Flying on the Wings of Excellence

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Winners of the 2015 Civic Journalism Awards, given out by the Philippine Press Institute during the 20th National Press Forum and Annual Members' Meeting, held June 22-12, 2016 at the Century Park Hotel in Manila

Winning may not be everything, yet it highlights one thing: Excellence matters and pays off. Here’s a glimpse into how specific publications bested the rest in their respective categories as they clinched top honors in the recently concluded 2015 Civic Journalism Awards given out by the Philippine Press Institute on the occasion of its 20th National Press Forum and Annual Members’ Meeting.

DAILY Category:

Best in Election Reporting: Cecilia Badian, MINDANAO TIMES — For helping steer public discussion toward otherwise forgotten or little explored topics on segments of the population whose voices are waiting be heard — and amplified — and which are often conveniently left out of the platforms of governance, proposed or otherwise, of political aspirants and incumbent officials alike.

Best Edited Community Newspaper: CEBU DAILY NEWS (Visayas) — For the generally excellent quality of writing and editing of stories.

Best Editorial Page: CEBU DAILY NEWS (Visayas) — For its well-written, timely, and relevant editorials that delve into urgent local issues; for the photos that depict the lives of the people in its community and the problems they face; for its clean layout, creative, well-executed editorial cartoons, and columnists who write on diverse topics, and in the vernacular. Cebu Daily News engages its readers, encouraging them to participate in the marketplace of ideas to bring out the best and the brightest for the community.

Best in Business and Economic Reporting: SUN STAR DAVAO (Mindanao) — For offering its readers well-written and well-edited stories that are diversified in scope and in-depth in analysis of goings-on in the communities, in the process giving opportunity for a wide variety of topics to be covered and opinions to be heard.

Best in Environmental Reporting: THE FREEMAN (Visayas) — For championing national and local environment stories that impact local communities through careful use of clear and concise narratives and engaging graphic and photo elements. Its stories are timely and relevant, thus promoting not just environmental awareness but also environmental protection.

Best in Photojournalism: SUN STAR DAVAO (Mindanao-Daily) — For going beyond merely using pictures to accompany written articles, although not consistently. Its regular section “Pastilan” features a host of community issues, interesting stories about daily life, and negative or positive cultural traits delivered in a visually appealing manner. The newspaper also gives prominence to photographs on the front page, making it possible to highlight the technical excellence of some of its staff photographers. In this regard, it satisfies the criteria for this award in terms of content and technical quality. Staff photographers would benefit from increased opportunities to showcase their skills by assigning them to do accompanying pieces with the feature stories on top of one or two informational photographs that usually go with the articles.

Best in Culture, Arts and History Reporting: SUN STAR PAMPANGA (Luzon) — For demonstrating regularity and distinctiveness in their stories. It also stands out for its in-depth reporting on the arts, culture and history of their community. It heightens the impact of its stories by conveying optimism that in turn encourages artist to enhance their skills and serve as an inspiration in their community.

Best in Fisheries Reporting: THE FREEMAN (Visayas) — For its original reportage and wide-ranging coverage of the challenges in managing the precious marine resources of the Visayas region, as well as the initiatives from various sectors in providing solutions to these critical environmental problems.

WEEKLY Category:

Best in Election Reporting: Lina Sagaral Reyes, Business Week Mindanao — For helping steer public discussion toward otherwise forgotten or little explored topics on segments of the population whose voices are waiting be heard — and amplified — and which are often conveniently left out of the platforms of governance, proposed or otherwise, of political aspirants and incumbent officials alike.

Best in Election Reporting: Business Week Mindanao — For helping steer public discussion toward otherwise forgotten or little explored topics on segments of the population whose voices are waiting be heard — and amplified — and which are often conveniently left out of the platforms of governance, proposed or otherwise, of political aspirants and incumbent officials alike.

Best Edited Community Newspaper: BAGUIO MIDLAND COURIER (Luzon) — For the generally excellent quality of writing and editing of published stories.

Best Editorial Page: BAGUIO MIDLAND COURIER (Luzon) — For its fine editorial writing and clear stance on issues affecting the community at large; its variety of columnists representing different point of views to; its well-selected, thought-evoking quotes from local officials on issues of the day; its regular true-or-false feature that serves to intrigue readers; its fine layout and editorial cartoons; and for offering space for readers to contribute their writing. The Baguio Midland Courier offers provocative editorial/opinion pages that excite the mind and help readers form their own thoughts.

Best in Business and Economic Reporting: BAGUIO MIDLAND COURIER (Luzon) — For its broad scope of business and economic news – going the extra mile with numerous articles on the city. The articles were composed well and written in a way that could open the city to investors and entrepreneurs both within and outside the city, which would definitely contribute further to the city’s business boom, ushering inclusive economic growth and stability.

Best in Environmental Reporting: PAHAYAGANG BALIKAS (Luzon) — For its consistency, clarity, and stewardship of environment issues in its reportage. Its stories do not simply inform and communicate but also educate the readers on, and advocate good environmental governance. Written in a very readable fashion, the stories are impactful, taking into consideration the local cultural sensitivities.

Best in Photojournalism: BAGUIO CHRONICLE (Luzon-Weekly) — For reserving prominent front page space for its technically excellent news photographs. Based on the inside pages, however, the paper still needs to strive to go beyond the use of informational photographs accompanying the stories. Often, the photos on the inside pages are wide shots of scenes/events or personalities featured. It would be good if the photographers were given the chance to showcase their storytelling abilities by involving them in the development of feature and in-depth stories. The Baguio Chronicle would also do well to pay more attention to the technical quality of the photographs used in its "Diak Kita, Diak Pati" section, which highlights community issues that need resolution.

Best in Culture, Arts and History Reporting: THE ILOCOS TIMES (Luzon) — For clearly demonstrating fairness and uniqueness in featuring its local artists. As such it helps in the preservation of the region’s rich culture and promotes development through its vivid, factual and creatively written stories. By tackling the region’s storied past, it helps today’s generation develop their talent and get involved in the artistic, cultural and historical life of their community.

Best in Fisheries Reporting: EASTERN VISAYAS MAIL (Visayas) — For original reporting that explains the causes and impact of fisheries problems on the daily lives of coastal dwellers, especially in critical fishing grounds in the Visayan region.

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