Recently, opponents of Dagupan City Mayor Benjamin S. Lim where all over in the dais of the city council, the radio talks and the newspapers attacking him when they said he “surreptitiously” inserted P10 million in the P1.4 billion Annual Investment Plan for fiscal year 2013 for the construction of Centro Mart – a private edifice partly owned by the Lims. It’s not true, according to City Administrator Vlad Mata when I dropped by recently at his office.
He said what was included in the budget was a construction of a P10 million sewerage pipes from the public market that will pass under the Centro Mart and MacAdore Building.
He said it was incidental that the sewerage crosses Centro Mart. City Engineer Jane Rosario explained with Mayor Lim at the latter’s office that the sewerage is necessary to treat the water and its waste so it could no longer aggravate the silts at the Pantal River.
The problem with this misinformation was it was exploited by detractors of Lim. Imagine nobody from the allies of Lim and his City Information Office quashed the false accusations while Belen Fernandez (mayoralty bet) got the brownie points.
Another case of disinformation was the post of the nemesis of Mangaldan Mayor Herminio Romero in the resurrected “Kamusta La Mangaldan?” Face Book account where there are almost a thousand members (It used to have more than four thousands members before it was hacked to near death by a local hacker). Somebody posted there that three “floated” department heads of Romero, who were sued with alleged payroll scams, have been dismissed by the Civil Service Commission in October 31 (Son of a gun that was a holiday, how can that be?).
Those who were after the scalp of these “scammer” were euphoric at the posting in the FB about the decision of the CSC. It was like Arabs’ Spring in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya once again among Mangaldinians there and abroad.
When I went there last week to inquire if they were suspended and in a holiday, I was told that they were still there. Susmariosep, the information posted at FB was a Benghazi at its worst!
That’s the problem with social media like FB community. Everybody can make a fool out of himself and every body relishes and swallows it hook, line, and sinker. This phenomenon is a good argument why cybercrime law like libel is needed to deter malicious minds that can destroy reputations.
International publication Newsweek, my favorite stuff since high school, folds its hard copy issues this December. Business wise, it was a losing enterprise because everybody reads its online version almost for free (it charges subscribers for its exclusive news analysis (yes Virginia, Newsweek like Times Magazine is more on news analysis) if there are exclusive news.
My poser: Would newspapers and tabloid in the Philippines follow suit? If dailies in Australia could no longer be bought directly at one’s favorite newsstand, would newspapers particularly tabloids like Tik-Tik, Bulgar, and countless others that allegedly spewed baseless exaggerated garbage news , crimes, and sex be here to stay.
Are blogs too a potent force to replace community newspapers? As owner (in internet language they call it “administrator” of Pangasinan News!, my answer, is yes.
In Pangasinan alone, where there are more than 20 regular publication, with an average circulation of 500 copies every week. I know only one, ahemm, that circulated with thousands of copies and given almost for free every week.
These traditional and expensive mode of information that runs to thousands of pesos a week in publication expenses has already been eclipsed by free blogs.
Newspaper online through Blogspot.com and Word Press are like food delivers in a silver platter, for free, directly to readers. Imagine, a blog like Pangasinan News! can penetrate in a copy and paste click of its link (internet buff called it HTTP or Hypertext Transfer Protocol) Face Book community like Our Lady of Manaoag with almost a million of members.
Its potency can be unimaginable. A propagandist can promote or undermine a politician before the eyes of hundreds of thousands of FB folks who visit and browse the posts in an account like Our Lady of Manaoag, D’ Dagupan Dreams, or Dateline Calasiao.
That’s social media in a nutshell. Son of a gun, It’s free but dangerous! (By the way, would be advertisers, politicians and businessmen, who want to exploit the popularity of Pangasinan News! to enter the rich Pangasinan market through paid advertisements at my blog you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org). (You can read my selected intriguing but thought-provoking columns at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com. You can send comments too at email@example.com).