Pioneer Org in Visual Journalism Hails PH Best-Designed Campus Paper Anew

Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the BDCP Designers and Creatives PH, Inc. managed to pull-off the second installment of the Best-Designed Campus Paper of the Philippines on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2021, via Facebook livestream.

The Pole of the Western Bicutan National High School, Taguig City, emerged as the champion among the participating campus papers across the country. The award giving body registered 47, 106, and 43 entries in the grade school, high school, and college level respectively.

“I was surprised and shocked.  I wasn’t expecting that we made it this season. Hence, it is my pride and honor to dedicate this win to the whole staff and editors. I also want to acknowledge the encouragement of our supporters both in school and in the community,” Harold Taguiba, School Paper Adviser (SPA) of The Pole said.

Aside from winning the BDCP Awards Season 2, The Pole also secured minor awards including the best community-based Story, best editorial page design, and the medallion of visual and creative excellence.

“I believe that all BDCP entries had winning shots. For me, the only thing that made the Pole stood out among hundred entrants was the idea of how we augmented the aesthetic features of a classic high school publication,” Taguba said in an exclusive interview with the BDCP.

The SPA also said that they rebranded The Pole starting from its content up to its visuals. “We considered the local, national, and international qualities of newspapers to produce an innovative school publication. With these attempts, we assumed that we successfully delivered the messages of the latest issue.”

“We considered reporting the plights of the ordinary and marginalized people. I advised my team to research some communities wherein their stories have to be voiced out,” Taguba stated.

Moreover, Taguba intentionally immersed his writers in hyperlocal and insight journalism for he believes that these practices are essential for secondary school publications.

“To publish human interest articles is one thing we must uphold. Yet, to make the readers aware of the realities of people is something we need to deal with because for me, their stories are worth telling,” he added.

GOING IN-DEPTH

Just like any school publication that aims to be the best version of itself, The Pole adviser also recounted the humble beginnings of their publication before it became a force to be reckoned with in the field of campus press.

“I was appointed to be the successor of Ma’am Monaliza Mesa, the former adviser. She showed me how the Pole emerged from being an average to a distinguished school paper. Although our publication failed to gain spots in the National School Press Conference during those times, Ma’am Mesa was still grateful as she witnessed how the appointed editor-in-chief, John Poliquit, was awarded as the Most Outstanding Campus Journalist of NSPC 2014,” Taguba said.

When asked about The Pole’s next steps after receiving numerous accolades, Taguba said that they aspire to continue being one of the performing secondary school papers of the country. He also mentioned that he envisions their campus journalists “to continue being the news bearers of the school and community and influence other youth to be actively engaged in society.”

With this, The Pole adviser believes that the significant responsibilities of the campus press are the following: To demonstrate responsible journalism, to cultivate civic involvement and community awareness, to fight against information dystopia, and to advocate transparency.

“The Philippine press has an important task to make the nation under good governance. That they should not be perceived as the enemy but as the watchdogs of the government,” Taguba said. 

TAKE IT FROM EXPERTS

The BDCP Awards Season 2 was also graced by internationally-acclaimed educators and media men in the field of visual journalism.

Jacek Utko, world renowned newspaper designer, served as one of the speakers during the said event. 

Utko has been working in 25 countries as media consultant and designer in print and web. Five of the newspapers that he redesigned were named as World’s Best Designed Newspapers – three of them were recognized as European Newspaper of the Year.

“You are not artists; you are story tellers. You do the service for the readers. The most important thing is that you tell a story and make it easy to understand. You make the information easy to digest, that’s your job. Your job is not to decorate [and make] fancy elements. Just think about the content-driven design that’s the most important thing,” Utko stressed.

“Remember that a collective design makes sense now – design that is one hand very simple, conservative, and old style. Imagine classical layouts. Something that has this old feeling. But at the same time, you put a layer on the infographics and some challenging photography illustrations,” He added. 

Utko gave emphasis on enjoying the process of layouting as well as having fun and cultivating the love of working for the media, articles, contents, graphics, and just doing it for the people.

Meanwhile, Mario Garcia, an Adjunct Faculty from Columbia University’s School of Journalism also delivered his message to the young campus journos.

“All of you, student journalists, are fulfilling a very important role especially during this turbulent times. We are counting on the future journalists to carry on the banner of freedom of the press, of discipline, [and] journalism that is ethical. That tells stories exactly the way they are supposed to be told. You are the future,” Garcia said.

EMERGING POWERHOUSE

The virtual awarding ceremony also recognized some school publications that had been dormant, including Scientia, a college publication in Bicol.

Scientia received the medallion of visual and creative excellence, best in infographics, best in editorial page, and most child-friendly design. 

“Amazed – that would be the word we would use to describe our initial reaction to Scientia’s nominations. The amazement did not go simply unpaid since we were able to grab several wins from this event. These wins are dedicated to the students who were courageous enough to take on an extra challenging endeavor and to us who are continuously working to protect that legacy,” Scientia stated in an interview via its official FB account.

The Scientia shared that like other school publications, they also have what it takes to be called campus journalists and that their publication is not dead.

“The best thing about Scientia is how we treat the people inside our publication. We have overcome those roadblocks by believing that no matter what happens we will finish our entry/come-back issue for BDCP 2. We, people inside Scientia are not the best, ironically, that’s what makes us the best team,” the publication added.

With the three years of hiatus, it was never easy to revive a school publication but it gave Scientia an ample time to think of rebranding itself as a publication that is timely and relevant, up with the modern trends, and as a publication that sets standards for its content and aesthetic value.

“We bounded the publication to go beyond the limits of traditional school paper publication to create an image of a quality paper that is forefront not just in the value of its content but also as a standard-setter of new and innovative ideas for design and layout,” the pub added.

“Now is the time when journalism is needed the most. Everyone is a victim of the pandemic, but we shouldn’t forget our oath as campus journalists. As people shift to relying mostly on the internet for information, the spread of false information is also on the rise. Students, and even other netizens, will need a reliable source of news as well as a means to collectively voice out their opinions,” Scientia lamented.

The inquirer.net, Inquirer POP, WhenInManila.com, and College Editors Guild of the Philippines serve as the official media partners of the BDCP Awards Season 2.

RECIPIENTS OF MEDALLION OF VISUAL AND CREATIVE EXCELLENCE

  • UPLB Perspective, University of the Philippines Los Banos (Los Banos, Laguna)
  • Atenews, Ateneo de Davao University (Davao City)
  • The Guidon, Ateneo de Manila University (Quezon City)
  • The Equalizer, Jose Rizal Memorial State University (Dapitan City)
  • Scientia, Bicol University – College of Science (Legazpi City)
  • Sinagtala, Taguig City Science High School (Taguig City)
  • Dalampasigan, Magnaga National High School (Pantukan, Davao de Oro)
  • Silica, Roxal National Comprehensive High School (Roxas, Palawan)
  • Nudo Veritas, Gusa Regional Science High School (Cagayan de Oro City)
  • Adventure, General Santos Hope Christian School (General Santos City)
  • The Pole, Western Bicutan National High School (Taguig City)
  • The Benildean, De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde (Manila City)
  • Comehi Traces – Porfirio G. Comia Memorial NHS (Naujan, Oriental Mindoro)

Meanwhile, the complete list of winners in different award categories are posted on BDCP’s official Facebook page: www.facebook.com/bestdesignedph

Written by: Caleb Pacleta/bdcp






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