P100,000 at stake for nominees to DOST science journalism awards
MANILA, Philippines – Science journalism is receiving some support from the government as the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) launched on Monday, February 26, "Bantog," the 2018 Science for the People Media Awards.
Nominations are now open.
It has four categories: the Institutional Award (Media Organizations); Professional Award (Media Practitioners); Regional Media Practitioner Award; and DOST Outstanding Information Officer Award.
The Professional Award for Outstanding Science and Technology Journalist has four sub-categories: TV, radio, print, and online.
The winners of each category stand to receive P100,000, first prize; P50,000, second prize; and P25,000, third prize. Media organizations will not be receiving monetary rewards however.
It also has a category for Regional Media Practitioner with one winner who will receive P50,000 worth of training anywhere in the country.
For the DOST Outstanding Information Officer, a competition among the department's and its 18 attached agencies' information officers, the 1st prize comes with P30,000; 2nd Prize, P20,000; and 3rd Prize, P10,000.
All the winners of the competition will receive specially crafted trophies.
DOST has 18 agencies under its wings, three sectoral planning councils, seven research and development (R&D) institutes, six scientific and technological service institutes, and two advisory bodies.
The department, headed by Secretary Fortunato de la Pena, also has 17 regional offices, including the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
At the launch, the DOST head cited the importance of communicating the government's S&T programs and projects and the products that result from research and development and what the benefits are for the people.
Richard Pomar Burgos, executive director of STII, said "Bantog" is both at the front and back of communicating science.
"It's at the tailend, but in a way it's at the forefront, it raises the bar in the process of excellence," he said.
"Bantog" actually shows "we can do better," Burgos said of the STII's new program, which is "Communicating Science for the People: Considerations Towards A Strategic Communication Plan for DOST."
Burgos said funding for the science journalism competition comes from the DOST's grants-in-aid (GIA) worth P70 million for 2018 alone.
There are other projects, he said, for the P70-million GIA, such as the DOST TV (DOSTV), information, education and communication (IEC) campaign, another for helping information officers of DOST down to the regional level, as well as an initiative being developed on a communication systems meant to address people's inquiries about DOST programs and projects, and the STARBOOKS digital library.
"We have funding for communicating science. We have to be aggressive. We hope we can sustain it. We need to communicate, what science means to the people," said Burgos.
The STII head said they can't do it alone and that they need all the help they can get. It must be a total effort, not just DOST.
All the information officers of DOST and its 18 attached agencies and 17 regional offices are qualified to join, said Dr. Aristotle "Toti" Carandang, chief of STII's Communication, Resources and Production Division (CRPD).
He invited members of the media and DOST information officers to consider joining the "Bantog" competition.
"The DOST 'Bantog' Award for Science Journalists is a celebration of the partnership between DOST and the various media organizations helping spread the message of science, technology and innovation (STI). Hopefully, the award will open the doors for the mainstreaming of science journalism and the popularity of science among Filipinos, including students," said Carandang.
He said the competition is also a way to bring awareness to Filipinos and bring science and technology closer to them because it unlocks many opportunities and brings benefits.
The "Bantog" competition is open to all national and regional members of the media.
Nominees should be Filipinos/Filipino-owned media companies that have broadcasted and published S&T information from January 2017 to March 2018.
On the other hand, the materials' quality released will be based on the nature and motivational appeal to and impact on the audience.
DOST's regional offices are allowed to send a nomination for one Outstanding Information Officer Award and one Best Regional Media Practitioner Award.
Every nomination can be forwarded to Public Affairs Unit, STII, at DOST Complex, Bicutan, Taguig City, Metro Manila. Cut-off date for submission of nomination is on April 2, 2018.
Nomination must be accompanied by a comprehensive bio-data, accomplishments, copies of published write-ups and articles or programs on S&T.
Nominees for Regional Information Officer must also send in letter of recommendation and certificate of employment.
DOST-STII described the award's aim as giving "recognition" to media practitioners' important role, from government and private organizations, "who made significant contributions towards the promotion of science and technology."
"Bantog's" objectives include strengthening DOST's partnership with the media.
Relatedly, the criteria for judging "Bantog" entries are the continuous support or commitment in promoting various development in the field of S&T, and sustained information on S&T.
For Professional, Regional Media Practitioner, and Information Officer categories, the criteria revolve around the message's substance; effectiveness of the approach; simplicity and clarity of the material; and the information's motivating factor. – Rappler.com