Filipino journalist and communication practitioner Juan L. Mercado has received the 2014 AMIC Communication Award.
Mercado is founding Director and Trustee of the Press Foundation of Asia and founding Director of the Philippines Press Institute. He is an illustrious pioneer in the field of Asian journalism and mass communication.
Mercado started his illustrious journalism career in the 1950s as a reporter with the Cebu daily newspaper, the Southern Star. He became an associate editor of the same paper before joining the Evening News in Manila.
He was based at the United Nations in New York for the Evening News (1961-1963). Upon returning to the Philippines, he worked as Manila-based correspondent for several foreign publications.
Mercado co-founded Depth News as a ground-breaking service of the Press Foundation of Asia in the 1960s. Depth News provided development news and features to newspapers and radio stations in Asia and the developing world. It was active for more than 20 years.
Mercado was founding Director of the Philippine Press Institute, and co-founded the Philippine Press Council.
In 1972, Juan L. Mercado was detained with 21 other journalists when martial law was declared by then Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos. While no charges against him were ever filed, Mercado and the other detained journalists were kept under city arrest. During this period, he editedseveral ‘underground’ newspapers.
After his release in 1975, Mercado joined the United Nations as Communication Director of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) regional office in Thailand and later at the FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy.
After the 1986 People Power Revolution in the Philippines, and after 19 years of UN service, Mercado returned home and resumed his media work. He continues to write as one of Manila’s leading newspaper columnists to this day.