverberated: we want to bring about change.”