The beauty of “citizen journalism” – for purposes of this entry, bloggers who do journalistic work on the side – is that it works from the periphery. The “citizen journalist,” in the case of something like “Boto Mo, Ipatrol Mo” or BlogWatch.ph, for example, was that it never needed accreditation to create news and commentary; that even the simplest tools can be used to document newsworthy stories.
The blog is an intensely personal medium fortified by friendships and networks, the most formal being very loose associations, but there was never a need to “accredit the blogosphere;” the handful of those actively seeking accreditation not (and never) representative of the entire population of bloggers in the Philippines.
As a blogger, I understand where Tess Bedico (in invoking Regina Bengco) are coming from: more than territorial pissing, it’s to uphold journalistic standards in the Malacañang Press Corps. Sure, a passionate blogger would have all the right to get all riled up and perhaps even insulted with being called hao-shiao (to drive the point home, fake journalists), but it stops at the swipe. The rest of the rant, where “blogging is the future of reporting” and “some journalists are hao-shiao anyway” fall under the category of conjecture.
It’s a tired line from those making noise in the periphery (including myself), but again: journalists can be bloggers as bloggers can be journalists. The relationship between bloggers and journalists is a matter of difference, not inferiority or superiority. That comes with the caveat that every blogger who writes about current events and politics is a consumer of “traditional,” or “mainstream,” media; an opinion-maker in a symbiotic relationship with the journalist.