campus journalism

CAMAF 2021 highlights role of campus journalists in preserving press freedom

CAMAF 2021 highlights role of campus journalists in preserving press freedom

Photo from The National

More than 300 participants representing 113 schools join this year's Camilo Osias Arts Festival

This is a press release from The National, National University’s official campus publication.

The National, National University’s official campus publication, has officially concluded its first-ever search for outstanding campus journalists through the Camilo Osias Arts Festival (CAMAF) last April 12, 2021. 

This festival was a national competition that has appraised the skills of campus journalists in different fields, along with the objective of highlighting the role of media in sustaining press freedom. 

More than 300 participants from 133 schools across the country joined the CAMAF 2021. 

Only bonafide senior high school students were allowed to join the main event, Camilo Osias Search for Ten Outstanding Student Journalists (CSTOSJ), which consisted of writing competitions in the categories of news, editorial, and sports. 

Meanwhile, both Senior High School and College students have joined other events including photojournalism, editorial cartooning, and flash report.  

Due to health and safety protocols and restrictions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, the said contest events were held online. 

CSOTSJ’s top three winners were:

  • First place: Luis Antonio Licas (National Capital Region) 
  • Second place: Karl Patrick Suyat  (Region IV-A)
  • Third place: Bryan Roy Raagas (Region IV-A)

The winners for all competitions were awarded SM gift cheques worth P5,000 for first place, P3,000 for second place, and P1,000 for third place. The top ten winners of each category were recognized and were given e-certificates. 

VICTORS. Ten student journalists from different high schools in the Philippines receive accolades from National University’s Camilo Osias Arts Festival 2021.
Photo from The National

The theme of this year’s CAMAF, ‘Amplifying the Role of Campus Journalists towards Press Liberty Amidst Pandemic,’ calls on the students to look beyond the awards and recognitions and embody the true essence of campus journalists despite all the challenges that hamper them from performing their duties as the “purveyors of truth” during this ongoing health emergency. 

During the time of the pandemic, the public is hungry for more information, and more journalists are needed to take action in maintaining press freedom. Without journalism, the public will have a hard time knowing about the standard health protocols and the importance of vaccinations, at least until they get infected with the virus. 

Journalism has been changing the lives of Filipinos for many years through reporting current and newsworthy events happening across society. Press freedom allows journalists to give informed opinions without suppression and intimidation from the government. 

In addition, press freedom makes it easier for journalists to do their job in spreading verified updates about the effects of the pandemic.

CAMAF 2021 invited noted journalists, such as Mr. Nonoy Espina of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, Ms. MJ Marfori of News5, and Mr. Raffy Tima of GMA News and Public Affairs,  last March 20 to deliver keynote addresses about the main theme of CAMAF 2021.

Aside from celebrating the role of journalists in the ongoing pandemic, CAMAF also commemorates National University’s first president, Camilo Osias. Osias was a Filipino educator, a prominent politician, and a defender of academic freedom and civil liberties. He also served as the first Filipino school division superintendent, a Senator in the Philippine congress, and a resident commissioner in the United States House of Representatives.   

The National (TN) is the official school publication of National University established in the founding years of the institution with the virtue of embodying the student campus media and press to provide imperative news and information occurring inside and outside the university.

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CAMAF 2021 is co-presented by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, in cooperation with Bulatlat, SparkUp Media Summit,, The Philippine Online Student Tambayan,, Cebu Literary Festival, Cebu Federation of Journalism and Communication Students, and MovePH.  

The National has also partnered with regional radio stations such as Monster Rx93.1, Radio Natin, Radio Life-  DZAT Southern Tagalog, J101.5 Big Radio FM, and Radyo Pilipino.  Among the official partners of the said organization are two of today’s most popular podcasts, It’s Round the table of Cut Print Podcast Network and Huntahan Nights.