Sharjah Media Centre (SMC) today announced the third Sharjah Government Communication Award (GCA 2015) has expanded the scope of two categories to include the entire Arab world. In the first two editions of GCA, the categories ‘Media Personality of the Year’ and ‘Leadership in Media’ were limited to submissions from the UAE and GCC countries alone.
The geographical ambit of the two categories has been expanded with a view to promoting individual and organisational excellence in the development of the media landscape across the entire Arab world.
Making the announcement, His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of SMC, stressed that the expansion of the award categories to cover the Arab world is aimed at assessing and honouring individuals and organisations whose vision and ideas have led to remarkable development in the media and communication sector throughout the region. He added that winners of the two categories would have made significant contributions to shaping public opinion in areas such as combating illiteracy, unemployment and extremism, as well as raising public awareness on terrorism and its destructive impact on Arab societies.
Al Qasimi added: “All submissions for the two categories should have contributed to shaping public opinion on vital public issues. They should, in addition, have worked to enhance the level of communication between the government and the public in order to promote sustainable development and achieve stability between the various components of the social system.”
The Chairman of SMC said that the selection process of the Media Personality of the Year would not consider popularity alone, but also the impact of the personality on the community, by assessing his/her contribution to the media domain, as well as ability to communicate with the public and deliver its views to governments and officials. Moreover, the personality should have actively contributed to resolving issues circulating across public platforms. Meanwhile, the Leadership in Media distinction will be awarded to an organisation that has achieved outstanding accomplishments in the Arab world, and has influenced the media landscape by creating programmes that augment the government-public partnership and enhance communication between them.
His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi said: “In order to be truly effective, purposeful regional media messaging today needs to expand to cover the entire Arab world. This is why we seek to strengthen the role of the media in government communication. The media and journalists are one facet of a three-sided pyramid, with the government and the public making up the other two sides. Media organisations, therefore, play a central role in the sustainable development of various fields by conveying the true picture to the other parties and ensuring a positive interaction between the government and society.”
It is worth mentioning that the first two Media Personality of the Year awards were won by Saudi columnist Dawood Al Sharyan and Khaled Zidjali, Chairman and Founder of the Oman Film Society, respectively, while the first two Leadership in Media Awards were won by Sky News Arabia and MBC Group.
In its third edition, the GCA is divided into two sections – the nominated categories and the selected categories. In the nominated categories, submissions are presented and evaluated by the award’s Jury Panel, while in the selected categories, winners are selected by SMC and the Jury Panel based on their diverse contributions to the development of the media and communication sector across the Arab region.
The Sharjah Government Communication Award was launched in September 2012 by Sharjah Media Centre under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.
The award seeks to highlight local and regional organisations and individuals excelling in the dynamic field of government communication. Notably, the GCA seeks to help build partnerships between government entities and decision makers on the one hand and between government entities and the public on the other.