Recognizing the importance of science and technology reporting

by Admin-Phmp

By Henrylito D. Tacio

(Author’s note: This article came out in Philippine Graphic and was published in 2018. We are republishing it here)

“Just to give recognition and convey appreciation to our media on the important contribution they are making to create more awareness on the importance and on opportunities offered by science and technology.”

With those words, Science Secretary Fortunato T. dela Peña summed up the recent 2018 Bantog: The Science for the People Media Awards held at the Philippine International Convention Center.

“You are our bearer of good news, ensuring that the right information is received where and when it is needed,” the science secretary said in his message.   “Through the years, you have been our reliable partners, fully committed to giving information that will prove beneficial to our people.”

“Your hard work and dedication are invaluable in our quest to create a culture of science among our people by creating good stories that will inspire them to embrace science and technology to become better students, better entrepreneurs, better professionals, and better citizens,” commented Dr. Richard P. Burgos, director of Science and Technology Information Institute, the information and marketing arm of the Department of Science and Technology.

Bantog, which means eminent in English, defines “the radiance of the stars or prominent individuals in their respective fields of practice.”  It recognizes the important role of media practitioners (print, radio, television and online) in government and private practice, who made significant contributions to the promotion of science and technology information.

The recognition was patterned after the first S&T Media Awards – also known as the Dr. Jose L. Guerrero Awards held in 2012. It has four categories: Institutional Media Award, Outstanding S&T Journalist Award, Outstanding Regional Media Practitioner, and Outstanding Information Officer Award.

The Institutional Media Award is given to an institution, team or publishing company that has served as a vital link between the science and technology sectors and its clients through information advocacy in television shows, radio programs, publications, and in social media.

The winners were: Business Mirror for print, DZEC Radyo Agila of Eagle Broadcasting Corporation for radio, Panahon TV of UBE Media for television, and GMA Social Media Section of GMA Network for cyber press.

The Outstanding S&T Journalist Award is bestowed to an individual media practitioner, journalist, reporter, broadcaster, anchor, writer, contributor who has been an ardent advocate of science and technology in television shows, radio programs, publications, newspapers and in social media.

In the print category, the winners were Stephanie B. Tumampos of Business Mirror, first place; Henrylito D. Tacio, a contributor of Marid Agribusiness Digest, second place; and Paul M. Icamina of Malaya Business Insight, third place.

The three winners in the radio category were all from DZEC Radyo Agila: Custer C. Deocaris, first place; Josephine D. Agapito, second place; and Anabelle D. Surara, third place.

In the television category, ABS-CBN got two winners: Bettina F. Magsaysay (second place) and Michael Joe T. Delizo (third place).  Connie Sison of GMA Network emerged the top winner.

The news online of GMA Network also got the top prize in the cyber press category in the person of Mikael Angelo S. Francisco.  Ruby Shaira F. Panela of Rappler settled for second place while third placer was Angelica Y. Yang, a freelance journalist.

All winners received trophies, plaques and cash prizes (P100,000 for first place, P50,000 for second place, and P25,000 for third place).

There was a lone winner of Regional Media Practitioner, which is given to an individual media practitioner, journalist, reporter, broadcaster, writer, contributor who has shown strong support in promoting science and technology information in the local setting.

The winner was Ian O. Flores of Sun.Star Pampanga, who brought home a trophy, plaque and P50,000 cash prize for his feat.

The three winners of the Outstanding Officers – given to an exemplary office in DOST working in the area of communication production and dissemination – were Maria Elena A. Talingdan, first place; Hans Joshua V. Dantes, second place; and Sheila Marie S. Claver, third place.  Aside from trophies and plaques, the winners also brought home P30,000, P20,000 and P10,000, respectively.

All in all, 47 entries were received by the Bantog Awards team.  They were given to the board of judges composed of Reynaldo H. Hulog, executive director of Kapisanan ng mga Broadkaster ng Pilipinas; Queena N. Lee-Chua, professor of the school of science and engineering at the Ateneo de Manila University; Raymund Enriquez Liboro, commissioner of the National Privacy Commission; Erwin Lemuel Oliva, head of the content management for Digital Marketing of Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company; Ramon R. Osorio, vice president and head of corporate communications of ABS-CBN Corporation; and Ma. Theresa H. Velasco, dean of the college of development communication at the University of the Philippines at Los Baños.

The Bantog Team was composed of Dr. Burgos as program leader, Ma. Lilibeth P. Padilla as project manager, and Benedict P. Cagaanan as assistant project leader.  The project staff was composed of Gerardo C. de Jesus, Karene E. Ramirez, and Allyana A. Almonte.

“The winners are mostly millennials,” observed Padilla.  “So, at their young age, they have the passion to get more good stories – not those straight press releases but those with relevance and substance.” – ###

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