The first Waxal Blogging Africa Awards have been just launched! All African bloggers who work as journalists can submit their blogs. The deadline is the 7th of December 2008. The individual winners – one for an English blog, one for a French blog – and one for a blogging organization, will be rewarded with a cash prize, and all the best blogs will be promoted by the organizers through various channels.
Panos Institute of West Africa [fr], one of eight institutes of the global Panos network, an independent institution that promotes new media and communication in developing countries, took this initiative, in partnership with Highway Africa, Rhodes University and SABC – and Global Voices.
Here is the call for nominations to the awards:
WAXAL (pronounced WA-HAL) means “speak” in Wolof (Senegalese language) and the word captures the essence of the evolution of the worldwide web as a platform for conversation and for the raising of marginalized voices.
For this first edition, the WAXAL Awards will seek to recognize the production of blogs by people working as journalists (from all kind of media: print, online, radio, TV) and by African organizations working to favour the production of alternative information and citizen expression.
To this end the awards are in the following category:
1. Best French-speaking Journalist Blog
2. Best English-speaking Journalist Blog
3. Best Citizen Journalist Blog produced by an African Organization
The first and second categories will recognize individual journalist blogs, whereas the third category will reward individual organization's blogs. For this last category, the blog content can be in French or English. It’s envisaged to include other languages, notably African languages, in next editions of the blog contest. Apart from promoting blogs, this contest will help understand, among others, issues related to journalists’ use of blog in Africa. Internet users can vote online for the 5 Best Blogs in each category. A bilingual panel of judges composed of media professionals will select the winners.
Who can participate?
For the first two categories, the WAXAL Awards is open to any African citizen who owns his own blog, but works as journalist in any kind of media organ, online or conventional (print media, radio, TV) or who works as freelance journalist. The blog submitted should be the journalist own blog, instead of the blog of the media organ for which he/she works.
For the third category, blogs should have been produced by African organization, with the aim to produce alternative, citizen information, raise marginalized communities voices. Blogs just reporting on an organization’s activities are excluded.