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GMA News Online wins 3 Excellence prizes at 2021 SOPA Awards

GMA News Online has swept its nominations and won three Excellence prizes in the regional category at the 2021 Society of Publishers Asia (SOPA) Editorial Awards.

During the awarding ceremony on Thursday, “The Children Are All Grown Up Now” took home two awards, namely Excellence in Reporting on Women’s Issues and Excellence in Feature Writing.

Reported by Kaela Malig with illustrations and web production by Margaret Claire Layug and Jannielyn Bigtas, the special report follows the story of three girls who continue to move forward with their lives after being sexually abused in their own homes by the very people who should have protected them.

According to the judges, “The Children Are All Grown Up Now” is an “ambitious and evocative account of the impact of incest and sexual violence on children. Sensitively told. The piece makes good use of art, includes a content warning and provides resources for fellow survivors.”

They added: “It’s very hard to draw a reader into a subject so repellent as child rape. The authors have brought a number of issues to bear—confused families, indifferent authorities, traumatic processes as well as the permanently scarred victims—to present a compelling narrative.”

Meanwhile, “What I Wore That Day” won the award for Excellence in Journalistic Innovation.

The story, also written by Malig, showed how heartbreakingly common women experienced sexual harassment, pointing out that it was never about what they wore.

The accounts of the survivors who described what they wore on the day they were harassed were visualized through video by Lala Lacsina and Yvan Limson and illustrations by Layug and Kristel Serrano.

Judges described the piece as “brilliant and powerful journalism riding on a social media wave of anger highlighting the prevailing assault and rape culture.”

Taking home three Excellence prizes out of three nominations, GMA News Online won the most awards for any Philippine news organization this year.

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