TWO Journalism alumni were acknowledged for their comprehensive and quality reportage of the issues and developments in the country’s agricultural sector last March 22.
Jasper Emmanuel Arcalas and Louise Maureen Simeon were awarded second and third best agriculture beat reporters of the year, respectively, during the 2016 Philippine Agriculture Journalists-San Miguel Corp. Binhi Awards.
Arcalas, a former Varsitarian writer and now a writer for BusinessMirror, emphasized that it is always the duty of a journalist to deliver meaningful and comprehensible news.
“Kritikal na pag-iisip kasi ang isa sa mga susi sa pagkakaroon ng makabuluhang balita. Sa panahon ng social media at fake news, trabaho natin na maghayag na malalalim at mas makabuluhang balitang humihigit sa 5Ws and 1H,” said Arcalas, who graduated in 2016.
“Hindi ko naman akalain na magwawagi ng parangal ‘yung trabahong nagawa ko sa panahong nagsimula ako magtrabaho. […] Hindi rin ako nakatuon sa pagkakaroon ng parangal. Kung mayroong pagkilala sa ating trabaho, tatanggapin natin ng taos-puso ngunit kung wala, tuloy pa rin tayo sa pagsusumikap sa isang makabuluhang pagbabalita,” he added.
Simeon, a former Flame news writer and now a reporter for the Philippine Star, moreover, stressed the importance of remaining accurate and balanced in reporting while helping readers understand a particular topic.
“It (news writing) should always be a balance of accuracy and speed, especially with everyday deadlines and competition with other media outfits,” Simeon said. “As per the agriculture beat, […] it has its own complexity. You have to study a lot of things and be able to translate it in a way that ordinary readers, say, farmers, will be able to understand.”
Simeon, who graduated in 2015, also said her stay with the Flame served as her training ground as a journalist.
“Apart from technical aspects, it was the rapport and working relationship with my co-writers and editors that helped me adjust sa bigger industry,” she said.
Binhi Awards gives recognition to print, broadcast, and online agriculture and environment journalists. F VANN MARLO M. VILLEGAS