Varsitarian announces winners of 9th UST Nat’l Campus Journalism Awards

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THE FLAME, the official student publication of the Faculty of Arts and Letters of the University of Santo Tomas, dominated the 9th UST National Campus Journalism Awards (UNCJA), winning in two out of three categories, according to the UST Varsitarian, organizer and sponsor of the annual campus press derby.

Best Editorial went to “From Teachers to Whitewashers,” by Fatima Baduria and Bless Ogerio of The Flame. The editorial criticizes the exclusion of Ferdinand Marcos Sr.’s name in references to his dictatorship in the new basic education curriculum under Vice President and concurrent Education Secretary Sara Duterte, who was running mate of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. in the 2022 elections.

The Flame also won Best In-depth Report for “Jeepney Modernization Program: Drivers Have a Steep Price to Pay” by Pauline Bautista, Robb Moya, and Joss Oliveros. It tackles transport groups and jeepney drivers’ woes against the government’s public utility vehicle modernization program.

Eliseo Rioja from Tinig ng Plaridel, the official student publication of the University of the Philippines Diliman (UP Diliman) College of Mass Communication, won Best Feature for “Breaking Barriers: ‘High’ Demand for Anthro 198 Reveals Need for FSL Course.” The piece tells the story of the students of a Filipino Sign Language course at UP Diliman.

The winning entries were selected from nearly 300 entries across three categories submitted by 60 college and university-level student publications nationwide.

Each winning entry will receive a P20,000 cash prize and a certificate.

The Flame also earned a special jury citation in the in-depth reporting category with “After Surviving Lockdowns, Small Food Businesses Grapple With High Commodity Prices” by Joss Oliveros, Zoe Aguinaldo, and Trisha Tamio.

The Guidon, the official student publication of Ateneo de Manila University, also received a special jury citation for in-depth reporting for its entry “This Article is Co-written by ChatGPT” by Aidan Bernales and Felicia Singson. The report tackles the use of artificial intelligence in the academic setting from the perspective of educators.

“The Transportation Crisis is an Affront to Our Right to Live” and “The Board of Regents Faces a Confidence Crisis of Its Own Making” by Daniel Daiz from the Philippine Collegian of UP Diliman received special jury citations in editorial writing.

Earning special jury citations in feature writing are “Katipunan Kariton Routine” by Francessca Abalos and Katrina Antonio of The Guidon; and “‘Agan-anus ka’: The Tales of an Anguyub” by James Tagalan of The CSU Communicator of the Cagayan State University Andrews.

The panel of judges consists of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Manuel Mogato, veteran broadcast journalist and VERA Files co-founder Luz Rimban, columnist and author Joel Salud, Palanca-winning author Eros Atalia, The Philippine Star’s Malacañang reporter Alexis Romero, and Philstar.com chief editor Camille Diola.

The winners of the 9th UNCJA will formally receive their prizes on Jan. 12 during the 25th Inkblots, the Varsitarian’s annual fellowship of campus journalists and journalism practitioners.

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