Titus Brandsma awardees Christian Esguerra, Ed Lingao and Luis Teodoro.

Journalists Ed Lingao, Christian Esguerra, Belina San Buenaventura-Capul, and Luis Teodoro, and deceased mediamen Gina Lopez and Fr. James Reuter, SJ, are set to receive the 2019 Titus Brandsma Awards.

The Titus Brandsma Awards are given to journalists for their outstanding leadership in the field and embodiment of Brandsma’s principles that guided his life as a journalist, educator, and mystic who defended press freedom and right to education.

Lingao of TV5 will be recognized in the Leadership in Journalism category while ABS-CBN News Channel’s Esguerra will get the Emergent Leadership in Journalism award. Philippine Information Agency’s Capul will get the award for Leadership in Communication and Culture and Arts.

Teodoro will be given the Freedom of the Press award. Lopez and Reuter will be posthumously honored in Leadership in Environmental Communication and Advocacy and Lifetime Achievement, respectively.

Lingao has been in journalism for the last 32 years, building a body of work that crosses from print to broadcast to online, and sweeping across major beats from the police beat to the Palace, from conflict in deserts and jungles to conflicts in Congress. He started out by covering the major social, political, and governance beats before shifting focus to conflict reportage in the early 2000s. He is now busy with his wife Esther with The Laptop Project, a private initiative to bring laptops to remote and hard-to-reach schools in the countryside. The project is in honor of their late daughter Elizabeth.

Esguerra, also a journalism professor in the University of Santo Tomas, was recognized “for his abiding efforts to the pursuit of excellence in media reporting with his sharp analysis to interpret the meaning of events and explain the issues in the news that confront Filipinos in these difficult times. He also ‘evangelizes’ his young students by his living witness in the field he teaches that is: political journalism, media ethics and social communication.” 

Capul was cited “for the permanent inclusion of key historical AV documents within the Unesco Memory of the World International Register such as the radio broadcast recording of the 1986 People Power Revolution.”

The awards recognized Teodoro for being “a journalist, editor and journalism educator whose incisive critiques of Philippine media have inspired generations of media practitioners and scholars. Many of the latter are now established journalists, editors and media scholars who, in turn, imparted to their audience and students, the ethical principles and the professionalism of the craft of journalism that they have learned from Luis. His sharp analyses in his columns often step on the interests of the powerful and the mighty, and necessarily so as the overall thrust of his media advocacy is a democratized access to information for a learned society.”

The recently deceased Lopez was honored as “a woman, a champion for her various advocacies like care for the environment, child protection and the disadvantage. Her empowered and spirit lead energy is an epitome of passion and love for children’s welfare and human rights.”

Reuter was likewise recognized for his unparalleled legacy in media, spanning decades in the field of communications, broadcasting, and media. He was an important figure in television, print, radio, and even in theater.

The awardees will formally receive their Titus Brandsma awards in a ceremonial dinner on Oct. 28 at the SM Skydome, North EDSA, Quezon City.

This year’s jury is composed of seasoned journalists and mediamen: John Neri, Marites Vitug, Ramon Tuazon, Dr. Johnny Yu, Fr. Jerome Secillano and Bernard Canaberal.

Special performances will be presented by the La Salle Greenhills Kundirana and UST Symphony Orchestra principal cellist Glenn Aquias.

Established in 2000, the Titus Brandsma Award is named after the patron of the Carmelite province in the Philippines. Titus Brandsma was a martyred Dutch Carmelite friar, scholar and journalist who was imprisoned during World War 2 for declaring the freedom of the press. He was beatified by St. John Paul II in 1985 and is recognized as a “Martyr of Press Freedom.”

Aside from the Order of Carmelites, the Awards is in partnership with Signis Phils., Missio, SM City North EDSA, Light and Space Corp., Rotary Club, and Dutch Carmelites. (PressONE.ph)