[Re-branding] Lipa-centric hyperlocal journalism partners with top Facebook group



LIPA CITY–The Filipino Connection repackages itself as a hyperlocal community news organization focused on Lipa City, and that will report on economic issues.

The re-branding of this Batangas-based news organization is an attempt at hyperlocal journalism, or news coverage on a small, local scale. Previously, The Filipino Connection (founded: 2012) covered Batangas province, particularly three cities and five municipalities.

The scope of other countries’ hyperlocal journalism coverage is within a place’s neighborhood, like a district. In the case of The Filipino Connection, the focus on Lipa City (Batangas’ most populated area) makes the group the city’s only print and online news organization.

The Filipino Connection will also now be primarily doing business and economic journalism. Stories from The Filipino Connection will be about presyo, trabaho at kita (or PiTiK, coined by top Filipino economist Cielito Habito).

News analyses and features will cover themes such as local traffic and transport, local and overseas employment, cooperativism, the business side of environmental protection, entrepreneurship and livelihood, investment, real property, tourism, and prices of commodities and utilities.

Some community newspapers across the country have dabbled into economic journalism, but focusing on a region plus the city where the newspaper operates. Examples are BusinessWeek Mindanao and EDGE Davao in Cagayan de Oro and Davao cities.

Through these stories on prices, jobs and income, stories of The Filipino Connection will attempt to bring news near to Lipa City residents’ economic needs.

The re-branding also comes at a time that The Filipino Connection is partnerig with Lipa City’s biggest Facebook group, Lipa City LCP TFC partnershipPhilippines. LCP is Lipeños’ go-to source for news and information about Lipa City, according to an online readership survey.

LCP Administrator Arven Bravo said the city’s pioneer, biggest, and widely-followed group on Facebook (membership: 62,347 as of February 20) was created in 2009 to bring together the people of Lipa in one “virtual” venue. LCP also intends to promote Lipa City as better option for tourism, business, education and living; and to provide updates on the city.

LCP also handles an online magazine called Lipa Status, which is providing good reads and videos about Lipa City.

LCP’s administrators are mostly millennials doing volunteer work for the Facebook page and for the online magazine.

Both The Filipino Connection and Lipa City Philippines will be sharing content promoting Lipa City and highlighting issues affecting residents.

Lipa City Philippines also follows a non-partisan stance when members post developments and issues on Facebook. Interestingly, residents freely post topics like missing wallets, search for lost relatives and pets, and questions on where best to buy items. However, the Facebook group disallows unsolicited advertisements.

With the re-branding of the news organization, The Filipino Connection will attempt to release a fortnightly business newspaper while sharing on its website, on its Facebook page and on Lipa City Philippines news and features.

The Filipino Connection is also a regional news partner of Philstar.com, the online newssite of The Philippine Star. This news website will also be re-launched soon.

Stories of The Filipino Connection strive to find the larger Filipino significance of local stories.



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