2 MindaNews reporters receive fellowships on environment reporting

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/06 June) – Two members of MindaNews are recipients of this year’s fellowships on environment reporting.

Jose Aurelio “Toto” Rendon Lozano, 32, is presently in Bangkok Post on a 10-month exchange fellowship initiated by the Vietnam Forum of Environmental Journalists in partnership with China Forum of Environmental Journalists, Vientiane Times, Bangkok Post and MindaNews.

Keith Kristoffer “Kitoy” Pedroso Bacongco, 30, has just been named one of 10 recipients of the first Environmental Investigative Reporting Fellowship initiated by the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF).

Lozano began his fellowship in early May with MindaNews also receiving a fellow from Vietnam, Bui Tran Nhu Phuong.

With funding assistance from Fredkorpset/FK Norway, the exchange fellowship aims to “strengthen capacity of partners in environmental news reporting” and “share best practices on environmental protection mechanisms and environmental information of the partners’ countries, and to raise awareness on common environmental and related issues of the partners’ countries.”

IWMF announced the winners of the year-long fellowship on June 5, World Environment Day.

The IWMF embarked on the project noting that environmental problems such as pollution, deforestation, and climate change “directly threaten quality of life in the Philippines, yet these issues receive inadequate news media coverage” and much of the reporting “lacks depth and excludes the voices of those most affected by environmental degradation, especially women.”

In a press statement, the IWMF said the 10 journalists “will receive advanced training and coaching to produce innovative reports about environmental problems and solutions, incorporating women’s role in and perspectives on environmental issues.”

The fellows will complete three to four investigations for their news organizations, it said.

Aside from Bacongco, the other fellows are Rhodina Villanueva, reporter the Philippine Star; Anna Valmero, assistant producer with LOQAL.ph, an online magazine; Marilou Guieb, correspondent for the BusinessMirror; Kristine L. Alave, reporter for the Philippine Daily Inquirer; Bernardino Balabo, host of a program on 90.3 FM Radyo Bulacan and correspondent for the Philippine Star and Pilipino Star Ngayon; Riziel Ann Cabreros, producer for “PIPOL on ANC,” a news magazine program on ABS-CBN News Channel; Rouchelle Dinglasan, a producer for GMA News; Lira Dalangin-Fernandez, a journalist for Interaksyon.com; and Purple Romero, reporter for Rappler, a social news network.

Founded in 1990, the IWMF is “the only nonprofit organization working exclusively to strengthen the role of women in the news media worldwide.” It has conducted programs in 25 countries, and its network includes women and men in the media in more than 130 countries worldwide.

The IWMF fellowship is funded by Dole Food Company, Inc..

Eight of the 10 fellows are women.

Lozano and Bacongco were also recipients of a journalism fellowship at the Konrad Adenauer Asian Center for Journalism at the Ateneo de Manila University, completing their Diploma in Photojournalism in 2008. (MindaNews)