Dubai, Asharq Al-Awsat- The Times and The Sunday Times, have announced that they will be launching a regional awards competition next year. The Times Middle East Journalism Awards will honour individuals for notable contributions to regional print and online media.
The announcement was made today at a roundtable event in Dubai, in which regional media professionals debated a wide range of media-related issues with George Brock, Saturday Editor of The Times and President of the World Editors Forum.
Times editors say the competition will recognise excellence in a number of categories, including: outstanding work in Political, Business and Current Affairs Reporting; Local and International Reporting; Lifestyle, Arts and Feature Writing; Sports Writing and Investigative Reporting; Editing; Commentary and Analysis; and Photography and Design. There will also be awards for Overall Excellence and Journalist of the Year.
“Since 1788, when The Times was first published, the newspaper has set the standard for editorial quality in the UK,” said Brock. “Having established our international editions in Europe, the US and now the Arab world, we are increasingly a global publication. We see our Middle East awards as a way to make a positive contribution to the region. There is a lot of talent here that needs to be nurtured and rewarded. We are happy to play a supporting role in this.”
The Times Middle East Journalism Awards will be judged by an independent panel, and are open to people who work in print and online media in the region. Organisers are exploring the possibility of setting up a special work-study award for Best Young Journalist, which will allow a promising newcomer to spend time working in The Times newsroom in London.
Editors of The Times and The Sunday Times say that, as well as introducing a renowned international publication to the region, they hope to foster increased understanding and communication between media professionals in the UK and the Middle East.
Licensing for The Times and Sunday Times international editions in the region is held by Saudi-based SAB Media, part of SAB Holding. The papers will be published seven days a week and will be available in retail outlets or by subscription. The international editions are edited in London and will be printed in the UAE.
“Already, we have seen a keen commitment to the region from the editors of The Times and Sunday Times international editions,” said Sheikh Salah Al Belawi, Chairman, SAB Holding. “The Times Middle East Journalism Awards are just another indication that these newspapers plan to build a solid and long-lasting presence in the region.”