For their commendable coverage of overseas Filipinos, two community newspapers won the “Best in Reporting on Migration Issues” during the awarding ceremonies of the Philippine Press Institute 2021 Civic Journalism Community Press Awards, held on October 24 in Manila.
Mindanao Times won under the daily category, while Baguio Chronicle won under the weekly category.
This is the second year that the International Labour Organization (ILO) supported the best in migration reporting awards, in collaboration with the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC) and the Philippine Press Institute (PPI).
ILO National Project Coordinator Hussein Macarambon speaks on the importance of tapping the community press to cover migration issues.
According to Hussein Macarambon, ILO National Project Coordinator, “News media in the Philippines, across all platforms (print, broadcast, online), remain the most accessible and credible information source on labour migration issues. While social media platforms are becoming more pervasive, their reliability remains questionable because their content does not usually pass through a verification process. It is thus a dilemma for media advocates how to bridge the gap between saturation of disinformation on social media and the limited coverage of traditional media outlets. Tapping the community press, specifically community newspapers, is one way of filling this gap. Local newspapers, being situated in the communities that they serve, have direct contact with and feel the pulse of their readers.”
Mindanao Times editor in chief Amalia Cabusao receives the Best in Reporting on Migration Issue trophy, daily newspaper category.
Mindanao Times, published in Davao City, was cited for its regular coverage of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and government services and programs for OFW repatriation during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also featured the lives of overseas Filipinos beyond their work, showing how Filipinos are integrating into the cultures of their countries of destination and how they maintain their identity and culture while abroad.
Baguio Chronicle officers pose with their trophy for the Best in Reporting on Migration Issues, weekly newspaper category.
Baguio Chronicle, based in Baguio City, was commended for its stories that focused on the needs of overseas Filipinos and on their achievements, giving a human face to the Filipino diaspora. Also notable was the newspaper’s coverage of internal migration in the Cordillera region and in Baguio City, as local governments tried to balance the need to protect their residents from COVID-19 and the need for businesses to maintain operations and for workers to earn a livelihood.
Last year, winners were the Daily Guardian, Iloilo City, for the dailies and Luzonwide News Correspondent, Ilagan, Isabela, for the weeklies.