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Star Awards for TV Puts Limelight on Two Fighter Broadcasters

11/17/2010

CNN iReport – Star Awards for Television may have highlighted glam, power and fame as its theme on its 24th edition, but the Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC) may have also unintentionally put the limelight on two veteran broadcast journalists known for excellence.

Probe Productions’ Cheche Lazaro was recipient of the Excellence in Broadcasting award late Saturday (November 13, 2010) while Daniel Razon was Best Male Newscaster for UNTV’s Ito ang Balita (tied with ABS-CBN’s Julius Babao).

Both Lazaro and Razon are veterans in this industry who started their broadcasting careers immediately after the Edsa People Power revolt. The two are rare breeds of journalists today whose public service and journalism works can serve as inspiration to the new generation of media practitioners.

Today, the name Cheche Lazaro epitomizes independence and fair journalism.  Through her show, Probe Team, Lazaro showed Filipinos what investigative reporting is: fearless, balanced and responsible.

As a locally-recognized woman journalist, Lazaro is also an internationally-recognized personality for her positive contributions to Philippine television.  The award-winning documentaries produced by Probe remain pivotal in responding to Filipinos’ penchant for serious, investigative reporting,

Meanwhile, UNTV’s Daniel Razon appeared only recently for his rare approach to his works.  Not short of true passion and grit for public service works, his advocacy for reporting with conscience and his fight against envelopmental journalism are good starting points for the media man.

Razon’s journalism advocacy, “Tulong Muna Bago Balita” (Rescue First Before News) is centered on filling the void on what’s often left blank when journalists are challenged under difficult circumstances like accidents, calamities or tragedies.  In these events, should reporting come ahead of helping the victims? Razon is a staunch advocate of sincere public help.

In his now six-year-old media channel UNTV, Razon has been introducing several public service works in solving the common problems that beset citizens for their survival.  His initiatives include medical missions, micro-financing projects, free bus rides, free MRT rides for the senior citizens, and the opening of two transient homes. Razon’s most recent project is the opening of a tuition-free college branch in Caloocan, the La Verdad Christian College.

Both Lazaro and Razon share one thing: the two proved to themselves and to their peers that the cost of fighting for truth is worth it.

Lazaro proved ABS-CBN executives wrong that Filipinos were not ready for serious, investigative news analysis; and then in 2003, she stood her ground against GMA7’s censorship of a Bernadette Sembrano’s report on the lifestyle of Efraim Genuino and Pagcor. GMA7 canceled the contract it signed with Probe.

Razon, on the other hand, was asked by GMA to choose between his religion and his hosting job. When asked not to be mentioning “Iglesia ni Cristo,” Razon was quoted saying, “I’d rather lose everything than to lose God.” The broadcast journalist was then kicked out of GMA7.

In the end, Lazaro and her team of probers survived numerous pressures and were able to enter the gates of all major networking giants.  Razon, on the other hand, started UNTV as a public service network, which he used to channel his vision of helping people, especially the oppressed and marginalized ones.

Meanwhile, in the latest Star Awards for Television, Razon’s Good Morning Kuya! shared the honors with ABS-CBN’s Umagang Kay Ganda as Best Morning Show Program.  Another UNTV program, Bitag Live, earned the Best Public Service Program award.

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