Mozambique: SNJ/Vodacom Journalism Prize

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Mozambique's National Union of Journalists (SNJ) and the mobile phone company Vodacom on Tuesday launched the fourth annual edition of the journalism prizes sponsored by Vodacom.

There are eight categories in which prizes can be awarded, with total prize money of 31,000 US dollars. The most prestigious is the "Aquino de Braganca" prize for investigative journalism, named after an outstanding journalist, researcher and intellectual who died with the country's first President, Samora Machel, in a 1986 plane crash.

There are also prizes for reporting, photo-reporting, sports journalism, economic journalism, and radio and television programmes.

At the launch ceremony, SNJ general secretary Eduardo Constantino said the agreement between the SNJ and Vodacom initially covered just two years, and then been extended to four years.

"After this, there will be a joint assessment to see whether it's worth continuing or not", he said. "The SNJ thinks that it is - the prizes encourage journalists, and reward good journalism".

In 2010, there were 60 entries, and Constantino hoped for more this year. He regretted that last year the great majority of entries had come from journalists living in Maputo and the neighbouring city of Matola. Constantino was sure that good journalists are also working in the other provinces.

Work published or broadcast in any of the Mozambican media between 24 November 2010 and 30 August this year may be submitted. No competitor may submit more than two pieces of work.

The prizes are awarded by an independent jury, and there is no appeal against its decisions. The prizes will be awarded to the winners by 24 November.

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