Media plays an important role in society as a source of current, consistent and reliable information. At this time of global pandemic, people are inundated with ever-changing news and information from various sources, including official ones that are at times perceived by some as inconsistent or unreliable. This puts the public’s trust in the media on the line and it is incumbent upon media practitioners to ensure, even as they are working in a constrained environment, that their articles provide accurate and factual information to the public.
In keeping with its mandate “Building Better Communities through Civic Journalism,” the Philippine Press Institute (PPI) gathers vetted content from journalists on the ongoing pandemic in the compilation, “COVID-19 Chronicles: Sharing Stories, Caring for Communities” and publishes these in the PPI News Commons Website (http://ppinewscommons.net/category/covid-19-chronicles/) where it can be accessed by the public.
“COVID-19 Chronicles: Sharing Stories, Caring for Communities” provides a platform for sharing community stories with the public 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.
As part of this project, an online seminar entitled “COVID-19 Chronicles: When (Reporting) Duty Calls is planned to be held in June 2020 to discuss how community papers and media practitioners are coping with health risks and economic challenges, amongst others, whilst working in the field and producing quality content in the face of the COVID-19 situation.
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 introduced www.ppinewscommons.net in December 2019 and began COVID-19 CHRONICLES in March 2020. To assist in contributing to civic journalism, the Hanns Seidel Foundation is supporting the PPI in this endeavour beginning May until October 2020, as part of its partnership with the PPI.