Rotarians’ choice: Inquirer Newspaper of the Year
MANILA, Philippines — For staying true to its “meaningful goal of making a difference in the everyday life of the Filipino,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer won Newspaper of the Year honors in the Rotary Club of Manila Journalism Awards.
The prestigious award, handed by the Rotary Club of Manila as it celebrated its centennial year on Thursday, was the fourth for the Inquirer in the annual event and recognized the newspaper’s advocacy to spark change.
Two other pillars of the Inquirer’s respected pool of reporters and columnists won honors during the awards ceremony held at New World Hotel in Makati City.
“With an end in mind to spark change in the society, it asks questions nobody else would ask, which leads to a call for action. Through this, the Inquirer aims to inspire every Filipino to become his own leader,” the organization said in tribute to the 33-year-old news organization.
Most read, influential
It said the Inquirer “is undeniably the country’s most credible and influential newspaper, with more than 1 million nationwide readers daily.”
“Not only is it the most read among all sectors and ages, it is also the country’s most trusted source of hard-hitting news and countless exposés,” it added.
The Rotary Club of Manila previously picked the Inquirer as Newspaper of the Year in 1992, 2004 and 2010. It has also given dozens of individual awards to Inquirer reporters, columnists and correspondents since 1987.
In Thursday’s gala rite, Daxim Lucas was named newspaper male business reporter of the year while professor Solita “Winnie” Collas-Monsod bagged the newspaper female opinion writer award for her column Get Real.
Inquirer associate publisher Juliet Labog-Javellana received the awards on behalf of the newspaper. The three new awards added to some 600 prizes and recognition the Inquirer has received from the service organization of business leaders and professionals.
“With a big institution such as the Rotary Club of Manila affirming the important role that a free, independent and responsible press plays in the life of our nation, you make us stronger, braver and truer to our covenant with the people,” Javellana said in her acceptance speech.
She thanked the Rotary Club of Manila for the recognition amid the challenging times for newsrooms and journalists in the country and around the world.
The award, she said, “validates what we do in the service of truth, freedom and democracy [and inspires] us to stay the course and continue reporting the truth no matter what.”
She added: “Service above self is a value we journalists and Rotarians hold in common.”
Javellana noted how the media and other democratic institutions were being undermined and disrupted by technology through misinformation, disinformation and propaganda.
“But these are also times when journalists play an even more essential role for the people they serve—reporting the truth, shining the light on abuse of power, corruption, incompetence and inefficiency in government, and upholding freedom and democracy even at great risk to our lives and our survival as independent media organizations,” she said.
Fight authoritarian rule
Jose Jaime Policarpio Jr., chair of the Journalism Awards Committee, challenged this year’s awardees to “be our soldiers in fighting authoritarian rule in the country.”
“We take a lot of pride in the Journalism Awards, which has become one of the most anticipated recognitions from the Rotary Club of Manila, with awardees carefully deliberated upon by the awards committee and with concurrence from the general assembly,” Policarpio said.
Launched in 1966, the Journalism Awards honors outstanding individuals and organizations in print, radio, television and online.
Policarpio said the Rotary Club of Manila stopped giving the award during the Marcos dictatorship years from 1972 to 1985 in solidarity with journalists and other victims of martial law. It was relaunched in 1986 “to encourage the development of Philippine journalism.”
The awardees each received a trophy conceptualized by rotarian Tomas Bangui Jr.
Bangko Sentral Governor Benjamin Diokno delivered the keynote address during the awards ceremony.
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