Pulitzer Prize winner joins UST journalism faculty

(From left to right) Columbia University President Lee Bollinger, Pulitzer Prize winners Clare Baldwin, Manuel Mogato, and Andrew Marshall. Photo by Eileen Barroso/Columbia University

PULITZER PRIZE-winning journalist Manuel “Manny” Mogato, who was recognized for his coverage of President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody war on illegal drugs, is now a part of the university’s journalism program.

Mogato was appointed as an adjunct professor – a new category for faculty members – last Aug. 27.

The veteran journalist said he aims to inspire students to have passion for and commitment to their craft by sharing his experiences from his nearly 40-year career.

“It’s a public service whether we like it or not. Malaki sa democracy ang ginagawang role ng journalist so nalulungkot lang ako na parang nawawala yung passion, dedication, [and] commitment sa ating profession (Journalists play a big role in democracy so I’m sad that we seem to be losing the passion, dedication, and commitment to our profession),” Mogato told The Flame in an online interview.

Mogato said he accepted the invitation to teach in the university because it is one of the best journalism schools and has produced outstanding journalists.

“I am honored and humbled and happy to be part of this University. And I do hope that I could contribute somehow in molding and helping future journalists in UST,” he added.

Journalism department coordinator Felipe Salvosa II said Mogato would contribute to the program by translating “his war stories into case studies that Gen Z journalism students can learn from.”

“Including him in our faculty roster became possible because of the forward-looking policies of the Office of the Vice Rector for Academic Affairs that now allow us to benefit from the industry expertise of adjunct faculty, which is a new category among academic staff,” Salvosa added.

Mogato has been a journalist since 1983 and has covered politics, disasters, insurgencies, and defense issues.

He was a political correspondent for Reuters when he and colleagues Clare Baldwin and Andrew Marshall bagged the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting in 2018 for their stories that exposed the “brutal killing campaign” behind Duterte’s drug war.

Reuters’ series of reports was mentioned more than 80 times by former International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda when she requested the tribunal to probe the drug crackdown. More than 6,000 drug suspects have been killed since Duterte declared his war on narcotics in 2016.

“I feel very happy and very satisfied [with my] job because we have exposed what is really happening in the Philippines under Duterte, when people’s side was trampled and disregarded and human rights are ignored,” Mogato, also a recipient of the Roy Rowan Award for best investigative reporting, said.

Mogato is now an editor-at-large for PressOne.ph and News5 Digital and a host for One PH and Radyo Singko.

While Mogato just started his teaching stint in the university’s journalism department – where he is handling a political reporting course – he is no stranger to academic work. He taught journalism courses in his alma mater Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila for more than 16 years.

Mogato advised journalism students to develop speed and accuracy and to be knowledgeable about social issues.

“Covering politics involves a wide scope…It also includes defense and diplomacy—national security diplomacy. You cover conflicts, you cover foreign policy. Sometimes political events can influence economic policy or the stock market, the currency,” he said.

“All of these are affected by government policies… So because of my experience in covering these, hopefully, I can provide some inspiration or guidance to our future journalists.” Fwith reports from Matthew Dave Jucom

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