WildAid and Uganda Wildlife Authority called for entries for the inaugural Uganda Conservation Media Awards, which will reward outstanding reporting about wildlife conservation and environmental issues.
Recognising the critical role the media plays in raising awareness, the partners said the awards aim to encourage, motivate and inspire journalists to produce the best in conservation reporting.
“We hope these awards will encourage more reporting by the Ugandan media into the conservation challenges facing our nation, and the solutions to those challenges,” said Uganda Wildlife Authority Executive Director, Sam Mwandha. “Conserving Uganda’s wildlife and natural heritage is vitally important. We hope to see reporting on the success stories as well as the problems.”
Entries are invited for four categories:
- Community conservation. Including human-wildlife conflict and ways to address it.
- Wildlife protection. Anything from rangers to vets to community participation.
- Wildlife crime. Including investigations, arrests and prosecutions.
- Habitats and environment. Should explain relevance to wildlife.
In each category, separate awards will be given for the following media groups:
- Print and/or online
A separate award will be given for the Uganda Wildlife Photograph of the Year.
Winners will be given a cash award of 5,000,000 Uganda shillings, a winner’s plaque, and free entry to Uganda’s national parks for the winner for one year. Winners will be announced at a special ceremony in the third quarter of 2023.
“The media can play a vital role in raising awareness about the importance of conservation and we are excited to be partnering with UWA to launch these awards,” said Simon Denyer, Africa Program Manager for WildAid. “We want to encourage the very best reporting on wildlife issues and we are looking forward to seeing entries.”
Stories published between 1st June 2022 and 31st May 2023 are eligible for entry. Only Ugandan nationals are eligible to enter.
- Entries should be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Submissions should include the work together with a brief statement explaining its importance and impact, specifying publication date and which award category is being applied to.
- Links should be provided where appropriate.
- For print pieces, please supply legible scans or photos of the published piece.
- Scripts should also be submitted for television and radio pieces, and translations provided for entries in languages other than English.
- Entries must be the original work of the author or authors.
- The closing date for the 2023 awards is 31st May 2023.
A panel made up leading professionals from media, academia, conservation and the communications industry will select the winners, based on four criteria.
- Originality. Does the story break new ground or give new perspective on an issue?
- Accuracy. Is the story properly researched, accurate and balanced?
- Impact. Audience reached and impact achieved.
- Presentation. Extra marks may be given for content across multiple media.
Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) is a semi-autonomous agency under the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities. UWA was established in 1996 by the Uganda Wildlife Statute, following the merger of Uganda National Parks and the Game Department. UWA manages 10 national parks; 12 wildlife reserves; 5 community wildlife management areas; and 13 wildlife sanctuaries.
UWA works with partners including the media to execute its conservation mandate. Media plays a fundamental role in highlighting efforts and challenges for wildlife conservation, and helps set the agenda and frame messages for public debate. In so doing, the media influences public opinion, making it a key partner for the conservation fraternity.
WildAid is an international wildlife conservation organisation that uses social behaviour change communications and the power of the media to change attitudes and behaviours towards wildlife and the environment. WildAid has been partnering with UWA on various mass media campaigns since 2016, including Poaching Steals From Us All and Join Our Team! Defend Our Wildlife.