Two agriculture stories produced by GMA News were recognized during the 13th Bright Leaf Agriculture Journalism Awards held in Makati City over the weekend.
Published by GMA News Online, “A Very Long Summer” won the award for “Best Agriculture Online Story.” It was penned by Jessica Bartolome and Dona Magsino with compelling videos produced by Adrian Bantigue and Kristel Serrano.
The narrative followed the five-month journey of two rice farmers in Morong, Rizal in the face of a “mild” yet devastating El Niño.
As the farmers waited for rain, their story unraveled equally significant and pressing issues that grip the agriculture sector other than the dry spell.
On the other hand, the “Best Agriculture TV Program or Segment” was bagged by a special report by Tina Panganiban-Perez, “Drought in Numbers: Farmers Farming No More.”
This in-depth report, produced through the combined efforts of GMA News Special Assignments Team and GMA News Research, tackled the issue of why the Philippines—an agricultural country—faces the threat of losing the next generation of farmers as more youth move away from the fields amid the various challenges in the farming sector.
The two entries were among the 12 stories that stood out from 500 other entries in various categories for the 13th Bright Leaf Awards.
Organized by the PMFTC Inc. to recognize the contribution of media in raising awareness of the agricultural industry in the Philippines, the annual awards is judged by a pool of experts in the diverse fields of print, online, and broadcast journalism, photography, film-making, advertising, and the academe.
Dr. Isabelita Orlina Reyes, Francis Abraham, J. Albert Gamboa, Ralph Semino Galan, Edwin Sallan, Gabriel Fernandez, Rina Jimenez-David, Sev Sarmenta, Rem Zamora, and Jake Maderazo were led by award-winning writer Alfred “Krip” Yuson in the selection of winners as Chairman of the Board of Judges.
Yuson thanked the participants for putting their time and effort in producing exceptional content about the country’s agriculture sector.
“Your stories highlight the importance of scientific thinking and research in making sure that our farms and fisheries are able to withstand and survive during the harshest of weathers. You showcase the resilience and survival instincts of the men and women who perform the work necessary to keep the agriculture industry alive,” Yuson noted in his keynote speech. —VDS, GMA News