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New Arab media award on adolescent themes launched


Dubai : A new Arab Media Humanitarian Forum Award has been launched to motivate journalists and adolescents to highlight their concerns and possible solutions in the Arabic media.

The award has been launched by the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regional official of the United Nation’s Children’s Emergency Fund for children (Unicef), the Dubai Press Club and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Al Bayan newspaper, the state-run Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.

“The award is aimed at motivating journalists and adolescents to highlight their concerns and contribute in finding adequate solutions,” the report stated.

“It encourages them to express themselves and helps them convey their message through the media to the biggest number of readers, viewers and listeners.”

The first edition of the award will be presented in four categories: television, radio, print media and online media as well as materials produced by adolescents.

The award will reward the best coverage of adolescent themes in the region and there will be four winners in each category.

“…Children and adolescent represent the biggest chunk of our region, and the Arab media play(s) a major role in tackling their issues,” the report quoted Unicef MENA regional chief of communication Abdel-Rahman Ghandour as saying.

“The efficient participation of journalists contributes by leveraging the level of awareness on these concerns and striving to find suitable solutions,” he added.

Dubai Press Club executive director Maryam Bin Fahad said the award would be a real opportunity to discover talents in the adolescent age group, in addition to being a pioneer initiative that would stress on the humanitarian dimension of communication.

The award is open to all materials in Arabic, published or broadcast between Jan 1 and Oct 15 in 2008, the WAM report said.

Unicef offices in the Arab world will receive submissions from all participating countries.

A jury for the new award will comprise Unicef communication officers, key journalists and those in charge of key media initiatives led by youngsters.

“(The jury members) will abide by the highest standards and best practices to ensure that quality is maintained while evaluating the content of all participations from different Arab countries, so that the committee will be able to choose winners and announce their names at the 4th Arab Media Humanitarian Forum next November,” the report said.

As for Al-Bayan newspaper, it is contributing in supporting this award in its role as an essential partner of the Arab Media Humanitarian Forum since its inception, through active participation in the three previous editions organized to date.

The new award will become a yearly award with a different theme and topic to be announced at the start of each edition.