College Editors Guild of the Philippines
The College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) is an organization of student journalists and student publications advocating for press freedom. It is considered the largest and oldest existing organization of its kind in the Philippines and the Asia Pacific region. It currently has around 750 members from 500 schools across the country.
CEGP was founded on 25 July 1931 by staff members of several campus papers in Metro Manila, including The Guidon (Ateneo de Manila University), Philippine Collegian (University of the Philippines-Diliman), and Varsitarian (University of Santo Tomas). It was initially headed by Ernesto Rodriguez, Jr., editor-in-chief of National (National University). CEGP started as a traditional organization focusing on gathering student press and honing their journalistic skills.
The political atmosphere during the 1930s influenced CEGP's early involvement in government issues, particularly when it opposed the wage increase of Lower House Representatives. During the World War II, however, CEGP ceased operations when its president Wenceslao Vinzons joined the HUKBALAHAP and was eventually killed. After the war, CEGP resumed operations until the Marcos dictatorship when campus journalism became an alternative press which Marcos called "mosquito press."
During Martial Law, Marcos declared CEGP to be illegal and ordered it dissolved. Many campus journalists were abducted, tortured, imprisoned, and killed. However, CEGP was born anew in the mid-1970s, propelled by massive strikes and street protests, to advocate press freedom and promote democracy, which has become its mandate up to the present.
In its almost 80-year existence, CEGP has been active in the political scene, condemning political excesses and supporting the welfare of marginalized sectors of society, including the working class and the press. CEGP spearheaded the Democratic Reform Movement together with Youth for National Democracy and Alyansa Laban Sa Pagtaas ng Matrikula, to call for the reopening of sequestered publications and removal of military detachments in campuses during Martial Law. In more recent history, CEGP was among those who called for the ouster of Joseph Estrada. Presently, CEGP is campaigning against press freedom violations.
In accordance with its aim of advancing journalistic excellence, CEGP is annually giving awards to outstanding school publications.
- Gawad ERJ, in honor of President Emeritus Ernesto Rodriguez, Jr., is given to excellent student publications in both major and minor forms. Major forms include broadsheet, tabloid, and magazine, while minor forms are website, literary folio, and alternative form.
- Gawad Beng is awarded to the school publication with an outstanding feature on human rights, in tribute to CEGP Mindanao Vice President Benjaline "Beng" Hernandez, a human rights advocate who was killed in Cotabato while working for a fact-finding committee.
- Gawad Marcelo H. del Pilar is given to the most outstanding CEGP alumni.
- College Editors Guild of the Philippines. CEGP Multiply (Accessed on March 23, 2010)
- College Editors Guild of the Philippines. CEGP (Accessed on March 23, 2010)