Makeni, SIERRA LEONE – The Media Reform Coordinating Group (MRCG), a prominent media development agency in Sierra Leone, established in 2014 to support the development of a free and independent media in Sierra Leone has announced the initiation of its first national journalism award.
This initiative is part of MRCG’s efforts to promote independent, professional, and sustainable journalism in the country. The award, titled the “Inclusive & Anti-conflicts Journalism Award,” is designed to encourage journalism that focuses on inclusivity and conflict resolution.
The theme for the inaugural award is “Raising public awareness of the interconnections between conflict, migration, climate change, and minority exclusion,” which is organized as part of the ‘Engaging Media and Minorities to Act for Peacebuilding (EMMAP)’ project, funded by the European Union (EU).
The award is open to print, radio, online, and multimedia journalists working in Sierra Leone. Both Sierra Leonean and other West African national journalists working in Sierra Leone are eligible to submit their work.
Entries for the award will be accepted from September 16 to 18:00 GMT on October 7 of this year, and they must be media works (stories or broadcast clips) published or broadcasted between July 1 and August 31 of the current year. Entries must be in English or include English translations.
Journalists can submit up to two entries to compete for the prestigious awards ceremony scheduled for Friday, October 27, 2023, in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Patricia Sankoh, Project Officer of EMMAP in Sierra Leone, says after the national “Inclusive & Anti-conflict Journalism Award” in Sierra Leone, there will be a regional awards competition for journalists from Ghana, Senegal, and Sierra Leone to showcase their work at a global stage.
The award aims to promote conflict-sensitive reporting and highlight the rights of minority groups in journalism, says Lawyer Francis Sowa (Ph.D.), National Coordinator of MRCG who is encouraging journalists in Sierra Leone to participate in this initiative.
Undoubtedly, this first of its kind award program announced reflects MRCG’s commitment to fostering responsible journalism, raising awareness about critical issues, and promoting peace and inclusivity through media reporting. It provides an opportunity for journalists in Sierra Leone and the West African region to be recognized for their contributions to these important goals. ARW/18/9/2023