By Anthony Bayarong, Yasmin Lee Arpon, and Jose Torres Jr.
Final report for MMJ 191 subject

There is no stopping the use of social media and the phenomenon of convergence in the fast-evolving newsrooms in Southeast Asia. Traditional publications, community newspapers and alternative news organizations are making use of these new strategies.

We asked representatives of three media outfits in the region to share with us their reasons for adopting new approaches to their operations. All agreed that it is not only a business choice but a strategy for survival.

Anthony Bayarong, publisher and editor of subictimes.com, explained how he started a blog, which eventually evolved into a hyper-local website and news portal in Subic Freeport, the city of Olongapo and the province of Zambales. He also shared how social media helped him in news dissemination and the tools he uses to run a one-man news site. Currently his website is the only news portal in the area today.

Suthichai Yoon, editor in chief of the Nation Multimedia Group of Thailand, shared how he started the use of social media in reporting and how multimedia became part of the daily life of his media outfit. He leads by example. Yasmin reported that Mr Suthichai himself uses new media tools in his practice of journalism.

Jesuit priest Michael Kelly of the Union of Catholic Asia News discussed plans for the integration of social media in the operation of the Catholic news agency. He said the Church must adapt to the chaging times.

Convergence and the use of social media is a work in progress in many newsrooms in the region. But it is a reality that media cannot afford to ignore if it wants to survive in this fast-evolving world of information.

Video and photographs by: Anthony Bayarong, Yasmin Lee Arpon and Joe Torres Edited by: Anthony Bayarong 

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