Jaime V. Ongpin Awards for Excellence in Journalism

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Jaime V. Ongpin Awards for Excellence in Journalism

The Jaime V. Ongpin Awards for Excellence in Journalism (JVOAEJ) is an award that promotes and encourages in-depth reporting. It is a yearly event organized by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) to promote the practice of investigative and explanatory journalism. These involve the basic clocks for any kind of reporting: research, probe, inquiry, and corroboration to insure the validity of one's findings.

The JVOAEJ program serves as a memorial to recall the efforts of the late Jaime V. Ongpin to strengthen the "alternative press" during the latter years of the Marcos regime.


Background of the Awards

The first JVOAEJ was launched in 1990 to honor the late Jaime V. Ongpin, who was secretary of finance during the Aquino administration. A press freedom advocate, Ongpin was involved in the struggle against the Marcos dictatorship and was instrumental in harnessing public support for the restoration of democracy.

The award recognized the importance of investigative skills for effective journalism and awarded with a single category the best in investigative reports for the year. In 2002, however, CMFR added a new category, that of explanatory reporting. Through this category, CMFR promotes more straightforward explanations of developments, programs and process, controversies in the news.

Also, since 1995, the awarding ceremony is preceded by a JVO Seminar on Investigative Journalism in order to broaden public interest and support for the development of investigative journalism. The seminar invites journalism students from different schools to interact with the panel of finalists who talk about how they worked on (from story idea to reasearch to writing) the nominated articles.

The Awards and Prizes

CMFR serves as the technical and administrative secretariat of the Awards. To select the winners, CMFR conducts an independent scanning, screening and judgment process to search out the best investigative work of the past year.

There are two general categories: investigative reporting and explanatory reporting. Customarily, reports published by daily newspapers were judged separately from those published by non-dailies. Thus, there are two sets of first, second, and third prizes for the investigative and explanatory categories.

The first prize winners in the daily and non-daily division of the investigative and the explanatory category each receive a cash prize of P70,000 and a plaque. Second prize winners receive P40,000 and third prize winners receive P20,000. All winner also receive a plaque.

Two embassies have also provided study grants and tours to the first prize winners, the Marshall McLuhan Fellowship of the Canadian Embassy for the winner of the first prize in investigative category and the Australian Ambassadors’ Award for the first prize winner of explanatory awards.




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