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BBC introduces Africa Awards

The BBC are encouraging radio listeners across Africa to tell the organisation about their favourite radio station for the first ever BBC Africa Radio Awards. Radio fans and broadcasters alike are being encouraged to talk to the BBC about possible entries for the awards which launch on Monday 4 September, and culminate in a final in Nairobi, Kenya on 21 May 2007.

The BBC Africa Radio Awards recognise and celebrate seven areas of achievement – highlighting the stations and individual broadcasters who have earned their audiences’ respect and gained popularity for quality programmes.

The categories are:

Radio Station of the Year

New Radio Station of the Year (launched in September 2004)

News Journalist of the Year

Sports Journalist of the Year

Local On-Air Campaign of the Year

Interactive/Talk Show of the Year

Young Broadcaster of the Year (entrants must be 20 years of age or under on 31 December 2006)

The BBC Africa Radio Awards will be judged in two phases. The first phase is regional heats for East, West and Southern Africa. The winners will be selected by independent panels of judges, chosen for their knowledge of the region and its media.

The winning regional entries will be put forward for the pan-African awards.

Anyone interested in recommending an entry should contact the BBC by 15 November 2006. The closing date for entries is 31 December 2006.

Jerry Timmins, Head of Africa and Middle East Region, BBC World Service, said: “Radio is such an important medium in Africa, informing millions about what is going on around them. The radio scene is evolving very rapidly, and as a radio broadcaster ourselves, we are keen to highlight this evolution, encourage the hard work of African journalists and producers and recognise some of the great programming being made.

“The BBC is primarily known for the quality of its journalism. In Africa this is delivered to a measured audience of nearly 60 million listeners. And they talk to us a great deal. You can hear our audiences in our daily output, commenting and informing our news and discussion programmes.

“We now want to encourage them to tell us about the stations who work alongside us so we can boost the African talent which we come across so frequently in our work and celebrate it on air. We want them to tell us about the stations and staff who have really impressed them, so together we can shine a light on the best of African radio.”

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