Where can the public find vetted news articles about the pandemic? The Philippine Press Institute (PPI) helped to answer this question with the start of the “COVID-19 Chronicles: Sharing Stories, Caring for Communities” in March 2020. Through this project, more than five thousand stories on the topic have been published in PPI News Commons, making factual and reliable local news from community papers available for public consumption.
“COVID-19 Chronicles: Sharing Stories, Caring for Communities” brings to the public community stories from PPI’s some seventy member newspapers reporting from the regions throughout the Philippines. Meanwhile, it helps to underline the value of producing high-quality content and acknowledge the great lengths journalists go through in order to bring factual and up-to-date information to the public.
The stories initially covered the spread of the virus as an existential threat, its socio-economic effects on the country and its people, and how the government has been working to address the developing situation. Information about vaccines began emerging late 2020 and have been hogging the headlines alongside active cases and quarantine guidelines this first quarter of 2021. As journalists monitor the progression of the pandemic as well as attempts at stemming it, they continue to gather factual information about it and the prevailing conditions on the ground, despite the hardships and risks they face, and they strive to make reliable stories available to the public through COVID-19 Chronicles.
The PPI began COVID-19 Chronicles in March 2020 to gather vetted content from journalists on the ongoing pandemic. The news stories are published in www.ppinewscommons.net, which the PPI introduced in December 2019. To assist in contributing to civic journalism, the Hanns Seidel Foundation has been supporting the PPI in this endeavour since May 2020, as part of its partnership with the PPI.
Through COVID-19 Chronicles, journalists and their community newspapers are able to provide reliable and updated news from the frontlines about issues, events and problems concerning ordinary people to the public. Meanwhile, the public gains a source of news they can count on covering stories and areas usually left out of mainstream media. This increases the chances for the public to be better informed and with balanced news, thereby enabling them to make informed choices and to be active members of a democratic society.
Known since 1964 as the national association of newspapers, the PPI is membered by both national and community newspapers, with more than a thousand journalists under their collective umbrella. The PPI-HSF cooperation on COVID-19 CHRONICLES is set to continue until June 2021. In the pipeline is the news coverage on stories relating to the May 2022 national elections beginning July 2021.