Rewarding community media
The Government Communications and Information System (GCIS) in Free State has launched Community Media Awards in Bloemfontein to recognise community journalists.
The awards, which are a brainchild of the GCIS,the awards are aimed at raising the standard of local journalism, and objective and ethical reporting.
Print and electronic journalists from 20 community newspapers and five community radios who work in Free State are eligible to enter.
The, awards launched this week, are planned to be a yearly event and will be held in September.
GCIS provincial director Trevor Mokeyane said the government used community media to inform the public about its upliftment programmes.
The media also helped to check whether government was delivering on its mandate to be accountable.
There are four categories for this year's event - government and general news, features, sports news and photo journalism.
The overall winner will be selected by a panel of adjudicators comprising former media professionals and communications department personnel.
A special award will also be presented to a journalist who has contributed to a notable development of the community.
Stories that will have been published or broadcast between January and August 2008 will be considered for the awards.
Each entrant may submit up to three entries in a category.
Mokeyane said they were still negotiating with interested parties to provide prizes and help to choose the winners.
"However, it is not about money but about community journalists who do not get the recognition they deserve. "
The closing date for entries is August 30.