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STAR named Newspaper of the Year by Manila Rotary

Rotary Club of Manila Journalism Awards winners pose for photos yesterday during ceremonies at the Manila Polo Club. From left: Inquirer columnist Randy David, Opinion Writer of the Year; Miguel Belmonte, president and CEO of Philippine Star, Newspaper of the Year; Isolde Amante, editor-in-chief, Sun Star Cebu, Community Newspaper of the Year; STAR editor-in-chief Ana Marie Pamintuan, Print Journalist of the Year; Peter Musngi, VP, ABS-CBN Manila Radio Division (dzMM), Radio Station of the Year; and Bobby Barreiro, EVP and COO, ABC TV5, Television Station of the Year. BBC News’ Rico Hizon, Broadcast Journalist of the Year, was abroad. Jun Mendoza

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine STAR and its editor-in-chief Ana Marie Pamintuan led yesterday’s roster of honorees during the 2012 Journalism Awards of the Rotary Club of Manila. The STAR was named Newspaper of the Year while Pamintuan won as Print Journalist of the Year.

The awards were presented at the Manila Polo Club in Makati City.

In accepting the prestigious accolade, which the newspaper first won in 2006, STAR president and CEO Miguel Belmonte said, “The Philippine STAR is proud to share this honor with the most compelling reason for all the effort and enthusiasm we invest in our newspaper: our dear readers.”

“Although we have seen many changes in the way people read the news nowadays, one thing that will always remain the same with The Philippine STAR is its excellent journalism anchored on truth and fairness,” he added.

Pamintuan, who also pens the thrice-weekly column “Sketches” in The STAR, echoed the sentiment.

“We at The STAR do our best to avoid sensational reporting, and to exercise press freedom with responsibility, without being boring. We do our best to present fair, accurate, timely and credible news. We try to be constructive in our criticism, and to present all views when there are controversies,” she said.

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Lamenting that journalism is often a risky and thankless profession, she added: “Our work becomes worth it when we feel that we are contributing in our small way to make our country a better place to live.”

Other awardees honored in yesterday’s ceremonies include: TV 5 Network as TV Station of the Year, dzMM as the Radio Station of the Year, Randy David of Philippine Daily Inquirer as the Opinion Writer of the Year, SunStar Cebu as the Community Newspaper of the Year, and Rico Hizon of BBC World News as Broadcast Journalist of the Year.

Hizon was not in town to receive his award.

Outgoing Rotary Club of Manila president Urbano Caasi Jr. led officers of the organization in congratulating the winners.

He said, “Their accomplishments in drawing the public towards social awareness deserves the attention of the entire nation through the auspices of a reputable award-giving body, the Rotary Club of Manila, the first Rotary club in Asia.”

The Journalism Awards Committee noted that for the first time in the history of the awards, nominations were culled from the various Rotary chapters all over the country.

Journalism Awards Committee chairman Jose Manuel Romualdez announced that he inhibited himself from the judging process due to his affiliation with The Philippine STAR where he is a columnist.

Others in the committee are club vice president Frank Evaristo, past directors Susing Pineda and Fausto Preysler, and former press secretary Rod Reyes as honorary adviser.

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