Silliman University College of Mass Communication (SU-CMC) launched the Dionisio T. Baseleres Award for Excellence in Campus Journalism last February 22, during its celebration of 52nd MassCom Week.
The award is given by the Baseleres family in honor of the late Dionisio T. Baseleres, Editor-in-Chief of the Weekly Sillimanian (tWS) when Martial Law was declared in the Philippines on September 21, 1972.
The tWS then was critical of the Marcos dictatorship and Baseleres was imprisoned for writing fearless editorials attacking the regime.
According to the guidelines in a Memorandum of Understanding between Silliman and the Baseleres family, the award will be given to a graduating mass communication student who has been an active staff member of tWS since his/her sophomore year.
The recipient of the award should have published the most number of well-written news, in-depth or investigative reports, opinion/commentaries or editorials within those three school years being in tWS.
Bigger weight will be given to applicants who have stories published in the community or national newspapers.
According to Dr. Rosario M. Baseleres, widow of Dionisio and former dean of the SU-CMC, the award aims to inspire Silliman journalism students to be fearless in reporting the truth and to stand by the principles that they have been taught.
“When he was the editor of a community newspaper before, my husband was fearless in reporting the truth and wrote exposes of anomalies in government. He was not the type who backs out from a fight if he knows that he was right,” the former CMC dean added.
Baseleres added that it is also the family’s way of transforming their grief into gratitude. Dionisio passed away last September.
“Grief in losing a beloved and direly missed father and husband. Gratitude to God for his well-lived life spent in dedicated and honest service to the several institutions that he helped to organize or headed,” Dr. Baseleres said.
The first student awardee will receive a cash award of P 5,000.00 and a gold medal during graduation exercises.
Diorson, youngest son and SU law student, delivered the message and read the guidelines during the launching of the award.