Arts and Letters journalism professor Christian Esguerra delivers his keynote address in an annual journalism conference at UP Diliman.

THE CENTER for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) gave an award of distinction in journalism to Artlets professor Christian Esguerra during the Jaime V. Ongpin Journalism Seminar on Aug. 29.

Esguerra, who was also one of the panelists in the event, was lauded by the CMFR for “his untiring efforts to interpret the meaning of events and explain the issues in the news that confront Filipinos in these difficult times.”

In the forum, he stressed the requirements that journalists need to fulfill to effectively report the news, such as being knowledgeable of the subject matter.

“When you [explain] issues, you have to make sure that you [also] understand [them],” he said. “As a journalist, you have to put substance in your head—hindi tayo puwedeng nagpapanggap lang [na may alam].”

Journalists should also avoid “parrot journalism,” or merely reporting what was said by the news subject.

“One important thing that every journalist should realize, especially if you are covering politics, is you should not be partisan [or] be one side’s political rah-rah boy,” Esguerra said. “The job of the journalist is to hold those in power into account.”


Patricia Evangelista, a Rappler reporter, was this year’s Marshall McLuhan fellow.

Together with Esguerra as panelists were ABS-CBN journalist Chiara Zambrano, Rappler’s Evangelista and Rambo Talabong, TV5’s Ed Lingao, GMA7’s Jun Veneracion and Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism’s Malou Mangahas.

The seminar, held annually in remembrance of press freedom advocate Jaime V. Ongpin, tackled timely issues including the drug war, elections, politics, corruption in the government, and China and the West Philippine Sea.


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