Journalist and media institutions from across Zimbabwe last night 28 March 2018 were awarded for outstanding work in mainstreaming gender in their professions at an award ceremony organized by Gender and Media Connect in Harare.
Twelve journalist and five media houses walked away with medals and cash in recognition and appreciation of their efforts in ensuring gender sensitive content and best practices in their work. Individuals were awarded for outstanding visuals, depth, language and story angle while media houses were recognized for adopting and implementing gender sensitive policies and best practice around gender.
These awards are an effort towards making gender–sensitive reporting, which gives equal opportunity to both genders in the media, a standard of practice. Speaking at the award ceremony the GMC Board member John Masuku, reiterated that he was pleased to see both male and female journalist having embraced Gender Media Awards by the number of submissions which were received.
The Gender Media Awards seek to recognise efforts of media houses or journalists who would have demonstrated fairness, justice and a sense of equality between men and women; those who would have demonstrated gender awareness, sensitivity and inclusiveness in their reporting or productions.
A panel of seven professional media and gender experts adjudicated and reviewed the entries to come up with the winners. They looked for stories that treat men and women equally, sensitive to their situations, interrogate inequalities, injustices or stereotypes; and promotes positive progress.
The award entries were expected to have male and female subjects to be treated equally with a balanced placement. Language used in the report was looked at, whether it was inclusive of both women and men.
Efforts to recognise excellence in journalism have been few in Zimbabwe, and devoid of a gender perspective and those who have demonstrated gender awareness and sensitivity in their work have done it under difficult circumstances. The media landscape in Zimbabwe is uneven, misrepresentative and sometimes damaging to especially one gender. Such trends should be checked, and those found to have demonstrated gender awareness and sensitivity should be recognized, said one of the winners at the awards. ‘The awards are going to be an annual event’, said Abigail Gamanya who is the GMC Director.