After conducting several online activities during the pandemic, the Philippine Press Institute (PPI) also known as the national association of newspapers and online publications in the country, in partnership with Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC) as its long-standing principal partner, will finally hold its back-to-back events in-person on April 24 and 25 at Citadines Bay City Manila. 

The highly anticipated annual National Press Forum now on its 27th edition themed “Midya at Pandemya: Taking Charge of Journalism Post-Pandemic”, and this season’s Civic Journalism Community Press Awards can also be watched via Facebook livestreaming on the 25th. Prior to these, the annual gathering of newspaper owners, publishers, journalists and media executives from its PPI-member publications nationwide will kick off said events on the 24th as they elect the Institute’s trustees and officers. 

“We are going full blast with these annual events which PPI members have eagerly waited for. Now is the best time to check on each other and discuss issues and concerns that have greatly affected newspaper operations,” said PPI executive director Ariel Sebellino. 

Also invited to attend are educators, students, members of the business community, members of the diplomatic corps, government officials, and representatives from local and international civil society organizations who are encouraged to participate in various discussions on innovations in journalism, sustainability and community engagements. 

Keynote speaker is Duuya Baatar from Mongolia, McCain Global Leader for 2022. Joining her are TV5’s Ed Lingao, Rappler’s Inday Espina-Varona, WIN/WAN-IFRA’s Nini Cabaero, Daily Guardian’s Francis Allan Angelo, PhilStar.com’s Jonathan de Santos, and University of Santo Tomas’s Prof. Felipe Salvosa II. 

The panel will discuss the need for journalists and newsrooms to sustain good journalism as they leverage on the power of digital platforms and AI technology that enhance their news production.

Aware of the current challenges faced by community newspapers in the Philippines such as declining readership brought about by disruptive technology and innovations, and a changing consumer landscape, PPI chairman Rolando Estabillo stresses “the need for journalists to recalibrate and step up in the conduct of their work”.

Adding frills to this year’s events are the competitions on the best regional booth and best exhibit of photos and stories about the pandemic. 

Highlighting the two-day events is the Civic Journalism Community Press Awards that will honor outstanding work of the community press in both weekly and daily categories: migration issues photojournalism, environment,  business and economy, editorial page, and editing.

The finalists are: Sun Star Cebu, Sun Star Davao, Daily Guardian and Sun Star Pampanga for the daily category; and Baguio Chronicle, Mindanao Observer, Mabuhay, Metro Post, The Mindanao Cross, Luzonwide News Correspondent, Eastern Visayas Mail, and Lucena Herald for the weekly category.

The awards program, the only one of its kind by far, is being managed by the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC). 

This year’s events are also being supported  in part by the International Labour Organization, Kusog Bikolandia, SM Investments, Unilab, San Miguel Corporation,  SM Prime, and Citadines Bay City Manila