ZIMEO “EXCELLENCE IN MEDIA” AWARDS
The Zimeo Awards recognise excellence in journalism and other media-related activities in Africa. They are awarded to meritorious individuals and organizations that, in their writings, productions or support for media development, demonstrate the highest standards of professionalism, focus and impact.
We are now accepting entries in the 2015 edition of the awards and welcome entries from professional journalists working on the African continent. Stories which have been produced and published in any medium, including printed publications, TV, Radio or digital platforms can be submitted for consideration in the awards.
The awards are offered in three categories:
CATEGORY ONE: Individual journalists or groups
This category targets individual writers or groups that do collaborative work. All entries will be assessed on the quality of writing, research, use of data (as needed), potential impact and balance.
- The Youth (demographic) Challenge
This award will go to the journalist who best captures Africa’s youth demographic challenge as seen in the swelling ranks of the unemployed and the potential gain or loss of critical human capital that holds the key to Africa’s development. The judges will be looking out for stories with ideas on how Africa ought to think creatively about the opportunities presented by this resource pool in order to better secure its future.
- The Gender (demographic) Challenge
This award will go to the journalist who takes the gender narrative beyond simple analyses and the narrow confines of the sex divide, discrimination and marginalization of women. The judges will be looking out for well researched journalistic pieces that best locate women’s empowerment in the context of the continent’s development agenda, keeping in mind the fact that women comprise the larger share of Africa’s population.
- The Maritime economy
This award will go to the journalist whose articles break new ground in coverage of the sector and bringing out the potential of the maritime economy to change the fortunes of individual nations and the continent as a whole.
- Business and finance
This award will recognize journalists who have generated the most informative content on business and financial journalism, breaking down complex issues in ways that inform society and provide the basis for policymaking and decision-making in this critical sector of national economies. Articles and productions should shed light on the policies, trends and ideas that drive industry and inspire growth.
New and disruptive technologies are radically transforming Africa and the world, changing the way we live, study, play and socialize. This award will recognize journalists who best capture the impact of these technologies and efforts across the continent to harness them for positive change in Africa.
- Agriculture and food security
This award will go to a journalist who has consistently covered the agriculture sector and demonstrated an above-average understanding of the issues involved. The judges will be looking out for evidence of how well the articles interrogate the farmers’ plight, explain policy frameworks and government support, and the extent to which all that affects productivity, value addition, and food security.
Recent pandemics have exposed grave weaknesses in African health systems that billions of dollars in investments by governments and their development partners have not addressed. Everyone seemed to have been caught off guard by the Ebola crisis, including specialist media in Africa and beyond. This award will reward insightful and in-depth coverage of the health sector.
Voices are being raised across Africa about the declining quality of primary, secondary and even tertiary education. The future of the continent is at risk if the trend continues as poorly educated generations rise to leadership. Could this be that insidious weapon of mass destruction that ultimately brings down the Africa House? This award will be given to that journalist who best exposes the threat or points to ideas or policy solutions that hold real promise for the continent.
- Peace and security
When Pope Francis bemoaned the “atmosphere of war” haunting the world, he did not exclude an African continent that, from north to south, east to west, is in the grip of terror and political instability. This award will recognize the journalist who has made the most contribution to our understanding of the underlying causes of conflict, insecurity and political instability, and to a better appreciation of mechanisms, systems and policies that sustain peace and security.
Possibly the most important obstacle to industrialization, job creation and quality of life improvements in Africa is the energy challenge. Yet the continent is possibly the most endowed region of the planet in hydraulic and solar resources, and an abundance of oil and natural gas. What is it then that makes Africa the least powered continent on earth? This award will reward the journalist who investigates and provides the most informed response to that and related questions.
- Natural resources
If the wealth of the African sub-soil were transformed into riches for all who live above ground, the continent will be comparable to the biblical land of milk and honey. More often than not, natural resources have been the harbinger of political rivalry, war and destruction than the agency of construction, development and progress. This award will go to the journalist whose articles best advance society’s education and understanding of the governance of the extractive industry and the politics of natural resources management.
- Infrastructure reporting
Quality infrastructure will be the most visible evidence yet of progress and quality-of-life improvements in Africa, the external signs of integrated markets and expanding economies, and proof that the region is finally emerging from poverty. The infrastructure challenge remains daunting and has risen to one of the topmost concerns of continental leadership. The award will recognize the journalist who has done the most to help society understand the politics and economics of one of its most important development hurdles.
- Science reporting
There are young Africans on the continent and in the Diaspora who have excelled in the sciences. Yet this sector of academic endeavor continues to be perceived by many in schools in the region as hard and impenetrable. This award will be given to the journalist who is considered to have done the most to generate popular interest in the sciences.
- Data journalism
It is hard to imagine good policies without good data, or effective government without reliable data, or efficient management with basic data. Understanding and using data has become as important to political governance as it is to running corporations or writing a good story. This award will go the journalist who does the most to visualize and seamlessly embed data in their articles or productions.
- Climate Change, the environment and conservation
Changing climatic patterns are transforming the way humans occupy the earth, threatening life as we know it. The effects of this assertion are already being felt across the region as death from floods or drought seems to remain on a rising trajectory as the years go by. It is believed that Africa will be the most negatively impacted of all the continents by the vicissitudes of the weather. This award will recognize excellence in climate change, environmental and conservation reporting.
CATEGORY TWO: Niche journalism/specialization
This category focuses on specialized areas that are not necessarily a core element of the journalist’s daily beat.
- Reportage of the Millennium and Sustainable Development Goals
From Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals; this is the current mantra of development institutions. This award seeks to recognize and applaud the media house that has consistently, diligently and accurately focused its resources on the MDGs/SDGs narrative with the objective of directing society’s attention to the ultimate prize – a brighter future.
- African Union’s Agenda 2063
The African Union’s Agenda 2063 is as much a rallying call to a strategic action plan as it is an aspirational document. It sets out our collective vision of the “Africa We Want” as crafted by the continent’s leaders. But how much discussion is going on in the media about this agenda? How well is the African media educating Africans about this important milestone in the history of the continental body? This award will applaud the media platform that has been able to consistently undertake a rigorous examination of the Agenda as a way of helping the citizens understand where the continent is headed.
- Blogger of the year
Social media is threatening to overtake radio as the primary source of news for a growing number of citizens everywhere. In the constellation of online curators of information, the blogger has emerged as something of a standard bearer. The blogger of the year will be selected from among the most socially impactful, uplifting, inspiring and engaging offerings and for the report that generated the most following.
- Cartoonist of the year
The importance of cartoons to national and, increasingly, global conversations cannot be subject to question any more after what happened in Paris and, to a less degree, other parts of the world in recent years. Cartoon journalism has come into its own as never before and the award will be granted to the cartoon that articulates not only a most powerful story but a socially or economically relevant one too.
These are special awards designed to honour outstanding internal media governance and exemplary corporate support for the media industry.
- Media Governance
This Award will go to a media house that best exemplifies the adoption and application of best practice in governance and leadership as enunciated in AMI’s Leadership and Guiding Principles for African Media Owners and Managers. These principles are drawn from international conventions on governance such as the UN Global Compact, ILO and Sullivan Principles, among a host of others, and regional codes of conduct. Judgment will be done through a peer review mechanism based on application of individual principles of the LGP. The award hopes to encourage good governance in the media sector.
- African public institutions that support Media
This award addresses the all important question about the purpose of journalism and the support the sector draws from it’s cluster of stakeholders. A recent ami study showed that most support for African media comes from western orgsnisations and very little coming from African public institutions. So this award seeks to recognize the public institution that has offered the most valuable and enduring support to media organizations.
- Corporate friends of Media
The media attracts both friends and foes in equal measure depending on the tone, thrust and objective of its content. Nonetheless the media’s true friends in the corporate world remain steadfast, offering advice, acting as sounding boards and offering critical strategic and other support. This award seeks to recognize corporate friends who have supported media out of a genuinely demonstrable understanding of its role in society.
We will not accept applications or other materials by post, hand, fax or other channels. All story materials must be submitted in electronic format. Contestants must download and fill in the entry form and send it via email with their updated CV attached to firstname.lastname@example.org.
DOWNLOAD ENTRY FORM. The Deadline for Applications is Monday, 31st August 2015, 12:00 AM EAT.
Print – Please include clear copies of PDF scan(s) of the published article. Maximum file size: 5 MB -PDF Format Only.
Radio – Upload the file onto SoundCloud and provide the URL link on the entry form
Digital – Include a working website link (URL) on the entry form
TV Material – Upload the video on YouTube and provide the URL link on the entry form.
What are the Judges looking for?
Our panel of independent, highly respected and experienced judges are in pursuit of excellence. They will be looking for entries which:
- Demonstrate a high quality of reporting/writing in terms of depth, rigour, research, investigative enterprise, innovativeness, clarity, proper sourcing, fairness, accuracy, exhaustive analysis of the context and background and an above average understanding of the subject matter.
- Data-driven and use creative digital tools like mapping, crowd sourcing and visualisation to help tell the story.
- Demonstrate journalistic integrity in terms of neutrality in the information provided and transparency in sourcing. Stories laden with anonymous sourcing will be rejected.
- Communicate the topic in a way that makes the story relevant and engaging to audiences and that contains evidence of its social impact or benefit to society.
- Were broadcast or published between July 2014 and July 2015. Proof of this will be required.