Chit Estella Journalism AwardsNominations to the 1st Chit Estella Journalism Awards are now open.
The family of Chit (Chit Estella-Simbulan), who died in a vehicle accident May 13, 2011, has set up the Journalism Awards in cooperation with VERA Files and the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communications.
Chit, at the time of her death was a journalism professor at UP-Diliman and trustee of VERA Files, a group that we, together with four other media colleagues – Yvonne Chua, Booma Cruz, Luz Rimban and Jennifer Santiago, set up in March 2008. VERA Files undertakes in-depth reporting on current issues and conducts journalism training.
The Chit Estella Journalism Awards, which are intended to keep alive Chit’s ideals of excellent and principled journalism, will honor the best journalistic report in print and on-line media.
The theme for this year’s contest is human rights as enshrined in the 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
The contest is open to investigative, features, news features and in-depth news articles published between October 1, 2011 to October 1, 2012, the last day for submission of entries.
Nominees can submit a maximum of three stories, written in either English or Filipino. An accompanying recommendation/nomination letter from the editors or publishers is a requirement.
The winners will be announced on December 10, 2012, the International Human Rights Day, at the UP College of Mass Communications Auditorium. They will be chosen by a board of judges composed of four representatives from the Estella/Simbulan family, VERA Files, the UP College of Mass Communications, and a human rights organization.
Each awardee will be given a cash prize of P10, 000 and a trophy.
Entries must be submitted personally or by mail to: Lucia P. Tangi,Chit Estella Journalism Awards,Department of Journalism ,College of Mass Communication,University of the Philippines,Diliman, Quezon City
For more information, please call Lucia P. Tangi at 9206852.
Last Aug. 17, to mark Chit’s birthday (Aug. 19), the Center for people Empowerment in Governance launched the “Chit Estella: a reader on media Ethics, People’s Issues, and Governance.”
The book is a collection of the writings of Chit, lovingly put together by her husband, Roland, a UP political science professor.
Chit is known for good writing. Her prose is clean and clear. Her punchlines are biting and stirring.
Her Editor’s Notes for the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility magazine are dynamic commentaries. There was one titled “From Fresh Eyes” where she tackled the dilemma of journalists reporting on issues sensitive to their employers.
She wrote: “How to navigate in a sea of gray –that is the problem. Would that the world were in black and white. But it’s not. Never was and never will be.
“We need fog lights.”
There’s her piece “Remembering” which touched on the media during martial law. CMFR presented a timeline of events related to media since 1972.
Chit wrote: “One finishes reading the timeline with the uncomfortable thought that the battle for freedom of the press did not and should not end in February 1986.
“And the journey continues.”
“Remembering” was written on Sept. 23, 2007. She could have written today and message would still apply.