Entries are now open for the Rural Women New Zealand Journalism Award 2012, which will be presented at the NZ Guild of Agricultural Journalists Awards in Wellington on 12 October.
Rural Women NZ began sponsoring the prize five years ago to encourage journalists to redress a serious gender imbalance in the rural media, and turn their attention to the achievements of women living and working in rural communities.
It's a strategy that's paid off, says RWNZ national president, Liz Evans.
"At last year's awards, there were more entries in the Rural Women New Zealand Journalism Award category than any other, reflecting much more balanced reporting in the rural media."
There's also been a growth in the number of women working as rural reporters.
One iconic rural television show has brought in five new freelance reporters and directors in the last seven years, and four of these have been women. The producer describes the women as very experienced, talented and able.
"We're delighted to see on that show alone that half of its recent episodes were made by women reporters and directors, and several had women as the main subject," says Liz Evans.
Last year's winner of the Rural Women New Zealand Journalism Award was Rebecca Harper, who's since gone on to become news editor of a major farming weekly newspaper.
Entries in the RWNZ Journalism Award 2012 must be of two articles, radio broadcasts or television programmes based on the theme of 'rural women making a difference'.
"This could be in the sense of community involvement, on farm, or in another rural-based business or activity."
Entries close Monday 10 September 2012. Any New Zealand-based journalist or communicator is eligible to enter the award. The winner will receive $500.
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