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Awardees: ‘Use journalism to empower, inspire’

By Leslie Bataliones

“THE ROLE OF journalism is not only to pursue truth but also to inspire the public to act.” This was the collective message of the three awardees of the 2013 Metrobank Search for Journalists of the Year (JOY).

Journalists Jarius Bondoc, Rodrigo “Jiggy” Manicad and Maria Lourdes “Malou” Mangahas shared their experiences in their respective fields during the 2nd Metrobank Foundation Lecture Series in Journalism at the Luce Auditorium last June 27.

Woman behind the investigation
“Magtanong, magsaliksik, linangin and kaisipan…kapag may katiwalian at pang-aabuso, karapatan mong malaman ang katotohanan.”
This line is from the GMA 7 show, Investigative Documentaries, which is hosted by Maria Lourdes “Malou” Mangahas, Executive Director of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism.

As a distinguished investigative journalist, Mangahas said the role of an investigative journalist is to present the anomalies to the readers with accurate figures and factual truth.

Mangahas also said that through her investigative reports on corruption, poverty, and political dynasty, people become more empowered and more aware on what is happening in the society.

“It’s our task to tell stories. Stories that would empower citizens, push the nation to progress, and uplift the people to act,” Mangahas said.

Man behind the column
Jarius Bondoc, columnist of the Philippine Star and the man who exposed the NBN ZTE deal in 2007, said that “journalists’ work can alter public perception, state policy, and history.”
However, Bondoc added that the challenge of being a journalist is to face the numerous personal attacks, death threats, and legal harassment.”

Despite the predictable threats, Bondoc said that even if “no story is worth endangering your life for,” as a journalist one must “sacrifice and contribute his share to the society for a better tomorrow.”

Reporter behind the screen
Despite the unavailability of Rodrigo “Jiggy” Manicad, news producer and anchor of GMA 7 News and Public Affairs, he was able to share his expertise through a video presentation.
Manicad shared most of his reports about mutiny and conflict in Mindanao. He narrated the encounter between the encounter between the rebel groups MILF and the Abu Sayyaf and the marines and the PNP Provincial Mobile group during last year’s ARMM elections in Tipo-Tipo, Basilan.

Manicad added that the role of a reporter is reporting beyond what is obvious.
“A responsible and credible reporting allows the viewers to be educated, to be enlightened, and to be informed,” Manicad said.
The Search for Journalists of the Year (JOY) recognizes the journalists’ role as bearers of truth. It also honors journalists who excel in print, broadcast, and online media.

“Journalists bring relevant matters into the public sphere to help shape public opinion,” Nicanor L. Torres Jr., Executive Director of the Metrobank Foundation said.~

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