By Moses Charedzera
The adjudication process for the Zimbabwe Agricultural Media Awards has been completed ahead of the awards ceremony to be held virtually on the 28th of this month.
The process which was done differently this year due to Covid-19 has been described by the adjudication committee chairperson Nevanji Madanhire as exciting.
‘’ This year’s adjudication process was very exciting because everything had to be done virtually. We had to devise a way of working seamlessly with no contact at all.
“We introduced a new system never used in Zimbabwe before. We used Google Sheets. We created a spreadsheet using Google Sheets which was shared by all members of the team.
“Each adjudicator worked on his/her entries and entered the score on the spreadsheet which score was immediately visible to everyone including the chairperson of the adjudication committee.
” Whenever we had to talk, we used Zoom for meetings, which also worked very well. It was a new system but it worked perfectly,” said Madanhire.
The chairperson however expressed concern on the quality of the entries which he said were poorly sourced and mostly events reporting.
“The qualities of the entries like last year were mostly quite disappointing. Most reporters did not base their articles on issues that really vex the minds of those in the agricultural industry.
“A good deal of the stories was events based and the weakest were based on press releases. We were looking for stories that addressed issues pertinent to Zimbabwe’s agriculture industry. We also looked at the writer’s engagement with the issue and the research they put into it.
“In most cases, there was very little research. Most stories were single-source stories which rendered them very weak.
“A good story should have at least three sources and the sources had to bring different perspectives to the story. This was lacking in most entries. In the end, the stories were not engaging and woefully lacked journalism excellence,” said Madanhire.
Due to limitations imposed by Covid-19 on events and gathering, the second edition of the Zimbabwe Agricultural Media Awards will be held virtually on the 28th of August and will live stream on Great Dyke News 24. co.zw and the YAFM YouTube page.
A bumper 15 categories including the Overall Agriculture Sector Best Reporter Award are up for grabs in this year’s awards.
The inaugural edition of the awards organised by the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society was held last year and saw ALPHA Media Holdings reporter Mthandazo Nyoni scooping the Overall Agriculture Sector Best Reporter Award and three other sectoral awards at a glittering ceremony held in the capital.