Mindanawon journalists win 2015 EU Peace Journalism Awards

Mindanawon journalist Jefry Tupas of the Davao City-based Newsdesk is the Grand Winner of the EU Peace Journalism Awards.

Tupas won the grand prize for his article, “The Teachers of Raja Muda.” He received the award during the awarding ceremonies on July 8 at the Hotel Intercontinental in Makati City.

Three were named grand finalists or winners in their respective categories: Tupas for online; Stella Estremera, editor in chief of SunStar Davao, for written text in print media, for her piece, “Rituals for Peace,” and photojournalist Jes Aznar, a contributor of MindaNews, for photojournalism.

Aznar won for his black and white photo essay, “Bridge to Peace,” published in mindanews.com.

MindaNews’ Froilan Gallardo was awarded the “Philippine Star.com‘s Choice Award” for his story,”In pursuit of Marwan, death in the Marshland,” published in mindanews.com a week after the Mamasapano Tragedy.

Tupas won an all-expenses paid trip to Brussels where he will meet with peace interlocutors in September.

A press release from the EU listed the following semi-finalists for written text in print media category: Nash Maulana of inquirer.net and Philippine Daily Inquirer; Ruji Peter Abat of Sun Star Davao. For the online category, semi-finalists were Joan Cordero of News Central Ph; Fritzi Rodriguez of Rappler .

Jonathan Cellona of ABS-CBN News was semi-finalist for the photo essay category.

Special citations were also given to Gigi Grande of ABS-CBN; Bernardino Testa of Interaksyon; Voltaire Tupaz of Rappler; Gianna Francesca Catolico and Cristi Ilagan of Plaridel (De La Salle University).

The winners received trophies, gadgets and certificates.

Members of the Board of Judges for the EU Peace Journalism Awards were EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux, Moro Islamic Liberation Front peace panel chair Mohagher Iqbal as chair of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission; Rowena Carranza Paraan, chair of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines; and Dr. Mark Torres of the Mindanao State University’s Institute for Peace and Development.

Ledoux reiterated the commitment of the European Union to “continue to support the Mindanao Peace Process, both politically and in terms of development assistance.”

He also announced that the EU has responded to the request of the government and MILF peace panels for the EU to “put in place an Election Monitoring Mission whenever the plebiscite envisaged in the Bangsamoro Basic Law is called.”

Entries to the Journalism Awards were judged on the basis of relevance to the topic (30%), news value/impact (30%), investigative depth (25%) and professional quality and style (15%).

The Journalism Awards aimed to: raise awareness about the impact and value of peace and the peace process in general and to generate information and a deeper understanding of the Bangsamoro peace process in particular; acknowledge the role of Philippine journalists as agents of peaceful social transformation through balanced, responsible, culturally-sensitive and conflict-sensitive reporting on peace and conflict stories; and, generate awareness, interest and appreciation for EU-supported activities in Mindanao in the context of the peace process. (MindaNews)