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Ontario PH press club honors McLuhan journalism fellow

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McLuhan fellow Joseph Morong relates his experience covering the Bangsamoro peace process to a packed audience. PHOTOS BY MARISA ROQUE

TORONTO, Ontario — Joseph Morong, 2015 winner of the Marshall McLuhan Fellowship Award for investigative journalism, traded insights with members and guests of the Philippine Press Club of Ontario, Canada on the evening of February 10.

A senior reporter with GMA Network Inc., Morong has over 15 years of journalism experience covering the justice and political beats for the network.  He is also an anchor, with Jessica Soho, of NewsTVLive, the network’s flagship newscast that discusses pressing current issues.

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Officers of the Philippine Press Club of Ontario recognizing Morong’s achievement.

Morong received the prestigious award in August 2015, which the “Canadian Embassy in Manila, in partnership with the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), gives every year to a Filipino journalist for outstanding work in the field of investigative reporting,” says member of the Canadian Senate Tobias Enverga Jr., who honored Morong with a certificate of recognition.

The fellowship is funded by the Marshall McLuhan Estate via the McLuhan program at the University of Toronto and administered by the Canadian Embassy in Manila.   The awardee’s travel expenses are sponsored by Sunlife Financial Inc.

The fellowship is named after Marshall McLuhan, the famous communication theorist-philosopher, and consists of a two-week familiarization and lecture tour of Canadian media and academic institutions.  Afterwards, the fellow holds a lecture tour of Philippine universities under Canadian Embassy auspices.

“The Government of Canada supports the initiatives being carried out by the Philippines, and has provided $800,000 in humanitarian aid through the International Organization on Migration, and over PhP128 million in security assistance in support of the Bangsamoro Peace Process,” adds Senator Enverga.

Morong won the award for his coverage of the peace process between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).  Among other issues, he has extensively covered the pork barrel scandal and the impeachment of the former Chief Justice of the Philippine Supreme Court.

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Canadian Senator Tobias Enverga Jr., explaining how McLuhan fellowship is awarded.

At the forum, he discussed “Communicating the message of the marginalized: Media coverage of the Bangsamoro Peace Process in Southern Philippines.”  This is in line with the Canadian government’s stance that a strong independent media are crucial to the workings of a true democracy.

The fellowship program was begun by the McLuhan Estate in 1997 and coordinated by the Manila-based CMFR, assisted by the Canadian Embassy.   Eighteen investigative journalists have been awarded the fellowship since its inception.

McLuhan fellows are Armand Nocum (1997), Ellen Tordesillas (1998), Sheila Coronel (1999 and 2014), Vinia Datinguinoo-Mukherjee (2001), Miriam Grace Go (2002), Luz Rimban (2003), Tess Bacalla (2004), Yvonne Chua (2000 and 2005), Gerry Lirio (2006), Inday Espina-Varona (2009), Glenda Gloria (2008), Diosa Labiste (2009), Ed Lingao (2010), Carolyn Arguillas (2011), Lynda Jumilla (2012), Malou Mangahas (2013), and Cecilia Aldaba-Lim (Cheche) Lazaro (2014).

A very lively question and answer period, moderated by Hermie Garcia, publisher and editor of The Philippine Reporter and past PCCO president, followed.

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A native of Lucena, Morong graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism (cum laude) from the University of the Philippines in 2000.  He is currently enrolled in UP’s Faculty of Fine Arts for a second degree (painting).
Held at FV Foods on Wilson Avenue in North York, a popular eatery in the area locally known as Little Manila, the forum drew Filipino Canadian community leaders and media practitioners.

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TAGS: Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), Filipino award-winner investigative journalism, GMA Newtwork Inc., Jessica Soho, Joseph Morong, McLuhan Fellowship Award for investigative journalism, Mindanao Peace Process, NewsTVLive
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