Popular female sports journalist, Juliet Bawuah, has been nominated for the 2015 Sport Media Pearl Awards. 85 shortlisted contenders in all categories were announced at the Rosewood Hotel in Abu Dhabi at an event hosted by former Olympic gold medalist Jonathan Edwards.
The former TV3 presenter's work on the young Ghanaian footballers and their fight with dubious agents, which aired while she was with Accra-based CITI FM, earned her the final spot in the audio category. Ghana's 2015 Multichoice CNN Africa Journalist of the Year Award nominee, Fiifi Anaman, also made it to the final shortlist in the Writing Category.
The judging process will now begin to find the top three finalists in each category who will then be invited to Abu Dhabi for an awards ceremony on December 15, with the chance to win the prestigious Pearl trophy, US$10,000, and 2nd and 3rd place prizes of US$5,000 each.
Other nominees in the category were Ronald McIntosh (UK), Dario Ricci (Italy, Radio24), Matt Slater, UK, BBC, Ulrich Schäfer, (Germany, WDR), Marwan Alhammadi, (United Arab Emirates, The National), Langé Isabelle, (France, RTL), Michael Curling, (UK, IAAF Radio), Pirmin Styrnol, (Germany, Momente des Sports), Jan Kaliba, (Czech Republic, Czech Radio)
The judging panel is led by Gianni Merlo, AIPS President, and made up of 11 sport media professionals including the international NBA legend Yao Ming as the Jury’s Special Ambassador of Sport.
The jury members alongside Yao Ming are Gianni Merlo from Italy, AIPS President; Jamil Mohamed Abd Al-Qader from Jordan, President of the Arab Sports Press Association; Vincent Amalvy from France, Global Head of Sports of AFP; Jaap de Groot from The Netherlands, Chief Editor of the sport section of De Telegraaf; Donna de Varona from the US, President of DAMAR Inc.; Mark Gleeson from South Africa, SuperSport television soccer commentator and freelance journalist; Rainer Holzschuh from Germany, President of European Sport Media and publisher of Kicker - Sportmagazin; Gary Kemper from the US, IOC Consultant; Shinsuke Kobayashi from Japan, Chief Editor of the Sports News Section at Kyodo News; Neil Wilson from UK, Athletics and Olympic Correspondent of The Daily Mail for 25 years. The jury will now begin the hard task of choosing the final winners.
The Sport Media Pearl Awards recently completed a worldwide promotional tour visiting four continents, 14 countries and 15 major sport events, including the UEFA Champions League Final in Berlin, the Special Olympics in LA and the European Games in Baku, encouraging sports journalists to submit their work.
Managed by AIPS and hosted by Abu Dhabi Media, the Sport Media Pearl Awards have set out to celebrate the industry’s unsung heroes – the men and women who bring the drama of sporting achievement to life for a global audience.
As well as the main journalistic categories, there are several special categories, including Sport for a Better World, which focuses on coverage dedicated to a sporting initiative and aims to improve the lives of marginalised members of society. In addition to the US$10,000 first prize, US$50,000 will be awarded to the non-profit organisation that features in the winning story.
Three further awards that were not open to submission – ‘A Life in Sport’, ‘Investigative Reporting’ and ‘Best App’ – will also recognize outstanding work in the industry.
Registrations officially opened in March this year.