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REPORTAGE ON PH AGRICULTURE

Inquirer biz reporter bags Bright Leaf media award

/ 05:44 AM July 31, 2021

2ND WIN Inquirer’s Karl Ocampo (lower inset) at the July 28 Bright Leaf online awards ceremony.

Inquirer business reporter Karl R. Ocampo won the award for Best Agriculture Feature Story (national level) at the 14th Bright Leaf Agricultural Journalism Awards, in ceremonies held online on July 28.

Ocampo was recognized for her story “MovefoodPH serves needs of both producers, consumers,” which was published in the July 29, 2020 issue. The story expounded on a nationwide initiative, led by agriculture and food security advocate Cherrie Atilano, to provide an online sales outlet for local food producers.

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It was the second Bright Leaf award for Ocampo, who started covering the agribusiness beat for the Inquirer in 2017.

In 2019, her story titled “In Nueva Ecija, farmers keep their chill even as El Niño scorches” was adjudged Best Agricultural News Story.

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At Wednesday’s virtual ceremony, Ocampo thanked Bright Leaf for the recognition and for its continuing effort to stress the importance of the agriculture sector.

“This story would not be possible if not for the people who trusted me to tell their stories, and without the guidance and assistance of my mentors and colleagues at the Philippine Daily Inquirer,” said Ocampo, who joined the paper in 2015 as a social media specialist shortly after finishing journalism at the University of Santo Tomas.

Bright Leaf honors the exceptional work of journalists tackling issues concerning agriculture in the print, broadcast and online media. Aside from cash prizes, the awardees receive a leaf-shaped trophy designed by artist Jordinand Aguillon and inspired by “pabalot,” a paper-cutting craft kept alive in Bulacan.

The awards were launched in 2007 by Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing and was continued by PMFTC Inc., the company created out of the union of Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing Inc. and Fortune Tobacco Corp.

Adapt and pivot

This year’s theme, “Reimagining Our Tomorrow,” focuses on the agriculture sector’s resiliency amid the pandemic and the resulting economic slump. “[It] is very apt for us at PMFTC and the Bright Leaf community. Our agility to adapt and pivot were tested in this unprecedented global crisis,” said PMFTC President Denis Gorkun.

Along with Gorkun, also at the awards ceremony were PMFTC communications director Dave Gomez, award-winning writer Alfred Yuson who chaired the board of judges, former Inquirer columnist Rina Jimenez-David and Inquirer chief photographer Rem Zamora (both judges), and several veteran journalists.

“Your stories are the stories that matter to us. Your eyes are our window to our farmers’ plight. Your masterpieces are a reminder of the industry concerns we should pay attention to,” Gomez said.

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TAGS: Bright Leaf Agricultural Journalism Awards
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