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Final call for entries: 2014 South African Arts Journalism Awards

Published on 26 March 2014

The deadline for entries to the second annual South African Arts Journalism Awards is fast approaching! “We have received submissions from across the media spectrum – articles published in print and online, podcasts and radio broadcasts, TV and Youtube material, and a range of arts photography,” says Chris Thurman, convenor of the judging panel. “But we have increased the size of the judging panel for this year’s Awards in anticipation of many more entries yet to come.”


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The Awards, an initiative of the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown and Business and Arts South Africa (BASA), identify excellence, expertise and creativity. In doing so, they promote the practice of arts and cultural journalism, strengthen its national profile and celebrate its importance, range, diversity, fluidity and vitality.

“The work of our country’s arts journalists is hugely important to our industry,” Festival CEO Tony Lankester said. “As observers, critics, commentators and analysts, journalists are an important link between artists and audiences. A good journalist will help us contextualise and make sense of the work of our artists. Their words, pictures and sound will help us engage more deeply with our artists, and acknowledge the role they play in our complex society.”

“Just as they hold us to high standards, so too do we need to recognise those journalists who are the peak of their profession and who go about their work with integrity and passion,” Lankester continued.

Once again the awards will recognise arts journalism from across the media spectrum and, as promised last year, in 2014 Photography is to be recognised as a standalone category. Work will be assessed, broadly, in three categories: text (print and online), images (photography) and audio/video material (radio, television, podcasts, vodcasts and other digital content).

Competition guidelines, rules for submission and further details can be downloaded from or

Winners will be announced during the course of this year’s National Arts Festival. As in 2013, Gold and Silver awards will be made, along with the coveted overall Arts Journalist of the Year award. In addition, the judging panel may choose to recognise extraordinary achievement in or special contributions to arts journalism in South Africa.

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BASA CEO, Michelle Constant, 2013 Arts Journalist of the Year, Charl Blignaut and National Arts Festiva CEO, Tony Lankester. pic Stephen Penney
BASA CEO, Michelle Constant, 2013 Arts Journalist of the Year, Charl Blignaut and National Arts Festival CEO, Tony Lankester. pic Stephen Penney

“The media tell the stories and narrative of the arts sector – a sector which highlights social capital, EQ and Shared Value. It is because of this, that we support this Award, acknowledging and recognising the hard work that it takes to be a good – even great – arts journalist,” Michelle Constant, BASA CEO said.

The deadline for entries is Friday 28 March 2014.

Material may only be submitted if it was published or broadcast in the 2013 calendar year. Judges reserve the right to request the entrant to provide proof of publication or broadcast. The judges’ decisions will be final and no correspondence will be entered into. The names of the judges will be made known at the time of the announcement of the winners.