ABS-CBN News' papal visit coverage through the eyes of the people


Posted at Jan 13 2015 05:39 AM | Updated as of Jan 14 2015 01:03 AM

Pope Patrollers from Metro Manila with ABS-CBN News' Arlene Burgos, Rowena Paraan and Fernando Sepe Jr during a meeting in December

MANILA - Past the grand festivities and the rapturous welcome prepared for the much anticipated visit of Pope Francis lie ordinary people’s stories: stories of typhoon survivors eager to hear words of hope, stories of the faithful wanting affirmation of their beliefs, stories behind those drawn by the papal visit's message of compassion.

These are stories waiting to be told and heard.

With that in mind, ABS-CBN News will once again join forces with the country's citizens -- as it had done in numerous major news coverage -- to lend a voice to people's stories that may disappear into the crowd.

The integrated coverage of the multi-platform ABS-CBN News aims to give the big picture, as well as focus on those on the sidelines: those who waited hours just to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis, and those who traveled thousands of miles for the occasion.

ABS-CBN News’ website will spotlight these stories to give exposure to these unique points of view through the help of citizen journalists.

'Patrollers' covering the journey of the Pope

ABS-CBN News will be delivering a blow-by-blow coverage of the Pope's activities to update with the latest information those who may not be able to go to the numerous papal visit activities.

For this, the coverage of ABS-CBN News would be made richer by the volunteer efforts of "Pope Patrollers" -- individuals from several of the country's top universities who wanted to help the network in providing the most extensive reportage of the event.

The "Pope Patrollers," plucked from ABS-CBN's citizen journalism arm "Bayan Mo, iPatrol Mo," will be engaged to help tell people’s stories, and bring to fore varied points of view.

Stories from the Nazarene procession

On January 9, during the recently concluded Feast of the Black Nazarene, the "Pope Patrollers" braved the old streets of Manila to help shape a more complete story of the yearly tradition, which left two devotees dead and hundreds injured.

With the help of social media, these citizen journalists were also able to share poignant stories: one of a devout grandmother wishing only to live until the day she sees her grandson finish his education, another of a man praying that the image of Jesus Christ would make Manila a safe place, and that of a child hoping that his right hand would get better after being injured by a firecracker.

Pope Patrollers from Tacloban wearing the #PopeTYSM shirts

Coverage of the People’s Pope

This coverage theme takes its cue from the "People's Pope" moniker handed out by TIME Magazine to Pope Francis after naming the Argentinian the magazine's Person of the Year in 2013.

The cover story focused on the way the pope was seen closing a wide divide between those cynical of the scandal-rocked Church, and the Catholic traditions and teachings. The article also attempted to shed light on Pope Francis' decision to place compassion for the poor as one of the cornerstones of his papacy.

The theme was started by ABS-CBN News when it unveiled  October 17, 2014 its papal visit microsite.

People’s voices

As early as September, ABS-CBN News has been carrying stories about the papal visit. Shortly after, it also started the "Pope Wall" where citizens can virtually "pin" their prayers and messages for Pope Francis. The Pope Wall is visible by going to bit.ly/PopeWallposts . Here people have voiced out through social media their wishes for themselves, for the country, and for the pope. Some of the messages here may be chosen as entries to the Book of Thanks for the pontiff.

Messages and pictures on social networking sites Twitter and Facebook tagged with #PopeTYSM, or “Pope, thank you sa malasakit,” are culled on the Pope Wall.