The judging panel of the Sharjah Government Communication Award (GCA) has held its second meeting, approving updates to the award’s electronic evaluation system and some of the categories.
The updates aim to align the GCA, which was launched under the directives of HH Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, with recent developments in the government communication field in the UAE.
Held under the chairmanship of Ibrahim Al Abed, Director General of the National Media Council, the meeting was attended by Dr. Abdul Rahman Azzi, Dean of the University of Sharjah’s Communications College; ??Ali Jaber, Dean of the Mohammed bin Rashid School for Communication at the American University in Dubai and Director General of the MBC TV Group; Dr. Nadine Al Asaad, Lebanese Journalist, Poet and Professor; Mohammed Khalaf, Director of Sharjah TV and Radio; Mamoon Sbeih, APCO Worldwide’s Managing Director for the Arab Region; and Rajeh Al Khouri, Writer and Political Analyst at Al Nahar and Asharq Al Awsat Newspapers, together with Osama Samra, Director of Sharjah Media Centre (SMC), and Asma Al Juwaid, ??Director of the GCA.
In the beginning of the meeting, Al Abed expressed his appreciation for the efforts of the GCA team and emphasised the significance of the recent changes in the second edition of the award. These changes, according to Al Abed, are set to encourage excellence in government communication to achieve sustainable development.
The judges pointed to the new government communication concept adopted by the GCA to encourage institutions and individuals to achieve and innovate, thereby supporting the vision of SMC to establish new ways of promoting government communication.
The meeting then saw a demonstration of the GCA evaluation stages. The evaluation process begins with the initial screening, where a screening committee examines participations to verify their compliance with the award’s conditions before referring them to the initial selection committee, which selects the works to be referred to the Judging Panel.
Another demonstration was given of the electronic evaluation system through which participations are submitted to all members of the judging panel.
The GCA judges emphasised that entries should comply with the award’s technical conditions, including the requirement that case studies must date back to no earlier than January 2012, must not exceed 1,000 words and must be written with the Simplified Arabic font in size 14.
They stressed that participations should be presented in sufficient detail and clarity to enable their proper consideration and the formation of a valid opinion about each of their elements, and about participants themselves.
The judging panel recommended that promotion for the award through various media channels be intensified to achieve the expansion desired in disseminating its goals at the local and international levels.
For his part, Osama Samra expressed his gratitude to the GCA Judging Panel, which represents a group of media professionals from the UAE and Arab world, lauding their effective role in the development of the Arab media system.
He emphasised that the GCA seeks to enhance communication with the public and create a true partnership between government entities and decision-makers on the one hand and between the diverse audiences on the other.
According to Samra, SMC reserves the right to use entries to the GCA’s various categories for presentation in the media or re-produce those for promotional purposes. “Entries will not be returned to any entrant”, said SMC Director, confirming that “the Judging Panel’s decisions are final and no correspondence in this regard will be entered into unless it is in the interest of the GCA to do so.”
It is worth mentioning that SMC, in collaboration with the Government Communication Office of the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs, held one workshop yesterday (Wednesday) and is holding another workshop today in Dubai to explain the standards that define the mechanisms of participation in the second edition of the GCA.