Around midnight, the website reported that classes in all levels had been suspended for today, August 17, in Baguio City. The information was taken from the social media accounts of ABS-CBN and GMA News, quoting a post from the Twitter account @PIAalerts.
This morning, it turned out that TFS got it wrong because ABS-CBN and GMA got it wrong. Here’s what happened: At around 11:00 PM yesterday, PIA-Cordillera sent out this tweet:
PIA-CAR/BAGUIO CITY:#WalangPasok today August 17: All Levels – Province of ABRA Pre-school to Secondary – Bokod, Benguet
It sounds funny, but both ABS-CBN and GMA News concluded that classes are also suspended in Baguio City in all levels for today, August 17. The Filipino Scribe, for its part, failed to double check the information.
PIA Cordillera issued a correction an hour or so later: “Re- midnight news based on CO PIA NewsDesk posting, pls be informed no suspension yet of classes in BaguioCity. #WalangPasok is for Abra.”
There’s one problem though, and that is their inability to disseminate the information directly to the media outlets which already released the wrong news. In fact, even until now, the erroneous posts are still online. One tweet/DM could have done the trick!
Here are the lessons learned from this episode:
For media outlets and netizens(and TFS!) – Read carefully and double check the information posted online. This is true especially in at a time when information comes every few minutes and where the urge to publish it first seems to trump everything else.
– To avoid confusions, it will be better to just use “PIA Cordillera” or “PIA-CAR” instead of mentioning “PIA Baguio.” – At a time when information is disseminated to thousands within a few minutes, it is essential to immediately rectify any wrong information published (and to be able to disseminate that correction as widely as possible).
Mark Madrona is a prize-winning blogger, online journalist, and educator from the Philippines. Previously a book editor, he is now teaching communication subjects for two public universities in Manila.
His blog The Filipino Scribe won 3rd place in a blog competition organized by the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific (ANSA-EAP). In 2015, it was one of the finalists in the 2015 Lasallian Scholarum Awards for Best Online Feature Article in Youth and Education.
He also won the Best Blog Award during the 2011 Population and Development Media Awards, the youngest recipient of that recognition.
Know more about him here: http://www.filipinoscribe.com/about/.