Sunday, January 21, 2018

Former Rappler contributor finally speaks up: I was blindsided by Rappler, my freedom of expression was insulted


In the middle of the Rappler's case that drew various reactions on social media comes another embarrassment on the news site's reputation, if there is.
Former Rappler contributor Fae Cheska Marie Esperas and Rappler logo | Photo from Facebook and Google
This is because even its former article contributor came out to share her thoughts after the news broke out involving Rappler to where she previously writes.

Recently, The SEC or Securities and Exchange Commission slapped Rappler news site with the revocation of their license after the said commission found out that it violates the constitution.

Report says 'The Securities and Exchange Commission has revoked the certificate of incorporation of news website Rappler for violating the constitutional restriction on foreign ownership of mass media, according to an official document released on Monday'.

In addition, 'SEC said the media outlet is "liable for violating the constitutional and statutory Foreign Equity Restrictions in Mass Media, enforceable through laws and rules within the mandate of the Constitution"', according to a report.

Read her full post below
Rappler CEO Maria Ressa | Photo from Google

I have contributed articles to Rappler, and one of them was featured on Rappler's section for thought leaders. I was very proud when they featured my article because my cause and purpose would be read by a wide audience, and I wanted them to get to know how it is like to be in the line of work that I (used to) do. An underlying theme in that article was also a call out to fellow Filipinos to find ways to unite in the midst of diversity. Pilipino sa kapwa Pilipino.

But upon learning that Rappler is technically owned by a foreign company, it seems like I allowed myself to be used by someone else instead, just to put the message of my article across. I feel used because a foreign media outlet took advantage of my voice without my knowledge, and this very same outlet made it look like they are one with my stand (given the nature of their "Thought Leaders" category). Pero yun pala, nakikisakay lang sila just for the sake of so-called social relevance.

I don't like the idea of them making all sorts of tirades against today's problems and putting blame solely on the current administration mainly because they are backed up by a foreign owner and they can pull out and flee the scene once they are bombed back, or do a public outcry saying their freedom of expression is being threatened, to think they don't have legal claim to it in the first place.

I look up to Rappler as a good social media platform where I can write and put my thoughts to public (via Rappler X), but had I known from the start that they are not purely Filipino in terms of ownership, I would have thought about things first. I may still have chosen to write for Rappler, or would have gone with another online media outlet instead-one that has a more solid respect for transparency and accountability. I mean, I would have contributed to HuffPost or to BuzzFeed instead, or to a local blog whose owner I personally know.

In essence, I was blindsided by Rappler. My freedom of expression was insulted too.

Here's the article I mentioned:

https://www.rappler.com/move-ph/issues/disasters/thought-leaders/102973-pay-it-forward-confessions-humanitarian-worker
Rappler logo | Photo from Google

Sources: Fae Cheska Marie Esperas, ABS-CBN

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