VETERAN journalist and journalism educator Yvonne Chua is the recipient of the University of the Philippines Diliman’s 2020 Gawad Tsanselor para sa Natatanging Guro.
The recognition is given to UP faculty members who have “outstanding accomplishments and consistently demonstrated honor and excellence, in teaching, research, and public service.”
Currently an associate professor of journalism at the UP College of Mass Communication, Chua, formerly city editor of Ang Payahagang Malaya, has been mentoring future media workers from the country’s national university for nearly 25 years, beginning her academic career in 1995. She teaches investigative journalism, data journalism, and fact checking, among others.
In 2019, she led Tsek.ph, a pioneering collaborative fact-checking project that brought together 11 media organizations and three universities, including UP, to combat disinformation in the May midterm elections.
She initiated VERA Files’s fact checking project which started in 2016 as a project by her students during the presidential elections. The students’ fact checks were published in a section called “Is that so?” in VERA Files’s website, which later became VERA Files Fact Check (VFFC), currently one of the fact-checking groups accredited by the International Fact Checking Network.
Chua is a multi-award winning journalist, a member of the team that put out the investigative series on former president Joseph “Erap” Estrada’s unexplained wealth which helped form the basis of the impeachment complaint against him.
She is the only journalist to date who has been named twice a Marshall McLuhan Fellow, in 2000 and 2005, awarded to reporters “embodying outstanding qualities in the field of investigative journalism.” She is also a Jaime V. Ongpin Awards Hall-of-Famer, winning grand prize thrice in five years.
Prior to co-founding VERA Files with five other veteran Filipino journalists in 2008, Chua was training director of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism for over 11 years, since 1996. Her journalistic career began in 1981. – Celine Isabelle Samson, VERA Files