2017 Gawad Plaridel awardee says millennials now living through a version of martial law era
ABS-CBN News anchor and veteran journalist Tina Monzon Palma on Wednesday received the 2017 Gawad Plaridel award for her pioneering role as a female journalist who raised the standards for quality, responsible, and critical journalism.
"It's a long overdue award. She's an institution in Philippine broadcast who's been there for decades," said Luz Rimban, VERA Files co-founder and Ateneo de Manila journalism professor.
"Nobody deserves the award better than Tina Monzon Palma. Walang Jessica Soho kung walang Tina Palma. She was the one who took me in and I'm super grateful sa lahat ng nagawa niya for me, sa lahat ng naituro niya, and for everything she stands for," seasoned broadcaster Jessica Soho told ABS-CBN News.
Palma, who mentored many young journalists, started her career as a news reader for radio DZMT in the 60's before transitioning to television during the martial law era.
Palma said millennials are getting a taste of the past dictatorship, as "the crony press and fake news" now lay siege on legitimate news organizations.
"This generation is living through a version of that (martial law). I'm talking about the crony press, fake news, and in many ways those years are uncannily similar today except that everything is on steroids," Palma told her audience composed of news executives, and journalism professors and students.
'Ask the hard questions'
The truth is under assault and media cannot be timid, she said.
Palma reminded news men and women to stick to the basic principles of journalism amid constant threats from online trolls and propagandists.
"As truth becomes blurred, our role (as journalists) once again becomes clear: to investigate, cut through the noise, present the situation as clearly as possible, and ask the hard questions," Palma said.
"The best weapon against lies is to be honest, transparent, and thorough. You will never be afraid if you know what you write about. You cannot be challenged if you have the truth," she said.
Before ending her speech, Palma issued a challenge to her younger colleagues: "Thirty years ago, media answered our call and now it is your turn."
Gawad Plaridel, named after Spanish-era hero Marcelo H. Del Pilar's pen name, honors Filipino media practitioners who have excelled in their field and performed with the "highest level of professional integrity in the interest of public service."