Arts writers, broadcasters and photographers across traditional and online media are invited to submit work for consideration in the 2016 National Arts Festival/BASA Arts Journalism of the Year Awards.
The awards recognise journalism that sparks and shapes conversations around the arts. Says National Arts Festival CEO, Tony Lankester, “Insightful, critical commentary and intelligent review are essential to the sustainability of the arts and assists us in keeping artists in the spotlight and relevant to both their craft and audiences.”
Open to experienced arts journalists, newcomers to the field, or arts-focused publications (print and online), the awards call for journalism published, posted or broadcast during the period 1 August 2015 – 31 July 2016. The closing date for entry is Friday, 30 September 2016. Previous winners of the overall annual award include Charl Blignaut and Lwandile Fikeni, while ten gold and 23 silver awards were made last year.
Apart from the prestige and industry regard that the awards engender, the overall winner of the Arts Journalism Awards 2016 and the gold award winners will receive a cash prize. “At a time when arts journalism is under pressure in traditional media and emerging as a force on new media platforms, the recognition given by this award is more important than ever,” says BASA CEO Michelle Constant. “Too often arts journalism is dismissed as lightweight but the calibre of previous finalists and winners and the continued support of the National Arts Festival provides a convincing case for the importance of arts writing in our broader society.”
A judging panel of seasoned media and arts role-players will be convened by CapeTalk radio presenter (and theatre aficionado), John Maytham, who says, “I am very excited about getting exposure to the best arts writing in the country. This award is a wonderful opportunity for people who toil long and hard with very little reward to have their work recognised and lauded. The judges look forward to entries that get under the skin; that go beyond cliché; that demonstrate a deep respect for, and understanding of, the exceptional work done by South African artists across the genres.”
Journalists may submit more than one piece of work (to a maximum of four entries) across multiple categories but each entry must be processed separately. Organisations may enter up to five relevant pieces.