Nutrition partnership introduces competition for journalists

11May 2016
Abela Msikula
The Guardian
Nutrition partnership introduces competition for journalists

THE Partnership for Nutrition Tanzania (Panita) has introduced the so called “Journalists Excellence in Reporting on Nutrition” competition, aimed at educating the mass and convincing the government to set aside a satisfactory budget on the matter.

The move is part of the organization to combat malnutrition in the country.
Panita is a non-governmental organization (NGO) dealing with, among others, engaging civil society organizations (CSOs) from across Tanzania to help raise the profile of nutrition.

The NGO executive director, Tumaini Mikindo, told journalists yesterday that the competition was aimed at encouraging excellence in the observation and reporting of salient nutrition issues and how they impacted on the national status, thereby advocating for increased local resources as a more sustainable means to combat malnutrition in Tanzania.

“We believe that journalists’ work will convince the government to attend an international nutrition meeting titled ‘The Rio Nutrition for Growth Summit 2016’ to be held in Brazil, in August. Additionally, this excellence in reporting on nutrition competition is a continuation of capacity building for journalists and continued advocacy for positive nutrition outcomes in Tanzania,” he said.

According to Panita, journalists are, therefore, encouraged to examine existing practices and promote positive ones to scale up nutrition in the country; exhibit the cross-sector response required to counter malnutrition.

The director noted that journalists needed to also highlight national and global efforts to increase local funding for scaling up nutrition as well as identify gender and nutrition issues prevailing in the community. He urged them to clarify how malnutrition affected early childhood development, illustrating how nutrition eventually impacted national development efforts including policies and strategies.

Criteria for the competition, according to Panita, are news worthiness, accuracy of reporting based on evidence, quality reporting in the name of five Ws, communicating the benefits to the audience and advocacy for practical local solutions.

Others are originality of work, ability to highlight the cross-sector response required to scale up nutrition and significantly reduce malnutrition in the country as well as accurate exposure of existing geographical, traditional and cultural factors related to malnutrition in Tanzania.

It was further noted that any journalist, be it employed or freelance, in print or electronic media are allowed to enter the competition whose duration is from yesterday to July 30, this year. The award ceremony will be held in the beginning of next month (August).

There is no limit regarding the number of stories one can submit; and the prize to be offered is 1.5m/- plus a tablet for the overall winner, 2m/- and a tablet for the first runner up and 500,000/- only for the second runner up, according to the NGO.