The 2007 AISI Media Awards

The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and its partners are pleased to announce the 2007 AISI Media Awards. The AISI Media Awards were introduced in 2003 to encourage more informed coverage of the information society and ICT for development issues in Africa as part of ECA’s Information Society Outreach and Communication Programme. The Awards are aimed at individual journalists and media institutions based in Africa that are “promoting journalism which contributes to a better understanding of the information society in Africa. Although the media in Africa are beginning to report on ICT issues, there is still a wide gap in their knowledge and comprehension of the subject in relation to development trends within their national context. The aims are to:

• Create greater awareness on the role of ICTs in the development process within the framework of the African Information Society Initiative (AISI);
• Support African media to specialize and master ICTs and development issues thereby sharpening their skills and knowledge base;
• Enhance access to information on this subject area by various African stakeholders, thereby raising greater awareness; and
• Stimulate national debates on key issues and emerging trends.

The AISI Media Awards is intended to be an annual event to honour media institutions and professionals. The winners of the 2006 Awards were announced in September 2006 at the Highway Africa Conference held in Grahmstown, South Africa. Details of the 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006 AISI Media Awards can be found at: http://www.uneca.org/aisi/mediaaward.htm

The deadline for the 2007 AISI Media Awards programme is 15th August 2007. Entries can be made in the following categories:

1. AISI-GKP Media Awards on Reporting on “Emerging People, Emerging Markets, and Emerging Technologies”

The 2007 AISI-GKP Media Awards will recognise African individual journalists as well as media institutions in promoting ICT4D with special focus on the themes of the 3rd Global Knowledge Conference (GK III), on “Emerging People, Emerging Markets, and Emerging Technologies”. There will be four sub-categories, as outlined below:
• Radio: Programmes from commercial and national public radio stations, including news, discussion, documentaries and features
• Print: Articles from regional or national newspapers, including specialist magazines.
• Television/Video: Factual (documentary and features) and news.
• Multimedia/Web Media

Each of these four sub-categories can be applied to the GKIII themes as follows:
o Reporting on Emerging People in Africa. The ultimate goal of economic and technological activity is for the well being of people. The decade ahead brings extraordinary opportunities for social and economic inclusion. This will permit the movement beyond the pockets of prosperity of the past and to reach the MDGs. However, it is essential to mitigate the risk of growing national, regional and global disparities. How ICTs and the emergence of knowledge societies is contributing to the empowerment of people, communities and whether there is evidence of transformation. This will include analysis on paths to an inclusive development in the social, economic, cultural, and political arena as a result, and a reconfiguration of citizenship in knowledge societies. Key among the various stakeholders involved in building Information and knowledge societies and economies are the youth and their role.
o Reporting on Emerging Technologies in Africa. Information and communication technologies offer the option of a knowledge society for all based on tools and infrastructure providing a networked and interoperable environment. Furthermore, the basis for an information society a user-driven, demand oriented applications in everyday life and work. Therefore stories and coverage should focus on how Africa and benefits from various forms of technological developments, from both a hardware and software perspective as well as examining issues such as legal/regulatory, interoperability and appropriate technology issues, access at all levels including community-levels (telecentres), adaptive technologies and innovation for use of local languages and supporting inclusion, open networks and standards, including localization, capacity-building/training and employment opportunities. Other aspects also include policies required for use of technology in the knowledge society such as: skill base for managing complex global, regional and national ICT issues (Internet Governance), issues concerning open standards, digital rights, security and cybercrime, as well as technologies for transparency and accountability (good governance).
o Reporting on Emerging Markets. Markets provide the framework to make an economy work for the benefit of the people. Globalisation and private sector developments have resulted in dynamic innovation. The enabling potential of ICT provides positive options and access to the benefits of the knowledge economy must become inclusive. Consequently, stories under this theme should include evidence that suggests there are multiple sites of innovation being undertaken in Africa, demonstrating that innovation is possible in local economies as much as in the global economy. Focus could also be on the roles and responsibilities of entrepreneurs for the production of private and public goods is critical and how they can facilitate the emergence of a knowledge economy in the context of Africa. In particular, how are SMEs involved and affected and how do they have a stake in the knowledge society? How can new business models facilitate Africa’s emerging knowledge economy and what policies and strategies are required?

These Awards will be based on the four sub-categories already outlined. Prizes for the three categories will be as follows: First Prize: US $3,000; Runner-up: US $1,500. ECA receives support from the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) for this category. SDC is organised and funded by the Swiss government and operates by financing programs both directly and in partnership with other agencies to countries around the world.

2. AISI Media Awards on Reporting on ICT Research and Innovation

This award is geared towards encouraging Media practitioners’ focus on issues related to ICT research and innovations in Africa under the framework of the International Development Research Centre’s (IDRC) Acacia Programme. Research into the impact of ICTs on African communities and information on ICT innovations, such as WAP applications, the Simputer, or open source applications are important areas that could have far reaching consequences for the development of marginalized people. This award will therefore seek to encourage the dissemination of this type of information through the media, by acknowledging the best media report on ICT Research and/or innovations and their relationship to the development of the African continent and its people.

Entries will be considered for print (articles), radio and television programmes. Prizes for the two sub-categories will be as follows: First Prize: US $3,000; Runner-up: US $1,500. ECA receives support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) for this category. IDRC is a public corporation created by the Parliament of Canada in 1970 to help developing countries use science and technology to find practical, long-term solutions to the social, economic, and environmental problems they face.

3. AISI Media Awards on Reporting on ICT Policy

This award is to encourage increased reporting on ICT policies (process and implementation) in Africa under the frameworks of the International Development Research Centre’s Acacia Programme and ECA’s African Information Society Initiative (AISI). The objective is to stimulate interest in the formulation and implementation of national e-strategies in countries on the continent and to support informed reporting by the media.

Entries will be considered for print (articles), radio and television programmes. Prizes for the two sub-categories will be as follows: First Prize: US $3,000; Runner-up: US $1,500. ECA receives support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) for this category. IDRC is a public corporation created by the Parliament of Canada in 1970 to help developing countries use science and technology to find practical, long-term solutions to the social, economic, and environmental problems they face.

4. AISI Media Awards on Local Content Applications

This award aims to recognise users of innovative or pioneering applications of ICTs to local content defined as ”the expression of the locally owned and adapted knowledge of a community” in Africa. Applications can be from any sector and use of any medium with a demonstrated link with ICTs that provide opportunities for local people to interact and communicate with each other, expressing their own ideas, knowledge and culture in their own languages.

Entries will be considered for print (articles), radio and television programmes. Prizes for the two sub-categories will be as follows: First Prize: US $2,000; Runner-up: US $1,000. ECA receives support from the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD) for this category. IICD is a non-profit foundation that specialises in ICTs as a tool for development. It assists various countries in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean to improve development within the fields of education, environment, good governance, health, and livelihood opportunities.

5. AISI Media Awards on Local Content

This second IICD award will recognize an outstanding story, campaign, or project in which the significance of local knowledge and content is raised in local, national, or regional fora. Entries will be considered for print (articles), radio and television programmes. Prizes for the two sub-categories will be as follows: First Prize: US $2,000; Runner-up: US $1,000. ECA receives support from the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD) for this category. IICD is a non-profit foundation that specialises in ICTs as a tool for development. It assists various countries in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean to improve development within the fields of education, environment, good governance, health, and livelihood opportunities.

Judging

Judging will be based on the entries for the stated category, and winners will be those, who in the opinion of the Judges have made a significant contribution to promoting and raising awareness on the information society in Africa in all the areas mentioned.

Conditions for Entry

1. Conditions governing the Awards:
ECA and its Partners have the right to reproduce and transmit in any media, for non-commercial purposes, the work that has been selected. ECA and its Partners have the right to cancel the Awards at any time, when the selected entities and individuals are found ineligible or don’t fulfil the criteria laid down for the award. The decision of the judges shall be final. Members of the panel of judges for the Award and members of the sponsoring institutions shall not be eligible to submit an entry.

2. Criteria for entries:
All entries must have been published and broadcasted by an African Media institution during the year 2006/2007. Entries can be submitted in more than one category but THREE COPIES OF ALL MATERIAL ARE NEEDED FOR EACH CATEGORY ENTERED. Also, SUBMISSIONS IN AFRICAN LANGUAGES SHOULD BE TRANSLATED (in the case of print) and/or TRANSCRIBED INTO ENGLISH OR FRENCH for RADIO AND TV PROGRAMMES. Entries that cover only international issues are ineligible unless, they relate to, and develop an understanding of, current information society issues in Africa.

3. Submission of Entries:
A FULLY COMPLETED FORM MUST ACCOMPANY EACH SUBMISSION; OTHERWISE THE ENTRY WILL BE DISQUALIFIED. Entries must be cassettes/CDs for radio and VHS/CD for TV and video entries and original materials for print entries. All material in a language other than French and English must have translation and/or transcription included in the submission. Submissions can be in English or French.

Closing date for the 2007 AISI Media Awards: 15 August 2007

Submit to:

Mr. Afework Temtime
AISI Media Awards
ICT, Science and Technology Division (ISTD)
Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
5th Floor, ECA Building, Menelik II Avenue
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Email: atemtime@uneca.org

4. Winners:

The winners will be selected from entries, which in the opinion of the Judges, make a significant contribution to public awareness and understanding of the Information Society, and which provide analysis on issues concerning access, policy/regulatory environment, the social and economic impacts of ICT for development. A public announcement will be made shortly after the selection for all the categories.

The selection will be followed by an official notification from the ECA and the respective partners for each category. The winning entries will be disseminated internationally and honoured at the 3rd Global Knowledge Conference (GK III), which will take place from 11 – 13 December 2007 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. For further information on the AISI Media Awards: http://www.uneca.org/aisi/mediaaward.htm

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