ABS-CBN drug war report wins prestigious journalism prize


Posted at Jun 13 2018 09:01 PM | Updated as of Jun 14 2018 08:50 AM

ABS-CBN News' Fernando Sepe Jr., receives the award for Excellence in Feature Writing at the Society of Publishers in Asia's (SOPA) 2018 Awards for Editorial Excellence.

MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - ABS-CBN News' special digital report on the war on drugs in the Philippines won the award for Excellence in Feature Writing at the Society of Publishers in Asia's (SOPA) 2018 Awards for Editorial Excellence. 

Written and photographed by Fernando Sepe Jr., the report "Healing the wounds from the drug war," follows the stories of several relatives of victims of the government's bloody crackdown on illegal drugs.

Sepe is news.abs-cbn.com's deputy editor for multimedia.

Sepe followed the trail from the crime scenes to the burials and reported on how the families are left in a conundrum, not knowing how they are going to move on after the death of their loved ones who were usually the breadwinners.

The story was produced by ABS-CBN News Digital's multimedia team and developed for the web by Regie Francisco.

Reuters reports on Duterte's drug war were also recognized by SOPA.

"Duterte's killer cops," written by Clare Baldwin and Andrew R. C. Marshall, gets the honorable mention for Excellence in Investigative Reporting, while "Duterte's war falters," also written by Baldwin and Marshall, received the award for Excellence in Human Rights Reporting.

An infographic on Duterte's war on drugs, "Dead on Arrival," likewise, received the Excellence in Information Graphics award.


Meanwhile, ABS-CBN News' special digital report on the Marawi siege won honorable mention for Excellence in Explanatory Reporting.

"Buhay pa kami': Dispatches from Marawi," penned by Jeff Canoy with featured photos by Val Cuenca, details stories of the 5-month-long war that left the once bustling urban center in ruins.

News site Rappler also won honorable mention in Reporting on Women's Issues for its report on incest in the Philippines.

"Rape within the family: The Philippines' silent incest problem," written by Natashya Gutierrez, is about rape within Filipino families.

Rappler CEO Maria Ressa was the keynote speaker for the awards night.

Founded in 1982 to champion freedom of the press, SOPA is a not-for-profit organization based in Hong Kong, representing international, regional and local media companies across Asia. 

It promotes excellence in journalism and endorses best practices for all local and regional publishing platforms in the Asia Pacific region, according to the organization.

The annual SOPA Awards for Editorial Excellence serve as the world-class benchmark for quality journalism in the region, organizers said.