Stories on pandemic, rights violations top 2021 Chit Estella Journalism Awards

In this photo taken on March 27, 2020, prison inmates lie to sleep at the crowded courtyard of the Quezon City jail in Manila
AFP/Manila Tan

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 9:04 p.m., May 9) — Stories on deteriorating jail conditions, low student enrollment, the crackdown on activists and vaccine hesitancy won big at the 2021 Chit Estella Student Journalism Awards. 

They were awarded at the Philippine Journalism Research Conference 2021 which was held online from May 7 to May 8 with the theme "State of Journalism during Pandemic." 

The conference also featured a panel discussion on Saturday with Rappler investigative editor Miriam Grace Go, News5 editor-at-large Manny Mogato, and ANC anchor Christian Esguerra — all of whom are Marshall McLuhan fellows. 

Jamela Alindogan, Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) president and Al Jazeera correspondent, delivered a keynote speech on Friday. 

Agatha Maria Gregorio and Angela Ng from the University of the Philippines Diliman won first place in the Investigative Journalism category for their report on the spread of COVID-19 in Calabarzon jails due to congestion, as well as the failure to enforce Bureau of Jail Management and Penology policies and guidelines. 

Ma. Christina Quiambao, also from UP, jointly won first prize in the Academic Research category for her study on the effects of the pandemic on online and print journalism. 

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Carlito Topacio, from the University of Santo Tomas, also took home 1st place in the same category for his research on the Philippine media's reporting on China amid the COVID-19 crisis. 

Photo essays, features and multi-media projects were also awarded in separate categories. 

The full list of awardees and video recordings from the conference can be found on the Philippine Journalism Research Conference 2021 Facebook page

(Editor's note: This article has been updated to include Angela Ng as a co-author of the winning piece in the Investigative Journalism category)

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