Southern Africa: Media urged to enter media awards

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The media fraternity in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has been called on to participate in the 2013 SADC Media Awards competition.
The awards recognise excellence in journalism in print, photo, television and radio, as well as to encourage media practitioners to cover issues pertaining to their regions.

Each category carries a prize of US$2,000. The awards will be presented during the 32nd SADC Summit of Heads of State in June.

"The media is a critical stakeholder and has continued to play a significant role in advocating regional integration," said Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Deputy Minister, Obed Bapela.

Speaking at the official launch of the awards on Thursday (14 March), Bapela said these awards aimed to ensure that journalists are honoured for the good work they do for the SADC region.

"Often the stories about the SADC and its people are not heard and the awards would ensure that they showcased the talent and the region's development," Bapela said.

South Africa's approach to regional integration continued to be informed by the fact that it remained inextricably linked to SADC and the entire African continent.

"The region has developed sound infrastructure in many areas, including communications, roads and transport. Many other programmes that have had a positive impact on the lives of the people of the region have been implemented over the past 30 years," said Bopela.

The deputy mister said South Africa had always declared its interest in promoting regional development and ensuring improved conditions in the lives of South Africans and SADC citizens too.

The SADC Media Awards were established following a decision by the Council of Ministers in 1996 to created a sector that deals with matters relating to information, culture and sport.

The competition is administered by the National Adjudicating Committee (NAC), which is responsible for judging submissions from media in member states and is represented by media practitioners, journalists and government officials.

Deputy chairman of the National Adjudicating Committee, Felicity Levine, reminded journalists to stick to the strict competition rules.

Among these are that entries should have been published or broadcasted between January and December the year preceding the awards (2012) by a registered media house or agency in any of the SADC member states.

All works entered in the competition should be in English, Portuguese or French and should be submitted as they were published. Print journalism submissions should have a minimum of 600 words and a maximum of 2 000 words.

Broadcast or televised materials should have a minimum duration of five minutes and a maximum duration of 30 minutes and all broadcast material should be accompanied by a transcript in any of the three SADC languages.

The closing date for entries is 31 March 2013.