Inquirer and NEWS CORE’s Estrope wins Bright Leaf Journalism Awards

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MAKATI CITY–Philippine Daily Inquirer Correspondent for Bulacan and NEWS CORE publisher and editor-in-chief Carmela Reyes-Estrope is one of this year’s 12 winners in the 16th Bright Leaf Agriculture Journalism Awards along with 11 other journalists from different parts of the country.

With the theme, “Harvesting Progress,” the awards night was held at Fairmont Hotel here on Monday.

Estrope bagged the Best Agriculture News Story (National) category for her article, “Bulacan Moves to Protect Poultry Farms from Bird Flu,” which focuses on the challenges and importance of protecting poultry farms across the nation from bird flu, which has become a serious problem that affects the Philippine poultry market.

The news article which came out on February 14 this year and landed in the front page of Inquirer focused on the positive steps the Bulacan provincial government through the provincial veterinary office headed by Dr. Voltaire Basinang implements in protecting the poultry farms in the province. Their works had served an exemplary example in the countryside and mainstream poultry meat-producing provinces and areas while the country was then under threat with another fowl influenza.

Reyes-Estrope has been in the Inquirer for 25 years now and a journalist for 30 years. She founded NEWS CORE in 2006.

This year’s Bright Leaf Awards has 12 categories–Agriculture Story of the Year Best Agriculture TV Story Best Agriculture Radio Story Best Agriculture News Story (National) Best Agriculture News Story (Regional) Best Agriculture Feature Story (National) Best Agriculture Feature Story (Regional) Best Online Story Best Story in Tobacco Product Alternatives Best Tobacco Story Tobacco Photo of the Year Agriculture Photo of the Year.

Willie Lomibao, a photographer of Philippine Daily Inquirer in Pangasinan won for his photograph for Sunday Punch, titled, “Gold Harvest” which features a tobacco farmer diligently inspecting tobacco leaves that were being dried on his farm in Barangay Angio in San Fabian, Pangasinan. Here, the tobacco industry has been a source of income and provided a livelihood to most residents in the region.

According to Dave Gomez, global communications head of PMFTC Inc., the business combination between the LTG and Philip Morris International (PMI), which currently organizes the Bright Leaf Awards said the theme  “Harvesting Progress” brings the best and the brightest agriculture journalists and their stories from across the country in three years through a face to face event following the pandemic.

Gomez said the awards is a celebration of what agriculture journalists have achieved for the country amid the challenges brought by the pandemic and other major agricultural concerns. “We are able to celebrate what we have achieved and to bring agriculture stories in different news platforms,” he said. “We are sowing the seeds for the future journalists as there are bounty of stories to also celebrate the unsung heroes in agriculture”.

Gomez also led a one minute of silence and prayer for the death on Sunday of Rina Jimenez-David, a consistent judge in the Bright Leaf Awards for five years.

Philippine Daily Inquirer Correspondent and NEWS CORE Publisher and Editor-In-Chief Carmela Bautista Reyes-Estrope in red and white attire with the rest of the 11 other winners in this year’s 16th Bright Leaf Agriculture Journalism Awards during the awards night on Monday night in Makati City.

The Bright Leaf Journalism Award is an annual journalism competition given to individuals and teams who created different agricultural stories in the Philippines. But beyond that, the Bright Leaf Awards builds a sense of community and integrity among agricultural journalists and media practitioners, while still emphasizing the value of telling stories about Philippine agriculture and providing hope and inspiration to their readers. Every year, winners receive a variety of prizes: including cash, a trip to a destination in Asia and a Bright Leaf trophy.

Krip Yuson, chairman of the panel of judges said the awards honors Filipino journalists by providing them platforms to showcase their outstanding works. The winners are a combination of veteran and budding journalists. “Truly, their works speak for the theme of harvesting progress,” he said.

Yuson also announced that the Bright Leaf Awards next year will be back on its earlier regular time.

The Bright Leaf Awards began in 2007, with less than a hundred participants submitting entries. It is currently organized by PMFTC Inc., the business combination between the LTG and Philip Morris International (PMI). The name Bright Leaf is derived from Virginia Tobacco leaf which turns into a bright yellow color after the curing process. From its humble roots, this year, we have over 500 submissions that made the cut, successfully showcasing a variety of topics in agricultural journalism in the earlier mentioned 12 categories up for the Bright Leaf Awards.

From its humble roots, there have been over 500 submissions that made the cut, successfully showcasing a variety of topics in agricultural journalism in the earlier mentioned 12 categories up for the Bright Leaf Awards.

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