Twenty seven more entries have been received in this year’s Zimbabwe Agriculture Media Awards (ZAMA) compared to last year reflecting the growth of the awards as the premier platform for rewarding journalists who excel in reporting agriculture.
The third edition of the awards organised by the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society in collaboration with MejrkhCommunications and Media Advisory is slated for the 30th of July 2021.
Media consultant John Masuku who is the adjudication chair said 109 entries have been received from 10 categories which is an increase of 27 entries as they had 82 entries from 13 categories in 2020.
“We received a variety of entries in different categories and we are still working on them. It is gratifying to note that journalists are still interested in this competition. We thought that because of covid-19 there would be fewer entries but the number of entries has actually gone up.
“The standard of writing has slightly improved but there is still a lot of one source stories and we do encourage our journalists to use different sources which are official sources and ordinary voices in order to nourish their stories.
“This business of using one person interview and constituting a story is very bad one indeed and there are quite a number of stories that are like that.
Despite the shortcomings in some entries Masuku noted that a number of entries have demonstrated deep knowledge of the agriculture sector and enriched their stories through multi-sourcing.
“It is also important to note that there are quite a number of writers who are writing about in-depth issues, in-depth analysis where you get to understand what’s happening in the agricultural sector by talking to different people who are involved rather than one person.
“So they talk to the ordinary people, what they are doing, how they are benefitting. They also talk to the officials especially from agritex about best practices and they also talk to different organisations that promote good agriculture and in that way you have a story that is wholesome , a story that looks at different sides” added Masuku.
The adjudication committee chair said they are happy that entries have been received from both private and public media and cover both print and electronic formats.
“Otherwise it’s a very interesting exercise and we are very happy that there is active participation, quite a lot of entries in all the categories.
We are also happy that we have all the media that is the print media, television and radio as well as social media platforms. All of them did participate and regardless of the ownership, we have private media, we have public media and freelancers filing for different organisations, ” he said.