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Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Journalists have until Friday to submit their entries for the inaugural South African Arts Journalism Awards, to be presented by The National Arts Festival, Grahamstown and Business and Arts South Africa (BASA).

Convenor of the judging panel Professor Chris Thurman commented, “We have received a range of entries from across the media spectrum, covering a variety of artistic disciplines and different modes of arts journalism. We would, however, like to make the judges’ task as difficult as possible, and we encourage all those journalists who have not yet submitted material to do so before the deadline!”

The awards will recognise journalistic practice across print, online and broadcast platforms. In identifying excellence, expertise and creativity; they will promote the practice of arts and cultural journalism, strengthen its national profile and celebrate its importance, range, diversity, fluidity and vitality.

Gold and Silver awards will be made in the following categories:

- Reviewing: Reviews of theatre, music, visual/plastic arts, dance, literature, film, comedy or any other arts and culture phenomenon.

- Features: These may include interviews and profiles, behind-the-scenes stories, arts-related investigative journalism or other forms of arts and culture reportage in any medium.

- Opinion pieces: Comment, analysis and provocation – in any medium – relating to specific artistic disciplines, the arts sector more broadly or arts-related policy and business stories.

The independent panel of judges may also choose to nominate recipients for the following awards (in addition to the above categories): Best New Voice; Special Contribution to Arts Journalism; Best New Media Exponent; Arts Photography, and Special Merit Award.

Winners will be announced during the course of this year’s National Arts Festival and a range of cash prizes will be awarded. Additionally, one journalist will be awarded the opportunity to travel to the vibrant Amsterdam Fringe in September, from where they will report on South African productions being presented at that Festival as part of the World Fringe Alliance showcase.

Competition rules and other important information can be found on the Festival’s website at

The deadline for entries is March 8. Those submitting written work may enter one or more article(s) totalling no more than 3000 words. Those submitting audio or video material may enter either a compilation of clips or a single programme/instalment, no longer than 25 minutes in duration. The presenter, the producer, sound/visual editor and other members of the production team should be clearly indicated.

Photographic material should be limited to a portfolio of 15 images.

In all cases, entries should be accompanied by a brief letter of motivation in which the entrant specifies which category(ies) he/she is entering, provides some background to his/her work and indicates the context of publication or broadcast of the material submitted: date, time (if applicable), title, publication/station/channel/website. Material may only be submitted if it was published or broadcast in the 2012 calendar year. Judges reserve the right to request the entrant to provide proof of publication or broadcast.

Electronic submissions are preferable. Applicants may submit material as an email attachment sent to: Alternatively, hard copies may be posted to: National Arts Festival, PO Box 304, Grahamstown, 6140 provided that they are postmarked no later than March 8, 2013.

Finalists will be announced in April in Johannesburg, with Gold and Silver and other category winners announced in June in Grahamstown.