Cebu Daily News reporter Ador Mayol yesterday won first place in the first ever Justice Award for his reporting on the rescue of children in Cordova town who were victims of online pornography in their own home.
Mayol was the winner for the hard news category for his June 2, 2011 front page story “ NBI nabs Cordova couple who ran online porn service at home.”
Bernadette Parco of Sun.Star Cebu won in the feature category for her article “Betrayal of Trust”.
The award was presented by the International Justice Mission and the Peace and Conflict Journalism Network Philippines in partnership with UNICEF Philippines in a ceremony held at the Sinulog Hall, Rizal Memorial Library, Cebu City.
The media award was mounted to commend journalists and media institutions that foster responsible and conflict-sensitive reporting of human trafficking.
The award ceremony was timed with the celebration yesterday of the International Day against Human Trafficking.
“The stories are out there. The media has a significant role to play to combat trafficking,” said lawyer Samson Inocencio, IJM field director based in Cebu who handed out the award with Charlie Saceda, program coordinator of Pecojon and Regional State Prosecutor Fernando Gubalane.
In an overview, Inocencio said there were 25 convictions in cases of human trafficking in the country since January versus nine the previous year.
He also noted the active role of the media in Cebu in covering cases of what he called a “crime against humanity.”
These were cited as “encouraging” signs of growing public awareness and support for the crackdown on the abuse of children and women.
Assistant Cebu Provincial Prosecutor Lolita Lomanta, who works with the Provincial Women’s Commission, described cybersex and cyberpornography as “modern day trafficking”.
She said the crime is abetted by the large number of computers available worldwide and the “unregulated” use of computer networks.
But she pointed out that, “Computers don’t commit crimes; people do.”
Other Cebu journalists were recgonized yesteday.
Sun.Star Cebu reporter Davinci Maru and Gerome Dalipe bagged second place and third place respectively in the hard news category.
In the feature category, Sun.Star Cebu reporter Jujemay Awit won second place for her article “Former Victims Help Prevent Trafficking.”
The winners were given trophies, a cash prize and books.
Criteria for judging gave weight to five factors with 35 percent for evidence of research; 20 percent for coherence and organization; 15 percent for style and presentation; and 30 percent for adherence to conflict sensitive reporting.
Special citations were given to TV networks GMA 7 Cebu and ABS-CBN Cebu and radio dyHP Cebu for applying standards in media ethics and dedicating time to research about human-trafficking.
A citation was also given to Sun.Star reporter Karlon Rama for his reportage on human trafficking.
The panel of judges included University of the Philippine professor Ian Maticajon, InterAksyon Editor Jose Jaime Espina and Marit Stinus Cabugon, and Inocencio./With a report from Tweeny Malinao