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GMA News Online wins 2 awards at SOPA 2020 for election, women’s basketball reports

GMA News Online has received two honorable mentions out of four nominations at this year’s Society of Publishers Asia (SOPA) Awards for Editorial Excellence in the regional category.

During the prestigious international awarding ceremony on Wednesday, “The NU Lady Bulldogs and the Greatest Winning Streak in Philippine Basketball,” which followed the National University team’s journey, received an honorable mention for Excellence in Reporting on Women’s Issues.

Created by Ceej Tantengco and Mikkel Bolante, the special report gave a glimpse into the team that would go on to win 96 straight games and six straight championships in the country’s top collegiate league. 



On its website, the awards body commented that the feature was a "fantastic, fascinating story that highlights an issue in a way that connects with everyone - yet points to a deeper issue in society. The use of photos and other multimedia in this piece was also very well done - a brilliant article that will be remembered."

GMA News Online’s “Stand on Issues” also received an honorable mention for Excellence in Journalistic Innovation.

After spending six months compiling the stance of all 62 election candidates on 11 different national issues, the team composed of Angeli Atienza, Karen Tiongson-Mayrina, and GNO editor in chief Jaemark Tordecilla was able to create an app that allowed the public to choose their senatorial lineup during the 2019 elections and see how it would affect the legislative agenda should their bets win.



SOPA said that "Stand on Issues" was a "valuable tool for legislative elections" and that "journalists in other countries should emulate this genuine public service."

"A very important and useful tool for Filipino voters and journalists covering politics in the Philippines. 'Election guides' are a standard feature of journalism in democratic countries but this effort has combined technology with a lot of legwork and goes above and beyond," it added.

The other nominees included the special report “A Very Long Summer,” written by Jessica Bartolome and Dona Magsino, for Excellence in Feature Writing.

The special report, published in August 2019, was created after five months of following a group of rice farmers in Morong, Rizal, as they tried to survive the El Niño phenomenon.

Also nominated was “The Perils of Fast Fashion” for Excellence in Explanatory Reporting.

Written by Jannielyn Bigtas with multimedia production by Kaela Malig, the report looked at the global supply chain of fast fashion brands and how its effects could be felt here in the Philippines.

The SOPA Awards, established in 1999, is “a tribute to editorial excellence in both traditional and new media, and were designed to encourage editorial vitality throughout the region.” – Kaela Malig/RC/JCB, GMA News