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Call for Entries from Female Journalists – Open Spaces Zambia Media Awards 2024
  • By Panos
  • March 14, 2024
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Call for Entries from Female Journalists – Open Spaces Zambia Media Awards 2024

To commemorate World Press Freedom Day 2024, Panos Institute Southern Africa (PSAf) as part of the USAID Open Spaces Zambia Consortium will be holding media awards to award five deserving female media practitioners for excellence in journalism and media, and their contribution to shaping public discourse and fostering positive social change. The World Press Freedom Day Awards aim to not only recognize journalistic excellence but also contribute to the elevation of media visibility as one of the key pillars of democracy. The awards will strive to reinforce the key role of media in shaping narratives, promoting transparency, and fostering access to information for a brighter and more informed future. The media awards event will particularly reward the tenacity of women in media to positively contribute to media growth and strengthened democratic foundations in Zambia.

To that effect, Panos is calling for submissions for the USAID Open Spaces Zambia 2024 World Press Freedom Media Awards, as follows:

 What:  Media Awards 

 When:  3rd May 2024. (World Press Freedom Day)

Target:  Female journalists, exclusive to Zambia in the below categories:

  1. Private/Commercial Radio
  2. Community Radio
  3. Television
  4. Print Media
  5. Online Media
  6. Freelancers publishing with reputable and wide-reaching media outlets.

Number of awards: One award per category


  1. Best Media Report on Environmental and Health Challenges.
  2. Best Media Report on Digital Rights.
  3. Best Media Report on Inclusive Governance.
  4. Best Media Report on Corruption.
  5. Best Media Report on Transparency and Accountability in the Extractive Industry.

 Descriptions for categories

  1. Best Media Report on Environment and Health

This category recognizes outstanding reporting on a wide range of environmental issues such as climate change and environmental degradation and associated public health issues such as cholera, malaria and respiratory-related diseases. Entries should demonstrate a deep understanding of the interconnectedness or nexus between environmental factors and human health, as well as the potential solutions to addressing environmental-related health challenges.

  1. Best Media Report on Digital Rights

This category acknowledges excellence in reporting on digital rights issues, including internet freedom, data privacy, and online censorship. Entries should showcase investigative and in-depth reporting, and commitment to promoting ethical standards and human rights principles in digital spaces.

  1. Best Media Report on Inclusive Governance

This category appreciates reporting that promotes inclusive governance practices, such as transparency, citizen participation, and social accountability. Entries should amplify diverse voices and address issues of social justice and equity within governance structures.

  1. Best Media Report on Corruption

Recognizing the vital role of investigative journalism in exposing corruption and fostering accountability, this category celebrates reporting that demonstrates investigative rigor, ethical standards, and impact in uncovering corrupt practices and advocating for systemic change to strengthen responses to corruption.

  1. Best Media Report on Transparency and Accountability in the Extractive Industry

This recognizes media reporting that promotes transparency and accountability, combat corruption, social justice and empower affected communities within and around the extractive sector. Entries should among many issues focus on transparency, accountability, and the contribution of the media sector to sustainable social and economic development.

Organizer: Panos Institute Southern Africa is a non-profit, non-governmental and evidence-based communication for development organization that uses innovative communication approaches to amplify the voices of the poor and marginalized to advance social change and foster social accountability. Panos supports informed and inclusive participation of marginalized people in governance and development processes by creating opportunities and platforms for informed and inclusive public dialogue.

Background to the Awards: With support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and in partnership with FHI360 and Internews, Panos is currently implementing the USAID Open Spaces Zambia (OSZ) project aimed at strengthening the democratic foundations of freedom of speech and assembly; building independent and new media; and safeguarding a space for activists, human rights defenders (HRDs), and oppositional voices to protect democratic space in Zambia.

Objectives: OSZ will support the production of quality, relevant content, strengthen the enabling environment for independent media, and advance social and online platforms that allow for free expression and access to information.

Objective 1: Strengthen and Promote a Viable, Independent Media, which is anticipated to result in increased viability of targeted outlets; more balanced and in-depth coverage of locally relevant content; and greater integration of online/social content into traditional broadcast media.

Objective 2: Promotion of Digitally Literate and Cybersecure Users and Inclusive, Online Spaces of Engagement leading to improved digital literacy and adoption of cyber-safety practices among users and increased use of online platforms for engagement.

Objective 3: A Strengthened Enabling Environment for Independent and New Media, resulting in increased capacity of media and CSOs to respond to legal and regulatory challenges and strategic advocacy efforts that support independent media and Internet freedom.

Media Report Eligibility:

  • Media reports (both electronic and print) published between January 1st2023 and January 31st 2024 are eligible for submission and selection.
  • A copy of the article/program being entered for the award should be accompanied by a cover note indicating name, sex, institution (if applicable), age, person with disability (if applicable), phone number, category, and email address of the entrant. The note should also bear a brief explanation of how the article/program had a positive influence on the subject matter.
  • Entrants should present proof of publication of their submissions in form of press cuttings (photocopy), recorded radio or video program.
  • Publication of an entry should be confirmed by the entrant’s supervisor.
  • Entries should clearly indicate the category being entered for, and the media platform in or on which the story was published.
  • Entrants should provide a brief profile of themselves to be used before being presented with the award.
  • Audio and video submissions should be in a format widely and readily accessible such as mp3, mp4 and wma, among others.


Mode of Submission:             

Submission of entries (one each) can be delivered electronically to openspaces@panos.org.zm or physically to The Executive Director, Panos Institute Southern Africa ,19 Commander Street, Off Alick Nkhata Road Mass Media Area, Lusaka.

Deadline for submissions: Thursday, 28th March 2024 by 17:00 hours.

Important note: PSAf is an equal opportunity organization that is committed to diversity and inclusion as well as fraud-free processes. To this effect the selection process will be impartial and on merit, conducted by a team of professionals with diverse backgrounds. The decision of the selection team will be final.