Airtel Zambia has announced a new date for the Airtel media excellence awards following the disqualification of all 21 entries from local journalists for alleged failure to meet standards set by adjudicators.
Airtel Zambia Corporate Communications and Government Relations Officer Ndekela Mazimba has told ZANIS that judges could not pick the winner from the 21 entries submitted because 10 entries were disqualified on grounds that their subject matter was irrelevant and their photographs were accompanied by one-sentence captions that were considered too superficial to be considered by judges as legitimate entries.
Ms. Mazimba said the rest of the entries could also not make it to earn an award because they were of low quality making judges unable to grade them in order to choose a winner.
This state of affairs has necessitated a re-run of the competition.
“The panel of seasoned judges sat in September to announce the winners of the awards. Their judging took an unexpected twist when they could not select a winner from the 21 stories submitted. 10 entries were disqualified on grounds that the subject matter was irrelevant. There were photographs accompanied by one-sentence captions that were too superficial to be considered legitimate entries,” Ms. Mazimba stated.
She disclosed that following the disqualification of all the entries, Airtel-Zambia has decided to give journalists a few more months to refine their work and make new submission which will close on 28thFebruary 2015.
She said the mobile service provider will hold an awards gala on the 4th April 2015 where winners of the Airtel media excellence awards will be announced.
Ms. Mazimba also disclosed that Airtel Zambia has arranged for training of journalists on how to write better stories for the awards and also their other professional work.
She said the training of journalists will be conducted in November this year but has not confirmed the exact date which she said will be announced soon.
The Airtel media excellence awards were launched on February 17, 2014 to raise the bar in journalistic reporting.
Recently, journalists took to social media denouncing Airtel for failing to choose a winner from the entries submitted by both print and electronic entrants in a competition that was going to see the overall winner walk away with K20, 000 prize money and three months all-expense paid attachment with an internationally recognized media organization while category winners would have each one of them walked away with K10, 000 prize cash and an iPad.