Philippines’ 1st Olympics gold quest report nabs solo finalist spot at Online Journalism Awards

Philippines Hidilyn Diaz Online Journalism Awards
Multi-awarded Filipino journalist Atom Araullo’s report on Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz is set to win the gold at the 2022 OJA. Stand for Truth, FYT, and Tokyo Olympics screengrabs.

The Philippines’ quest for its first-ever Olympics gold delivered by weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz as reported by Atom Araullo of FYT and the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) is going for its own gold win at the 2022 Online Journalism Awards (OJA), the only comprehensive set of journalism prizes honoring excellence in digital journalism around the world.

The “Anatomy of Philippines’ first Olympic gold medal” that chronicles Diaz’s determination to rise out of the less-than-ideal state of the Philippine sports program, gathering her own team and funding to compete internationally, and eventually achieving the Filipino nation’s dream, nabbed the solo finalist spot in the OJA category for “Topical Reporting: Olympics and Paralympics Coverage, Small Newsroom”, the new award category that honors excellence in digital coverage for the 2021 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games and the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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The Philippine media two-part collaborative report published by PCIJ on October 31 and November 7, 2021, with FYT YouTube video counterparts, is among the 165 finalists competing for 55 prizes in 23 categories at the 2022 OJA edition announced on August 30 by the Online News Association which established the awards in the year 2000.

Araullo’s data-driven report was picked from among the pool of 1,093 entries to the 2022 OJA whose judges considered the quality of the journalism, digital innovation, and overall impact of the projects on the intended audiences and society at large.

While “Anatomy of Gold” mainly focuses on the emergence of Filipina weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz who delivered the country’s first gold win at the Olympics, fellow grassroots-grown Olympics medalist boxers Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam, and Eumir Marcial were also given the spotlight.

Araullo’s report analyzed the Philippine participation in the Olympics since 1924 and shared facts showing how politicking and inconsistent sports programs held back athletes’ development and resulted in a nearly-100-year quest for the first Olympics gold and the Philippines trailing behind neighboring countries.

The report also spotlights how grassroots-level private initiatives built the arena for the Philippines’ first gold.

“The Philippines’ first Olympic gold medal, in a sport that is not popular in the Philippines, did not happen by accident. It was a journey that began three decades ago in Barangay Mampang, Zamboanga City. Here, exceptional talent, visionary leadership, and an audacious grassroots program converged to give Hidilyn Diaz the boost she needed early in her career,” went the introduction of Araullo’s report.

The report also features interviews by Voltaire Tupaz, research by Bong Santisteban and Elyzsa Olavydez, visualization by Czarina Bastasa, and illustrations by Jose Almuena and Zander Esteban.

“For the first time in a medal event, the sun and three stars rose above all colors, and the Lupang Hinirang soared in the halls of the Olympics. Diaz, a sergeant at the Philippine Air Force, held back tears as she saluted the flag, her hand wrapped in tape.”

The winners of the 2022 OJAs will be announced during the 2022 Online News Association Conference scheduled for September 21–24 in Los Angeles, USA, with video streams available to the public.

Atom Araullo is a multi-awarded Filipino journalist whose video story was among the 2022 Scholarum Awardees along with GoodNewsPilipinas’ feature on Martial Law heroes.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below and WATCH Atom Araullo’s “Anatomy of Philippines’ first Olympic gold medal”, the FYT and PCIJ collaborative media report that earned recognition from the 2022 Online Journalism Awards!

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Angie is a self-confessed reformed news critic who vows she has finally found infinite value in delivering the good news. She teaches students of all ages how to make the important interesting for audiences across media platforms.