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The 17th Highway Africa Conference, taking place at Rhodes University, South Africa, is set to host the 13thth edition of the Highway Africa New Media Awards. Sponsored by Telkom, these are unique and prestigious awards on the continent that reward innovative use of Information Communication technologies (ICTs) in journalism that serves Africa and its citizens. The awards were pioneered to highlight the role that ICTs play to enhance journalism and the media, in the process uplifting communities.
Entries can be made in three categories:
Innovative newsroom – newsrooms across Africa can submit nominations based on their innovative use of digital media including online, social and mobile media.
Best African ICT Blog – Followers or bloggers may nominate an African-based or diasporic African blog based on its coverage, debate and use of ICTs within the African context.
Innovative use of technology for community engagement – members of communities, organisations, or supporters may nominate an organisation (either corporate or non-profit) based on their innovative use of technology within a community in Africa. The organisation does not have to be African based, but the community in which they operate must be.
Each year the Awards are judged by an esteemed panel of judges. This year’s judges are:
Ms Michelle Atagana is the Convenor of the Jury, Managing Editor of Memeburn and is based in Cape Town
Ms Ory Okolloh is currently Director of Investments at Omidyar Network Africa. Originally from Kenya, she co-founded Ushahidi in 2007 and was previously Policy Manager for Africa at Google.
Ms Brenda Zulu is an experienced ICT journalist from Zambia. She is a prolific blogger and commentator on ICT4D, agriculture and gender issues on the African continent.
Mr Ndesanjo Macha is Sub-Saharan Africa editor at Global Voices. He is a blogger, journalist, lawyer, digital activist and new media consultant, interested in the relationship between social media and development in the developing world, particularly Sub-Saharan Africa.
Broad Criteria for Entries
The judges will consider the use of new media technologies to:
- Advance newsroom operations, increase reach and diversifying content;
- Encourage social empowerment among marginalised communities through relevant topical community and/or African issues and innovative use of online media interactions platforms;
- Highlight innovative and creative applications of technology for the benefit of the continent’s overall media development.
The awards have become one of the major highlights of recognition, reward and celebration for creativity in using new technologies in media in Africa. The wide range of organisations and individuals that have won include journalists and students, NGOs and profit making organisations.
These individuals and organisations have made information and communication interventions that are critical to genuine free flow of information and participatory communication. When the history of new media technologies is written the awards will have a central place as a process and event that played the role of catalyst and promoter of innovation. Previous winners have included:
Citi 97.3FM (Ghana) (http://radio.gjoy24.com/online/Citi_FM_973)
Global Voices (http://globalvoicesonline.org/)
3 Bute (Nigeria) (http://3bute.com/)
African Women & Child Feature Service (Kenya) (www.awcfs.org)
Simon Dingle (South Africa) (www.zatechshow.co.za)
Closing date is 31 July 2013, 16:30, Pretoria Time. Winners will be announced at the Telkom- Highway African New Media Awards ceremony at the Highway Africa Conference. Finalists will be contacted.