DigEatAll {Rappler}

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  • What is the History of Rappler?
    • Rappler started in 2012 as a facebook page called MovePh. Created by veteran journalist, mostly females. Its focus was nation building and having a strong community. The name Rappler came from the words Rap (to speak out) and the word ripple.
  • How are you coping with Facebook?
    • Rappler owes a lot of its growth to social media. As Rappler grew and so did Facebook branch out into other fields. However, social media sites like Facebook are not seen as a competition because they are not content producers. Facebook also helps them reach a bigger audience
  • Challenges as a digital organization?
    • Their main challenges are the fast changing trends which they always have to work with. They have a lot of competition online that are also trying new things and going for the trends. They also have to work with the short attention span of the readers. Finally, they also have the challenge of fake news which weakens journalism as a whole.

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  • What is considered as a success?
    • There are many indicators of success, like having a nice office. But in getting your job done and being influential, it’s still readership. For online, it’s about metrics. They consider the metrics of every site and platform as a part of their success. It’s all connected, so they don’t distinguish it. However, they also know that people follow them for different reasons so they keep it in mind when thinking about how much people are engaged with their articles.
  • How do you respond to competition?

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    • Rappler’s goal is to be a reliable source of information. They believe in the public’s trust in them to give timely and accurate news. They believe it’s how they will keep readers coming back in the end. More than a business, their job is a public service.
  • Digital publishing in the future
    • They have shown that they care about engaging with the community. Rappler has multiple ways for people to deliver, reach out, react, and even publish their very own articles.
  • Other problems:
    • There is no neutrality in news, media and writing. You inherently keep your biases. You should strive for healthy skepticism for what you hear, get or what you write. You can also present the other side of the story or other parties. It’s how you minimize injecting your own biases. But you can’t be totally bias-free. “If a journalist is saying “I’m not bias”… he or she is not completely accurate” |  “It’s not about maintaining an image… what Rappler is trying to do is to present itself as a reliable source of information”. It’s people’s own interpretation of their own biases if they say that Rappler is leaning towards a certain political group or something.

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    • Engagement based on Facebook metrics has a formula with it. If you just look at engagement, remember that blogs like Mocha Uson have a targeted audience. Rappler on the other hand has a wide range of content and their followers have different interests. It should be kept in mind when looking at the metrics and engagement rate at Facebook. Just because something has a high follower count, it does not mean they’re really top trusted or that influential. Blogs like Mochas Uson is also not comparable so it doesn’t bother them. They are more concerned with Fake information. It’s being spread online and it challenges the traditional role of journalist.  It also diminishes the integrity of legitimate news sites because they mimic it with dirty tactics. Also, the problem of audience is that they don’t read news before they share it. It’s problematic.
  • Other Insights
    • They never publish directly onto social media, everything goes to the website first.
    • They also have a publishing platform that allows anyone to publish directly to x-rappler.
    • Community engagement is VERY important. Talking to the audience and knowing what’s the problem of the audience. It’s not just about making stories, it’s about making a community. Being digital also allows them a much deeper possibilities for engagement with the audience.

After the interview, Zak was kind enough to give us a quick tour of the office. Although originally prohibited, we were allowed to take photos and even videos of their cool and comfortable workplace. Another unexpected extra!

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Check out the rest of the interviews by clicking here!

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