Introduction, background and values:
In recognition of the stellar, decades-long contribution of senior journalist Zubeida Mustafa to both Dawn, where she worked for 33 years, and Pakistan’s news publishing industry, Pakistan Herald Publications Limited is pleased to announce the inception of the ZM Award for Journalistic Excellence from 2013 onwards.
The Award will be given every year to one of the country’s growing number of women journalists who is held to have rendered matchless services to the body of public knowledge about the issues facing Pakistan. By recognising the contributions of women in journalism, the Award seeks to highlight issues and individuals so that a critical mass for change is created. The Award will be a Citation accompanied by a cash prize of Rs100,000/-
The aim is to honour women writers and reporters who have, under difficult circumstances and sometimes at risk to themselves, shown strength and integrity in discharging their professional obligations.
Reports on any Pakistan-specific themes are acceptable, with preference being given to those that go beyond the areas of interest traditionally ascribed to women.
Rules of the competition:
1) Investigative news reports and news features are eligible to be entered in the competition. Stand-alone pieces as well as series (considered as one) are acceptable. Comment, research or other non-journalistic work, including that produced for the non-profit sector, cannot be entered.
2) The award is restricted to reports published in accredited, Pakistan-based, English-language publications.
3) Entries are invited from women who are part-time or full-time journalists with a domestic publishing house, including the Dawn Group of Newspapers, or freelance contributors whose submission has been published in an accredited Pakistan-based publication.
4) Entries should have been published in the previous calendar year (2012).
5) Applicants may submit up to two entries. A person who submits more than 2 entries will automatically stand disqualified.
6) Media outlets can submit an entry but credit will be given to the individual author of the report.
7) Last date for submitting the application is July 15, 2013
Submissions will be judged along the following broad guidelines:
1) The submitted report is original and professionally-executed in both research and writing, and makes an effort to be fair and balanced.
2) The submitted report is issue-based.
3) The submission follows in every way the ethical guidelines that codify the journalistic profession, and relies on credible sources and verifiable data.
4) The submission concerns an issue, or a perspective on an issue, that is directly or by implication relevant to Pakistan.
5) Credit will also be given for reports concerning marginalised, deprived, vulnerable, minority or targeted communities and segments of society.
Evaluation/scrutiny committee and Panel of Judges:
1) Entries will be reviewed first by an evaluation/scrutiny committee to verify the submissions and prepare a short-list for the judges’ review.
2) Computer print-outs of the short-listed reports, which will NOT carry the authors’ by-lines and the name of the publication, will then be sent on to the panel of judges for the selection of the winner. The panel will comprise senior journalists as well as non-journalistic experts in various fields.
3) The judges’ decision will be final.
Procedure for submission:
1) The application form for participation in the competition can be downloaded here. Applicants must print out a form and fill it out in English.
2) A tear-sheet (the report as published, with the name of the publication, date of publishing and name of author clearly visible) of the report must be provided.
3) A second copy of the report must be provided in the form of a computer print-out in Word format on plain A4-sized sheets, WITHOUT the name of the author or the publication.
4) A letter from the editor of the publication verifying publication and authorship is required.
5) A photocopy of the applicant’s CNIC, or other identification document, is required.
6) The whole package should be mailed to the address specified in the application form.
The panel of judges:
1) Zohra Yusuf, Chairperson, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
2) Tausif Ahmed Khan, Chairman, Department of Mass Communication, Federal Urdu University.
3) Tahira Abdullah, researcher, author, peace and human rights activist.