Features In focus

Focus on rural electrification: REA media awards close on May 30

REA CORNER with CHOOLWE KASAMU, Lusaka
IN THE media industry, the strength of news outlets lies in having most attractive enticing headlines.
Exclusives or scoops define superiority of a media house. Scoops or exclusive stories usually make the front page stories. In the Zambian case, political headlines are usually a preference for front pages. The so called ‘calm headlines’ especially those on developmental stories are not perceived attractive enough to attract sales of a newspaper.
Today, social media has extensively taken centre stage at competing for immediacy in transmitting these headlines. However, silent headlines in the traditional media are providing an option for more detailed and analytical writing. This makes this swimmingly less attractive part of traditional media more and more Ineradicable. This essential part of traditional media prompted the Rural Electrification Authority (REA)to venture into awarding journalists that are most obviously seen to write about one of the  ‘boring’ but rewarding subjects – rural electrification.
Quite obviously, developmental stories cannot compete for space with political stories. It is the detail that is hidden in the developmental stories that REA is recognising by awarding deserving media personal in Zambia that have been writing on rural electrification issues.
A famous retired basketball player, Shaquille O’Neal once said, “…from this day on I’d like to be known as ‘The Big Aristotle’ because Aristotle once said, ‘Excellence is not a singular act; it’s a habit. You are what you repeatedly do.”
In this vain, journalists that will be awarded are champions of what they have repeatedly done to contribute to the dissemination of information on rural electrification issues.
REA will this year be honouring outstanding reporting by Zambian journalists. This is the first time that REA will be recognising the input of the media as a key stakeholder in driving rural infrastructure development in the energy sector.  The REA media awards are being awarded in recognition of excellence in reporting on rural electrification issues.
The media awards are also designed to champion in-depth and analytical reporting while putting the spotlight on journalists telling important stories affecting communities throughout Zambia.
Through this award programme, it is our aim to support the work of talented journalists around the country and to emphasise the role electricity plays in alleviating poverty and improving the quality of life for the rural population in Zambia.
We are enthused that we have received a good response for all the categories available for awards this year. Journalists are being invited to write and produce articles/reports that may cover but are not limited to the following broad themes;
• Rural electrification policies in Zambia;
• Contribution of rural electrification to rural development;
• Impact of rural electrification on environmental conservation;
• Rural electrification initiatives in Zambia;
• Rural electrification financing in Zambia;
• Private sector participation in rural electrification in Zambia;
• Rural electrification technologies;
The programme which was launched on August 11, 2014 will be closing on May 30, 2015 at 17:00 hours. The programme endeavoured to encourage journalists to write impact stories relating to the rural electrification programme in Zambia.
The winning journalists will be announced at the REA media awards gala on a date to be announced. We wish all participating journalists the best of luck and may the best report/article win.



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