Boto Mo iPatrol Mo: Ako ang Simula goes to General Santos City

Julie Javellana-Santos,

Posted at Jul 09 2009 03:50 PM | Updated as of Jul 09 2009 11:53 PM

ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs’ top officials shared their knowledge in journalism with some 1,000 “Boto Patrollers” at the 1st ABS-CBN Boto Mo iPatrol Mo: Ako ang Simula (BMPM) Citizen Journalism workshop in General Santos City Thursday morning.

“We (at ABS-CBN) offer you a megaphone to reach every Filipino and the rest of the world ABS-CBN senior vice president and News head Maria Ressa said as she opened the morning’s session.

Students and youth from Systems Technology Institute, the Holy Trinity, Notre Dame of Dadiangas, Holy Child, Golden State College, Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Colleges, Fatima High School, RD Foundation, Youth Vote-GenSan and Jaycees-GenSan filed into the KCC Convention Center to head Ressa speak.

Also imparting their knowledge were ANC’s Glenda Gloria and Newsgathering’s Charie Villa.

The workshop was basically held for those who had already signed up as “Boto Patrollers” but this was beefed up by the almost 600 students and members of youth organizations who signed up before the event.

It was meant to teach “Patrollers”—BMPM registered members—how to report on election-related events in their communities which are seen to escalate as the 2010 elections near.

Under the BMPM campaign, reports by Patrollers will be verified by ABS-CBN and carried in the stations’ news programs, Umagang Kay Ganda, TV Patrol World and Bandila. By submitting reports, the Patrollers engage in citizen journalism, helping professional journalists tell the story as events unfold in the communities.

Ressa started out by giving a talk on the evolution of the BMPM movement.  During the 2007 elections, it was merely a vehicle for citizens to tip off ABS-CBN about election-related incidents in their communities. In many instances, the BMPM reports helped ABS-CBN uncover election fraud or attempts to disenfranchise voters.

Other topics in the workshop included the fundamentals of citizen journalism - from shooting pictures or videos using mobile phones or cameras, to writing captions and telling a story, to uploading reports to the Internet.

The participants were also briefed on the electoral process and the ethics of journalism.

As of July 9, almost 15,000 individuals have already signed up as Boto Patrollers.