Taipei, Taiwan, March 11, 2012 – The World Indigenous Television Broadcasters Network, WITBN, has selected nine finalists out of 24 entries for the in-depth reporting category of the 2012 WITBN Indigenous Journalism Awards, 2012 WIJA.
The 2012 WIJA award ceremony will be held in Kautokeino, Sápmi, Norway, on March 29, 2012. 2012 WIJA is the first international Indigenous journalism award dedicated to presenting Indigenous perspectives through journalism in television and audiovisual media. While journalistic standards and ethics are the essences of this honor, the awards in particular look for the portrayal of Indigenous perspectives on stories of local, national or international impact.
The 2012 WIJA finalists for the in-depth reporting category are: (see complete finalists detail here.)
AMAZIGH NRK Sápmi Norway
AMNESTY CHIEF VISIT TO UTOPIA National Indigenous Television, Australia
JOURNEY HOME Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Canada
KIMBERLY GAS HUB SERIES National Indigenous Television, Australia
POLITICION REPORTS HIMSELF TO THE POLICE NRK Sápmi, Norway
TE PITO O TE HENUA Māori Television, Aotearoa New Zealand
THE VALUE OF WATER 'Ōiwi TV, Hawai’i
VUVU’S LAST PIECE OF LAND Taiwan Indigenous Television, Taiwan
WATER EXPLOITATION Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Canada
WIJA was first introduced in December, 2011, and open to only one category; in-depth reporting. The entry deadline for the first awards was Jan. 16; the WIJA commission received 24 entries from nine WITBN members.
The eight-member WIJA jury was headed by Tom Moring, professor of Communication and Journalism, Swedish School of Social Science, University of Helsinki, Finland. Two rounds of judging took place from February to March.
“The emphases of WIJA are the portrayal of the subject matters, the Indigenous reality, and the way the stories are narrated,” Moring said. “Our judges are all senior journalists in varies working background, and are both Indigenous and non-Indigenous. The jury took into account factors such as use of language, images and metaphors, choice of contributors and the compelling or incisive nature of the analysis.”
Moring has a position as part-time professor at the Sámi University College, Guovdageaidnu, Norway. He previously worked as the Director of Programmes at the Finnish Broadcasting Company as well as Secretary General of the European Bureau for Lesser Used Languages.
“As an Indigenous media worker, we often ask ourselves if our work helps leverage our and the public understanding of Indigenous reality? Does it help the public understand their own world better with the aid of an alternative perspective?” said Nils Johan Heatta, WIJA Commission chairman, who also serves as the director at NRK Sápmi.
“And we ask our journalists, on a similar report or issue, or any other issues, do we convey a perspective that is authentic to the community and from which other media have failed or would fail to offer?"
As the first international Indigenous journalism award, WIJA’s aim is to help identify and differentiate excellence in not only journalistic skills, but also the reporter’s perception of an Indigenous issue and how it is presented to the public. By doing so, we hope to encourage our media allies and journalists to reexamine our own ways of storytelling on Indigenous issues.
The WIJA jury will select one winner and four honours as the winners of the 2012 WITBN Indigenous Journalism Awards. The 2012 WIJA winners will be announced on March 29.