Fri, 22 Sep 2023

JOURNALIST AND activist Maria Salvacion "Inday" Espina-Varona was awarded the 2023 Hildegarde Award for Women in Media and Communication by Scholastica's College Manila.

The awards, given out on May 30, 2023, are organized by the Communications Department of St. Scholastica's College Manila. It described Espina-Varona as "a model journalist-activist of her generation" who "continues to lend her voice to amplify advocacies promoting women's rights and issues, democracy, and accountability."

According to Rappler's May 28 report, Espina-Varona's award is in recognition of her "inspiring courage in the field of journalism." Espina-Varona currently heads Rappler's Regions section.

"Change Makers"

The theme for this year's 16th iteration of the awards is "Change Makers" and the ceremony was held in St. Cecilia's Hall at St. Scholastica College Manila. Espina-Varona was awarded alongside Maria Karina Africa Bolasco, current Ateneo University Press director and former publisher at Anvil Publishing, and renowned actor Tessie Tomas.

This is Espina-Varona's second time receiving the award, the first being in 2016 for her ABS-CBN News Online opinion piece, "They're killing teachers and children, Mr. President." She used to head "Bayan Mo, I-Patrol Mo," ABS-CBN News' citizen journalism unit and was also senior contributing editor and writer for the network's News and Current Affairs section.

Espina-Varona had also worked as editor at the Philippines Graphic magazine and The Manila Times, among other publications. She also ran the Philippines operations of Change.Org.

Awards and Distinctions

Espina-Varona has won numerous awards and distinctions. In 2007, she received the Jaime V. Ongpin award for Investigative Journalism in the non-daily category. In 2018, she accepted the Prize for Independence from the international press freedom watchdog Reporters without Borders at the 2018 Press Freedom Awards. She was also conferred two international fellowships: Stanford University's John S. Knight Professional Journalism Fellowship, and the Canadian government's Marshall McLuhan Fellowship.

St. Scholastica's College established the Hildegarde awards in 2007 to recognize outstanding achievements and best practices in mass media and allied fields. It is named after Saint Hildegarde von Bingen, a 12th century Benedictine nun and intellectual known for her works that brought together art, religion, and science.

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