Nominations open for women’s health reporting awards

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada and the
Canadian Foundation for Women’s Health has opened applications for its
2011 Journalism Awards for Excellence in Women’s Health Reporting, which
recognizes print and broadcast journalists, reporters and producers
that inform the public about sexual and reproductive health issues.

The two organizations rely on the media to relay relvant and critical health information to Canadians.

A press release reports that “public awareness, attitudes and behaviours are greatly influenced by the information Canadians receive in the newspapers or magazines they read, the radio stations they listen to, and the television programs they watch. The role of mass media is instrumental in modern health care. ‘Accurate, timely, and evidence-based information must be made available to women so that they can make well-informed and relevant choices about their health. The media can be a very powerful way to reach out to Canadians. It can help initiate and facilitate conversations about important women’s health issues,’ said Dr. Ahmed Ezzat, President of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.”

Last year’s winners were CBC Radio’s Alison Motluk for her maternity story, and Mark Witten for his story about women’s cancer risk in Homemakers.

Publications and broadcasts must have appeared in a Canadian consumer newspaper, magazine or broadcast between Jan 1 and Dec 31, 2010. (Trade pieces are not eligible). The deadline is March 14.

The releaseoffers this criteria:

    * Originality: The article/report was proactive rather than reactive; it is published in advance of, rather than in response to an announcement or someone else’s story.
    * Creativity: The information is presented in a unique, skillful and imaginative way, with a distinctive approach or angle.
    * Substance of the story: The depth and quality of the research, consultation process, analysis, and presentation of the information in the article/report.
    * Interpretation of medical information: The ability of the journalist to present complex information and issues in layman’s terms, without compromising the scientific or professional integrity of the subject matter, and in a way that retains the interest of readers/listeners/viewers.
    * Quality of writing and presentation: Proper grammatical use, interesting layout of the information, and readability.
    * Clarity of the message: The purpose of the article/report is clear (e.g. increased awareness, change in perception or attitudes, call-to-action) and the significance of the subject matter for the reader/listener/viewer is apparent
    * Education benefit to women: Women who read/hear/view the article/report would acquire important information to help them develop informed opinions and/or make informed decisions.
    * Relevance: The information is pertinent, timely, accurate, and helps address a current issue or opportunity facing or affecting women’s health today.
    * Effectiveness: The article/report has the potential to catalyze national, regional, local and/or individual health priorities.