Inquirer again tops PMAP Makatao awards as ‘Newspaper of the Year’
MANILA, Philippines — For the ninth time, the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) was named “Newspaper of the Year” by the People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP) at the 11th Makatao Awards for Media Excellence.
Inquirer executive editor Volt Contreras received the Makatao trophy on behalf of the paper during the awards ceremony held on Aug. 30 at Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City. The program was part of PMAP’s 688th General Membership Meeting.
“This award sets the bar higher for us as a newspaper of record, as a multimedia organization and as an institution,” Contreras said. “Rest assured that it will continue to inspire our team down to the individual journalists, editors, photographers and other staff members.”
Touching on the theme of the forum — “Digital Media: The New Frontier” — that was also part of this year’s program, Contreras said the 37-year-old paper had embraced the opportunities offered by the technological shifts transforming the media landscape while staying faithful to its founding vision to be an engaging and empowering storyteller of Philippine realities and aspirations.
Also representing the company at the awarding were Inquirer assistant vice president for corporate affairs Connie Kalagayan, associate publisher Juliet Javellana, managing editor Robert Jaworski Abaño, day desk chief Catherine Yamsuan, human resources director Jose Gil Pineda, senior HR officer Christy Soliman and marketing director Maria Rhodeza Paras.
Javellana said the latest recognition was “even more meaningful” for the paper as it marked the ninth win for the Inquirer, a member of the Makatao Hall of Fame since 2019.
“The PMAP award truly validates the Inquirer mission of empowering the people with information needed to navigate our current challenges as a nation,” Javellana said.
Before this year’s win, the Inquirer also won in 2011 to 2015, 2018, 2019, and 2022. (The awards were suspended in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.)
The Makatao Awards recognizes mass media practitioners and organizations whose outstanding reportage, campaigns or shows helped “enhance public understanding of the role and impact of sound people management in the public and private sectors.”
Wednesday’s program was also marked by a tribute—a standing ovation and a prayer—to the late veteran broadcaster Mike Enriquez, who passed away on Aug. 29.
A five-time Makatao awardee himself, Enriquez was conferred a posthumous award by PMAP which was received by his longtime GMA colleague Arnold Clavio.
The Aug. 30 awards ceremony also coincided with the celebration of National Press Freedom Day.
The “Digital Media” forum saw four of this year’s awardees sharing their insights and experiences on the challenges faced by the industry. Serving as panelists were Clavio (“Best Radio Public Affairs Program Host”), OnePH’s Gretchen Ho (“Best Public Affairs Show”), GMA’s Atom Araullo (“Best TV News Program Host”) and Manila Bulletin’s Raymundo Lo (“Best Columnist”).
They all agreed that the rise of digital platforms and social media had drastically reshaped field reportage and newsroom operations, but ironically also made it difficult to keep the public interested in the news.
“The biggest challenge for us now is credibility,” Clavio said. “We are living in an era where people believe the news they see in social media more than the news that comes from mainstream media … We have to regain their trust.”
Araullo agreed: “Right now, tech platforms are designed to favor content that can evoke the most emotion … We have to work harder to become [the public’s] preferred source of information again.”
One way to do it, said Ho, is “introducing ourselves to our readers … being present where the others are.”
“Nowadays, it is not advisable that the public doesn’t know you,” Ho said. “The challenge is whether journalists can be transparent in a way — about their lifestyle, their affiliation — in a way that makes the public think they can believe in you.”