In recent weeks we've seen jargon like "social news network", "online journalist", "citizen journalists", and "crowdsourcing" coming into the quaint lingo of some "media practitioners" (hey, there's another one!). None of these are clearly defined in the context of the practice of journalism and, more importantly, none of these have added any significant clarity to the "debate" around the role of these media people in our overall journey towards becoming a more just society.
For me it is quite simple. There are only three operational classes that describe how an information channel can operate:
(1) Provide information
(2) Seek to influence
(3) Peddle influence
News reporters do Item 1, columnists do Item 2, and publicists do Item 3.
A "media practitioner" or channel can be one or a combination of the above three.
How much more complicated can it be?
The thing I find quite amusing about people like Maria Ressa and Chay Hofileña (and all these "media consultants") is the way they muddle what is really a simple landscape with their quaint buzzwords but balk at providing insight into what they say when asked. Ressa, for example, once responded to commentary by screaming "Libel!". When asked who is funding Rappler, the silence was deafening. You gotta wonder.