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The 2015 Titus Brandsma Media Awards

Tuesday 1 December 2015, by SIGNIS

Manila, Brussels, December 1st, 2015 (SIGNIS/ Florangel Rosario Braid/Manilla Buletin). Recently, five communicators were recognized by the Titus Brandsma Award Philippines (TBA) for their outstanding leadership in the field and for having demonstrated the principles that guided the life of Titus Brandsma, a Carmelite priest, journalist, educator and mystic who defended press freedom and the right to education.

The awardees were:

  • Leadership in Journalism – Yvonne T. Chua;
  • Leadership in Social Communication – Fr. Franz-Josef Eilers;
  • Leadership in Cultural Communication – Gary Granada;
  • Leadership in Community Communication – Abner P. Francisco;
  • Emerging Leadership in Journalism – Raymundo B. Villanueva.

Chua is a professor at the University of the Philippines in Quezon City, and co-founder of Vera Files, an online investigative news agency where she writes, edits and manages the website that discusses in-depth stories on development issues. Her award-winning stories on corruption had led to reforms in various government agencies because of her expertise in Data or Precision Journalism where she uses information culled from research studies.

Fr. Eilers, professor of Social Communication and Missiology at the Divine Word School of Theology and the University of Santo Tomas, has authored books on social communication. He is Consultor of the Pontifical Council for Social Communities at the Vatican in Rome where he also teaches in several schools, and professor of development communication at UP Los Banos. He was formerly Executive Director of Social Communication of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conference.

Granada is a singer and song-writer whose songs reflect his understanding of nationalism and independence. His music is a catalyst for political action, an instrument that allows his listeners to appreciate the complexity of their conditions by effectively mirroring the prevailing social reality. His songs include Bahay, Kanluran, Minsa’y Isang Bansa, and several others, most of them capturing the contemporary Philippine experience.

Francisco is known for his work as a community journalist and catalyst in North Cotabato. A co-founder of CANA, or Citizen Action Network for Accountability, he regularly conducts training and workshops for LGUs (local government units) to promote greater transparency and accountability in such areas as budgeting and audit to ensure that funds allotted for disasters and other community concerns are properly spent.

Villanueva who is director for Radio of Kodao Productions, a multimedia radio and production group, had won various awards and citations for his work. A prolific writer and storyteller, he had written articles on peace, conflict, disasters, human rights and social justice.

The Rev. Bernard Roosendaal, O.Carm., founding director of the Titus Brandsma Center was this year’s keynote speaker. Fr. Bernard who is prior of the Teresa de Avila Community came to the Philippines in 1961 where he became a pastor in several parishes in the Visayas. He was one of the founders of the Institute of Spirituality in Asia. Besides his involvement as one of the initiators of the Awards project, he was also instrumental in ensuring the sustainability of projects such as the regular film dialogues at the TB Media Center (which marked its 20th year) and lectures at the Institute of Spirituality in Asia.

The Titus Brandsma Award is a biennial activity of the Titus Brandsma Center which to date had recognized over 30 communication and media professionals and practitioners, among them two media freedom martyrs – Marlene Esperat and Edgar Damelario.

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