As the print industry continues to face challenges brought about by disruptive technology and innovation and a changing consumer landscape, the Philippine Press Institute shone the spotlight on the best of the best among the community newspapers across the country.
Cebu Daily News bagged three of five major awards for the daily newspaper category for the 2018 Civic Journalism Community Press Awards, namely the Best Edited Community Newspaper, Best Editorial Page, and Best in Photojournalism.
Edge Davao, on the other hand, garnered the Best in Business and Economic Reporting and Best in Environment Reporting awards for the daily newspaper category.
Baguio-based weekly newspapers Herald Express and Baguio Chronicle were awarded the Best Edited Newspaper and Best in Environment Reporting, respectively, for the weekly newspaper category.
Other winners were The Bohol Chronicle for the Best Editorial Page; Cagayan de Oro’s Business Week Mindanao for Best in Business and Economic Reporting; and Dumaguete’s Metro Post for Best in Photojournalism.
“The industry is being buffeted by dizzying winds of change. Today – as in the past – any technology that accelerates information has the power to disrupt; so it is with the internet and social media…We must adapt to the technology sooner or later if we are to survive. We have to be realistic that this world has changed and adapt to the reality on the ground,” newly-elected PPI chairman and Manila Standard publisher Rolando Estabillo said.
Despite the challenges, Estabillo said newspapers, especially community papers, have the responsibility, more now than ever, to continue reporting on issues that have direct impact on Filipinos.
Speaking on behalf of the winners, Dexter See of Baguio’s Herald Express acknowledged as much: “It takes hard work, and involves pure sacrifice and passion for the job. That’s why we are here.”
The board of judges for the press awards was composed of Joyce Babe Pañares, PPI trustee and news editor of Manila Standard as chairperson; Nickel Asia Corporation vice president for corporate communication Jose Bayani Baylon; Science and Development Network Asia Pacific Coordinator Joel Adriano; University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication dean Arminda Santiago; and Photojournalists’ Center of the Philippines member Angelo de Silva.
Meanwhile, institutions that served as regional screening committees were: the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC), Graduate School ( for Luzon); University of Sto. Tomas (UST), Journalism Program (for Visayas); and Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), Department of Journalism (for Mindanao).