Journalist Dana Batnag put out this question in a blog entry
dated August 11.
Where are the bloggers of Mindanao, the citizen journalists who we
have hoped would keep us updated on the ARMM elections? The ARMM elections are
the first automated elections in the country. If all goes well, the government
hopes to also automate the 2010 national elections. I was expecting blogs on th
e elections â how the machines worked and how the people reacted to them, even
pictures on the voting precincts and the voters. I was told there had been no p
osts as of lunchtime, but maybe that was because the voting wasnât over yet at
This question is indeed very relevant if we compare this to what is
happening in the United States. In a recent CNET article
s were among those actively participating in the delivery of news and informati
on to constituents. The article says:
It is true that the Democratic National Convention Committee handed
credentials to a record number of bloggers for the Denver convention this week
, but more nevertheless appear to have gathered at the Big Tent. Adding to the
lure of the unofficial venue is that the workspace's location on Wynkoop Street
is around the corner from a multitude of restaurants and private parties, incl
uding a massive Tuesday reception organized by Emily's List, a late-night jazz
festival, and an AT&T-sponsored brewery bash.
With blogs allowing anyone who can write to publish their thoughts on the Inter
net, Batnag was expecting bloggers to be blogging about the first automated ele
ctions in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. She says:
I was expecting blogs on the elections â how the machines worked an
d how the people reacted to them, even pictures on the voting precincts and the
voters. I was told there had been no posts as of lunchtime, but maybe that was
because the voting wasnât over yet at that time.
The ARMM elections would have been a good time for citizen journali
sts to show what they can do and how much better a job of it they can do.
A quick search on Google produced this blog called, "Philippine Elections Journ
al," which announced as early as April 4
that it was looking for ARMM Election bloggers. It didn't get any reaction des
pite the promise of "$100 payment for every 20 approved articles." This blog wa
s set up by Filipino blogger Janette Toral.
There were also some ARMM election postings but none about the ac
tual election day.
Batnag says: "Citizen journalists not only know the terrain, they usually know
everyone because itâs their neighborhood theyâre blogging about. In the ARMM el
ections, a citizen journalist would have the luxury of hanging around and waiti
ng until all the votes had been canvassed."
"Until the citizen journalists of Mindanao blog about the elections so that the
ir voices â and thoughts â can be heard and discussed, these are just the ranti
ngs of someone who believes in the power of the citizen," she adds.