tonyocruz.com is Best News and Media Blog in Philippine Blog Awards 2008

A few hours ago, this blog you are reading — tonyocruz.com — received the trophy for Best News and Media Blog in the 2nd Philippine Blog Awards held at the 1Espalanade near SM Mall of Asia.

Our pet cat Bruno just got curious about the trophy.

This I dedicate to my parents, Rudy and Liway, and my whole family, and to Tart (hehe). Credit also goes to Bloggers Kapihan and to the progressive movement I continue to be part of, and to my readers.

Congratulations too to Benj of Atheista.net and Sir Martin of akomismo for also winning in their respective categories. Benj and Martin are colleagues at Bloggers Kapihan. Two other Bloggers Kapihan crew members — Bikoy, Ederic and Mong — were also listed among finalists in their respective categories and they likewise deserve some acclamation!

To all the other winners (like Loi of Professional Heckler and Gibbs of gibbzcadiz.com), finalists and nominees: Congratulations to all of you too. Special thanks also go to the award organizers for their efforts.

Filipino journalists are among the most endangered in the world and many have died while doing their work as reporters, commentators or photographers. No thanks to an administration that maintains the twin cultures of impunity and repression, most if not all are denied justice to this day. Allow me to offer this award to the memory of these fallen colleagues. Ditto to activists who have been mercilessly killed, abducted, harassed and humiliated for speaking out against gross injustices and for aspiring for a truly free and progressive Philippines.

I am not an expert on news and media. I don’t wish to pretend that I am. As a relatively new journalist, I always wish to be able to report about the glories and joys of our people and nation. Talk about cliches, I subscribe to the ideal that journalism should comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable, and to make journalism not the end in itself, but as a means for Filipinos to be able to take stock of what’s happening and from there intelligently and in strong unity make decisions towards positive changes.

Blogging as a new medium is a wonder for journalists. Some say journalists only troll the blogosphere for story ideas — which may be true for some. But I guess journalists’ admiration for this new medium rests on the blog’s inherent capacities for self-expression, citizen journalism and punditry. And that, my friends, is already news for a country that for so long has depended largely on a privileged few for so many things, especially news and media.

The importance of blogging today is perhaps as clear as the sun at eight o’clock in the morning, and so there is much urgency to never, ever put our guard down against all attempts to stifle, limit and penalize this medium. They may come under such covers as “anti-pornography”, “anti-terrorism”, “responsibility” and “self-restraint”, but they are all really fetters to free expression, fetters to freedom which we immediately should nip in the bud.

So right now, after thanking you, dear readers, let me reaffirm my commitments: To present what I perceive to be important news and media developments in politics and technology issues, to present concerns of the marginalized concerns, to share views with you, and to take part in the building of a more vibrant and activist community that is the Philippine blogosphere.

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