Sharjah Media Centre-Sharjah-UAE: May 18, 2013 - The judging panel of the Sharjah Government Communication Award (GCA) approved amendments on certain criteria, terms and conditions, categories and the schedule of the award.
This came during a meeting held in the presence of Osama Samra, Director of Sharjah Media Centre and the GCA, and the members of the judging panel consisting of Dr. Abdul Rahman Azzi, Dean of the Communications College, University of Sharjah, and deputy head of the judging panel, Rajeh Al Khouri, writer and political analyst at Al-Nahar and Asharq Al Awsat Newspapers, Rawan Al Damen, producer and director of documentaries on Al Jazeera news channel and Mahmoud Abdulhadi, Director General and Strategic Planning Consultant at Mena Smart.
Launched by Sharjah Media Centre in accordance with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, the Government Communication Award aims to promote best practices in the field of government communication in the UAE and GCC.
The panel decided on adding new criteria for each category whereas the award's general criteria includes aspects which focus on how the subject was selected, effort exerted, medium used, aesthetics, quality of research, the thrill element, creativity and linguistic soundness, among other criteria.
Applying for the GCA is possible through its official websitewww.communicationaward.ae, for applications that adhere to the criteria and terms and conditions. The website also provides the applicant with all the required information about the GCA.
The GCA comprises 11 awards divided under two main divisions; the selected categories, which includes two awards allocated for the GCC area and awarded to winners chosen by the judging panel, and the nominated categories, awarded to nine contestants who apply and compete according to certain criteria.
Under the selected categories, the Media Personality Award is given to a creative and decision-making personality, from the GCC area. The awardee must enjoy a good professional and ethical reputation, and submit outstanding works in media which contributed to spreading a humanistic cultural message, solving a complicated social issue, spreading awareness about social, educational, environmental or health-related issues or contributing effectively in developing government communication across the region.
On the other hand, the Leadership in Media Award, also focusing on the GCC region, is awarded to a pioneering media institution which contributed in the advancement of distinctive media achievements in the GCC.
This award's criteria includes serving the community through ethical, professional and objective media, putting forward complicated social, educational, environmental or health-related issues, tackling them and suggesting solutions. The criteria also includes the creation of direct interaction with the audience amidst a multi-sided dialogue which allows for distinguishing all the dimensions of the issues at hand, the mechanism of dealing with them, the sophistication of the craftsmanship, the aesthetic and artistic qualities of the material presented.
The nominated categories comprise nine awards, four of which are dedicated for Sharjah, which are the Best Practices in Government Communication Award, Young Media Person Award, Best Official Spokesperson Award and Best News Website Award.
The Best Practices in Government Communication Award is presented as an appreciation of the important contributions to the government communication and public relations fields in Sharjah. The judging panel will select the best government communication practitioner, according to criteria and conditions that depend on the amount of contribution by this practitioner in achieving effective communication between his institution and different media entities, in addition to building positive relations with them.
The participant must also enjoy good reputation in the implementation of government communication, both in his own institution and amidst the public.
The Young Media Person Award is awarded to a distinguished work by a university student created during the study period in one of the accredited universities in Sharjah, and according to criteria and conditions that focus on the ability to master creative, professional and cognitive skills required in the media and public relations fields, or according to graduation projects which stand out with content and form.
On the other hand, the Best Official Spokesperson Award is presented to the best official spokesperson in the institutions, committees and government departments of Sharjah. The nominee must enjoy strong conversational skills, and must have proven in a short period of time communicational capabilities which enable him to convey information accurately. Additionally, the nominee must be responsive with issues that occupy the mind of the audience, to be positively interactive with the media's questions and skilled at managing crises and media relations professionally and effectively.
The Best News Website Award is given to the best website of a government institution or department in Sharjah which provides a variety of services and news, is highly interactive with its audience and continuously updates the website's content and visual elements.
The other five awards are allocated to the UAE as a whole; they include the Best Journalistic Photo Award, granted to photojournalists whose works reflect current events, and will be evaluated by the judging panel in collaboration with specialists in the field. The Best Social Media Site for Government Communication Award is given to the most active, effective and professional government institution in the UAE on social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, serving the purpose of government communication and therefore reaching the biggest segment of the community. The utilization of the social media site must reflect a clear and important strategy. The participation must also stand out with style and content, reflect deep understanding and be continuously responsive and interactive with its followers, therefore creating a positive influence on the community.
The Best Investigative Report Award is granted to the best-written investigative report about an important event or issue, which took place in the UAE. The report must reflect investigative skills and distinctiveness in presenting the material, ensuring emphasis on crucial social, educational, environmental or health-related topics, while adhering to objectivity, neutrality, boldness and professionalism.
Among the other awards which Sharjah Media Centre allocated to the UAE is the Best Topical TV Program Award, presented to the best TV program specializing in topical events and affairs, made of daily or weekly episodes and stands out with its accuracy and depth in unfolding news reports and stories that focus on the UAE. The program must be analytical, and it must reflect accuracy and depth in researching into the matter at hand.
The Best Radio Talk Show Award is granted to the best talk show with a positive effect on listeners by tackling a number of social subjects in an entertaining and persuasive manner. Additionally, the talk show must provide accurate information and revolve around topical issues. The show must also be captivating and motivating, providing a concise presentation of the subject matter, while demonstrating effectiveness in the utilization of editorial and aural tools.
After the submission deadline, the GCA's team will categorize the submissions and prepare them for the judging panel to be evaluated. The panel stipulated that all submitted works must have been published, broadcasted or televised, between 1st September, 2012, and 15th September, 2013, and must not be part of any other award held in the past or is being currently held.
Participations are allowed for government communication practitioners and media professionals who work according to full time or part time employment, in addition to independent freelancers and students of media and communication from accredited universities and colleges in the UAE or GCC countries. Additionally, participants interested in applying for more than one category must fill out a separate application form for each award.
The Sharjah Government Communication Award comes as an appreciation by Sharjah Media Centre of the media's significant and effective role in the political, economic, cultural and social arenas, and of the importance of government communication, which is inseparable from the media industry.