Charisma Love B. Gado of PhilRice`s Development Communication Division bagged the best regional feature story in the 4th Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corp. Bright Leaf Agriculture Journalism Awards held Jan. 18 at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel in Pasay City.
Published in the 2010 first quarter issue of PhilRice Magazine, her winning story titled Bringing back the grains, featured how the Institute’s location-specific technology development (LSTD) project can help farmers cope with tungro attacks in Calabanga and Libmanan, Camarines Sur.
Organizers said the best regional features story is given to the “creator of the best print, radio, or television piece that expresses the most interesting aspect or creative angle of a region’s agricultural landscape.” Like winners in other categories, Gado received a trophy and cash prize.
Gado, who also won first place in the 2005 essay writing contest (Luzon category) given by the Civil Service Commission and European Commission, wrote in her article, “With LSTD, farmers can see with their own eyes and experience the technologies, which they think are best for their rice farms.”
The farmers she interviewed also believe that “with LSTD, land tillers in Camarines Sur would have a better life as the technologies they would adopt and localize will hopefully bring back the grains that tungro stole from them.”
Meanwhile, Chris Nelson, president of Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corporation Inc., said in his opening speech that “today, more than ever, it is important to bring to light the issues and movements that define today’s agricultural industry by encouraging reportage on this sector.”
Nelson also announced that this year’s search evaluated more than 900 entries from all over the country competing in 10 categories. The award’s categories include agricultural story of the year, tobacco story of the year, best television program or segment, best radio program or segment, agricultural photo of the year, tobacco photo of the year, best regional news story, best national news story, best regional features story, and best national features story.
Launched in 2007, the annual Bright Leaf Agriculture Journalism Awards recognizes the works of amateur and professional journalists nationwide in the field of agriculture. It “honors the best print features, radio pieces, video stories or photographs, which promoted or created awareness on the most current agricultural issues and the best farming practices on environmental care, safety, and crop sustainability.”
Mach Alberto Fabe of Business Mirror was awarded the Agriculture Story of the Year for his article on rice-duck integrated farming while Teddy Molina of the Philippine Star received the Tobacco Story of the Year for his article, Tobacco not just for making cigarettes.
The award body also named Luntiang Daan, an entry of Edgardo Espiritu of the Philippine Daily Inquirer as Agriculture Photo of the Year and The best among the best of Philippine Star’s Andy Zapata as Tobacco Photo of the Year.
Other winners were: Bagong Maunlad na Agrikultura (Best Agriculture Television Show/Segment); Jun Villanueva, Bombo Radyo (Best Agriculture Radio Show/ Segment); Jonathan Mayuga, Business Mirror (Best National Agriculture News Story); Adora Rodriguez, Philippine Star (Best Regional Agriculture News Story); and Edmon Agron, BAR Chronicle (Best National Feature Story).
A new category called the Oriental Leaf Awards was also introduced to honor journalists who have consistently contributed winning pieces to the competition. Melpha Abello and Zac Sarian, both from the Manila Bulletin, were the recipients of the new award category.