The Pro-Duterte Bloggers undeniably was a major player that catapulted the Davao City Mayor in Malacañan, without the political machinery, deep pool of funds, and everything that ios needed in a presidential campaign, it was this bloggers that made use to the full extent the power of Social Media.
The use Social Media was very much useful in the information dissemination as regards to matters that’s important specially in an age were smear campaign or black propaganda can change the winnability of a candidate.
The mainstream media before was the sole gatekeeper of information in the country it can either make or break anybody’s political aspiration in this country. Sadly, the old rich-oligarchs had made use of the power of media as their own tool which always redounds to there benefit. *
But I would like to point out that I was a member of the Malacanang Press Corps, and was even its President, during the term of former President Fidel V. Ramos during the early 1990s, covering for the Philippine Star.
The MPC is a private organization of media people covering Malacanang. The MPC itself, however, is not the one accredited by the Palace press office for the news coverage of the President. It is just an organization, a club if you must, of the journalists who cover the President of the Philippines. Accreditation is given to individual journalists, not to the MPC.
Accreditation by the Malacanang press office means you are allowed to cover the President's activities, and attend his press conferences and briefings, within Malacanang and his out of Palace activities. In the olden times when the Palace press office provided planes and helicopters for presidential trips to the provinces, we also covered the provincial trips, with a pool of two or three journalists from the MPC and the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) selected to join the President's party itself to provide pool news report for the entire press corps. *
That said, the accreditation of journalists covering the President is part of the responsibilities and authority of the Palace press office. Responsibility because it is part of the duty of the President to inform the public at all times of what he is doing. Authority because the Palace press office could bar anyone it deems to be a threat to the security of the President of the Philippines from getting near to or entering the presidential palace. *
Today, there is a new breed of information gatherers, disseminators and thought-leaders who have amassed big public followings that are much, much more than those of the journalists who are in the so-called mainstream media. These are the social media writers and bloggers; identifying them as journalists is very controversial because of the traditional media's stern objection that only they could be called "legitimate" media or journalists, and not these upstarts from the social media scene.
For that matter, that is where our Asec for Social Media Mocha Uson come from, as she enjoys anywhere from three to five million followers for her vlogs, or video blogs, as compared to the earlier versions of bloggers, who only wrote and did not videotape themselves or came out :live" on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and others. I can see the enjoyment of the MPC members in dissing out Asec Uson, and they are joined by all the members of the "legitimate" press and the anti-Duterte critics in mocking Asec Uson for allegedly being misinformed. They may be right from their point of view. Asec Uson and the millions of DDS followers think otherwise, and are comforted by the thought of their numbers.
I don't think this controversy will ease within the foreseeable future, I told the Malacanang-based journalist who called me yesterday to ask for my opinion. As long as journalists from the mainstream media are unwilling to accept that they are no longer the sole gatekeeper of the information received by the public, the conflict will continue with no abatement.
Asec Uson and her group of fellow social media bloggers and vloggers really just have a much, much bigger audience than they do. And frankly, they really have a much different worldview than the usual crowd who were the dominant thought leaders before.
So, where does this bring us? We are but at the fount of a yet-to-be-made long history of social media and its impact on the world. This is just the beginning of the unleashing of the power of the individual that used to be concentrated in the hands of the gatekeepers of information in the so-called "mainstream" media. I say so-called because now social media has much more access to the public than the traditional media agencies. From its very root words, traditional media appears no longer to be the "main" "stream" source of information of the public. Asec Uson and her supporters have a right to feel proud, and that is why we see them asserting their right, however wrong or correct they may be.