Do newsrooms still have publication standards apart from engagement? Apparently not the Sun.Star Cebu Facebook page, judging by its recent posts. There is a noticeable shift by the page to the prurient.
On August 21, the page posted about an actor it described as “self-identified pinaka daks.” Daks means having a large penis. On September 7, the page published a photo of Kim Kardashian baring her ass for a magazine cover. The caption referenced the controversy over the image and asked Sun.Star Cebu readers what they thought about it.
It’s obviously engagement baiting. When FB pages of media organizations ask questions on controversial issues on Facebook, they are not actually interested in what readers think, they just want the engagement. And the more controversial the issue, the greater engagement it generates via comments and reactions.
When deciding to pursue stories, we used to ask ourselves, “unsay labot sa lungsod?” What’s the public interest?
Of course standards are different nowadays, but by what standard did Kim’s ass end up in Sun.Star Cebu’s Facebook page?
In today’s hyperconnected social media environment, curation is an important role of journalists. What do these recent updates say about the Sun.Star Cebu Facebook page’s editorial judgment? I think it tells us they no longer have standards.