The David Astor Journalism Awards Trust (DAJAT) is inviting nominations for its second round of professional development awards. The deadline is 30th May 2008. DAJAT searches for exceptionally promising and talented early-career East African print journalists working in English who have great potential and determination to excel in the profession, invests in their long-term career development, and aims to build an enduring peer-support network to promote strong independent journalism in the region.
The David Astor Journalism Awards Trust (DAJAT) is inviting nominations for its second round of professional development awards. The deadline is 30th May 2008.
DAJAT searches for exceptionally promising and talented early-career East African print journalists working in English who have great potential and determination to excel in the profession, invests in their long-term career development, and aims to build an enduring peer-support network to promote strong independent journalism in the region.
One award each in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda will be made this year. All nominated candidates will be rigorously assessed, the most promising will be short-listed for interviews in September, and an independent selection panel will choose the eventual winners from among three finalists in each country.
The selection process for these awards is highly competitive. To avoid unnecessary disappointment, nominators are urged to consider very carefully the following five essential assessment criteria before nominating a prospective candidate. All of these criteria are equally important and must be fully met by any candidate, if they are to progress through the selection process.
Are they passionate about practicing journalism as a professional ‘calling’, not just as an income-producing job? Do they have clear long-term aspirations within the profession and the determination to achieve their aims?
Do they have strong ties to their local community and place a high value on the contribution they can make by working locally as a journalist? Do their career goals include continuing to practice journalism in their own country or elsewhere in Africa?
Do they exhibit some special talent, aptitude and flair for journalism (possibly still somewhat raw or not yet fully formed) distinct from any abilities and skills they might have acquired through formal education and training?
Do they have unquestionable integrity and adhere to the highest ethical principles in both their personal and professional lives?
Do they have a strong, well-balanced character and are they resilient enough to withstand the rigours of the profession and thrive? Are they highly motivated, ambitious and driven? Are they confident, independent-minded, courageous and resourceful?
While there are no specific age restrictions, or educational, training and work experience requirements, successful candidates will have worked as full-time journalists for at least a few years so they have a track record that can be judged and some evidence of a long-term commitment to the profession. Journalists who have worked for some considerable number of years or already hold fairly senior positions in the profession are unlikely to be considered a good match for this programme.
Candidates should be employed full time (or retained) by a news media house or else currently working independently as a correspondent/freelancer for one or more news outlets.
The Nominating Process
Nominators are effectively the initial judges in the multi-stage selection process for these awards and their role – identifying potentially suitable candidates in the first instance – is crucial. Since their opinions will be taken into account in assessing the relative strengths of the candidates, it is important that they supply as much firsthand information as possible. Prospective nominees should be carefully evaluated and consulted before being nominated, to ensure that they wish to be considered for this programme and are suitable for it.
Only one candidate will be accepted from each nominator per year. Each media house is considered a single nominator and limited to one nomination a year, regardless of the number of publications it produces. However, media houses that produce publications in more than one country may nominate one candidate from each country.
Other organisations – including journalists associations, training institutions and civic groups – and unaffiliated individuals may also nominate one candidate each per year. If an organisation operates in more than one of the three countries, it may nominate one candidate from each country.
To nominate a candidate, a Nomination Form must be completed fully and returned no later than 30th May 2008. The form should be e-mailed to: [email][email protected]
The Selection Process
Nominated candidates will be asked to complete an application form, supply three examples of their recently published work, and write two personal statements: one telling their life story; the other explaining their professional interests and ambitions. After a thorough review of these submissions, a shortlist of preferred candidates will be interviewed and background checks will be conducted. Three finalists will then be chosen from each country and interviewed by an independent panel of outside experts that will decide the winners. The winners will be announced in December 2008.
All of the awards will be practical learning experiences individually tailored to each recipient’s particular interests, needs and circumstances. The award programmes will involve working with experienced outside journalists under various ‘on-the-job’ arrangements in or outside the winner’s own country for periods of up to three months.
Each award winner will also receive $500 in cash and become a career-long member of the David Astor Journalism Awards Network, an expanding peer-support group with other African and international professionals, facilitated by DAJAT.
There are three generic types of award programmes:
* Intensive professional mentoring in country by outside working or retired journalists.
* Outside work placements with other African or non-African news outlets.
* Joint projects with other news publications using shared resources and expertise to produce major, in-depth pieces of work.
After the winners are chosen, appropriate award programmes will be specifically designed with each of them and their employers
The David Astor Journalism Awards
NOMINATION FORM (2008)
Please review the accompanying guidelines before completing this form. In answering the assessment questions below, provide as much detail and supporting evidence as you can. The boxes will expand to accommodate however much you wish to write.
Title (Mr or Ms)
Your Affiliation (Organisation)
Mobile Telephone Number
Landline Telephone Number
Are you the nominee’s employer?
Title (Mr or Ms)
Mobile Telephone Number
Landline Telephone Number
Is the nominee employed full-time?
Is the nominee retained/freelance?
Nominee’s employer (if applicable)
How long has the nominee been a working journalist?
YOUR ASSESSMENT OF THE NOMINEE
How long have you known this nominee?
If you are not the nominee’s employer, how do you know them?
What do you think are his/her greatest strengths as a journalist?
What do you think are his/her greatest weaknesses as a journalist?
Explain in as much detail as possible why you believe this nominee would be suitable for a David Astor Journalism Award based on these criteria:
• Professional Commitment
• Local Commitment
• Ethical Standards
• Personal Qualities
If this nominee were selected for an award, which of the following three types of award do you think would best suit their professional needs and benefit them the most?
• Professional Mentoring
• Outside Work Placement
• Joint In-Depth Project
What else can you tell us about this nominee?
Please e-mail this completed form by 30th May 2008 to: [email][email protected]