Calling for applications: Africa Science Desk Journalism Awards
The African Academy of Sciences (The AAS) is launching the Africa Science Desk Journalism Awards to recognise and honour excellent reporting on science and scientific innovation in Africa. The awards also aim to improve and increase coverage of research and scientific innovation on the continent.
Storytelling is a powerful tool for demonstrating the power of research and innovation, impact, and backstopping a subsequent advocacy for more funding. The awards seek to promote more coverage of local innovations.
To improve the coverage and quantity of science stories, The AAS with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is implementing the Africa Science Desk to build the capacity of African science journalists. To date, the project has made gains in incentivising journalists to write about science but notes the need for wide ranging incentives to accelerate quality and impactful coverage. The awards complement efforts to improve quality science reporting on the continent.
Winners will be announced in October.
The awards will be given in 3 categories to journalists who use solutions-based reporting to highlight how African scientists and innovations are addressing the continent’s health and developmental challenges and editors who are advancing science and innovation on the continent:
Best news story: this will be given to the journalist whose coverage of science and scientific innovation has made a traceable impact in either demonstrating the power of science, scientific innovations or igniting conversations or unveils some new science/approach that tackles health and development challenge/s. The prize will be $2500
Best investigative feature: this will be given to long form and investigative stories which creatively provide insight into topical issues in health and/or development and/or whose coverage is contributing to raising public awareness of emerging issues, such as antimicrobial resistance, drug discovery; water, sanitation and hygiene, and maternal, neonatal and child health, along with highlighting how African innovations are addressing the challenges or unveils a new science approach that tackles development. The prize will be $3000
Science and innovations editor/editor’s award to be given to editors whose newsrooms have championed the coverage of science and local innovations. The goal is to incentivise more editors to cover science. The prize will be $3000
We encourage applications focusing, but not limited to the focus areas of the Africa-based Grand Challenges partners, such as antimicrobial resistance, drug discovery; water, sanitation and hygiene, and maternal, neonatal and child health and the five strategic areas of The African Academy of Sciences — environment and climate change, health and wellbeing, natural sciences, policy and governance and social sciences and humanities.
All categories are open to African journalists who write for local or global print, broadcast and online media outlets.