The 2012 Development Journalism Awards
Nine Rwandan journalists were awarded the first Development Journalism Awards. They were chosen out of a pool of 38 nominees from public and private media outlets who participated in the competition organized by the Rwanda Governance Board (RGB). “Media is a key ingredient to good governance, national development, and accountability… these awards are an entry point to the strengthening of the media sector” said Prof. Anastase Shyaka, CEO of RGB.
“The recent analysis in the area of democracy shows that in order for democracy to take place in Africa it has to be grounded in the realities of the individual nations” said Mr. Lamin Manneh, Resident Coordinator of the UN in Rwanda. Mr. Manneh recognized the progress made by Rwanda in the areas of peace and reconciliation, restoration of law and order, and democracy and said that “the awards show the recognition of the great work done by practicing journalists in promoting social, economic, and political progress in Rwanda”.
The awards were grouped under six categories: sports award, gender award, lifestyle award, green award, business award, investigative award, and excellence award. Mr. Manneh granted the green award to Mr. Etienne Gatanazi, a broadcasting journalist from ORINFOR.
The awards are an initiative of RGB, and they are sponsored by UNDP-Rwanda. The aim of organizing this annual event is to strengthen media development in Rwanda, through providing motivation to practicing journalists to increase professional passion. Some of the expected outputs of the awards are: (1) to improve the quality of media products; (2) to increase competition on writing best stories; (3) To enhance editorial support to reporters, as the media outlets will want their own staff to stand out; (4)To boost the media sector’s ability to attract and retain good human resources; and (5) To upgrade journalism standards, to enhance the reputation of the profession, and to reduce the occurrence rate of unethical and unprofessional journalism.