Journalist Christian Esguerra was named as the 2020 Marshall McLuhan fellow on Friday, October 9.
The Marshall McLuhan Award is given annually by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility and the Canadian embassy in the Philippines to a Filipino journalist who has exhibited excellent work in the preceding year.
Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines Peter MacArthur presented the award at the end of the virtual Jaime V. Ongpin Journalism Seminar (JVOJS), which gathered and recognized 6 journalists for their excellent work.
“This year’s McLuhan fellowship goes to a journalist whose passion for the craft transcends new platform and whose proficient mastery to discover and explain the facts restricts the space for disinformation to thrive,” MacArthur said.
The fellow will undertake a speaking tour in Canada in March 2021.
Esguerra is an anchor for the ABS-CBN News Channel and was formerly a multimedia correspondent for the network.
Prior to this, he was a longtime journalist at the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the country’s largest newspaper.
In last year’s JVOJS, Esguerra also received the award of distinction from CMFR.
Camille Diola, editor in chief of PhilStar.com, received this year’s award of distinction.
The 4 other panelists in this year’s seminar include:
- Lian Buan, Rappler
- Raffy Tima, GMA
- Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN
- Chiara Zambrano, ABS-CBN
Media during pandemic
During the panel discussion, journalists dissected the challenges the media is facing during the pandemic.
Esguerra highlighted how the health crisis has “given an excuse for a lot of people in power” to control the flow of information.
He then called on fellow journalists to be braver during these unprecedented times.
“As always [media] coverage can still improve a lot. There’s a lot of pushback or effort from media to clarify things and hold them to account. But if you look at other issues – ABS-CBN franchise, speakership – we see there’s a tendency for media practicitioners to fall for the spin…. Kailangan ng karagdagang tapang (More courage is needed) because a lot of us in the media are actually meek,” Esguerra said.
The Marshall McLuhan Fellowship was first awarded in 1997. At least 21 journalists have been named as fellows, including Sheila S. Coronel (Columbia Journalism School and Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism), Yvonne T. Chua (VERA Files), Ed Lingao (TV5), Carolyn O. Arguillas (MindaNews), Cheche Lazaro (ProbeTV), Rappler multimedia journalist Patricia Evangelista, and Rappler editors Glenda M. Gloria and Miriam Grace A. Go. – Rappler.com
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