With all the focus on the role of alcohol in society over the past year, the leading spirits maker Diageo South Africa, has announced the return for its Responsible Drinking Media Awards (RDMAs) for 2021 to recognise extensive media reporting on the matter.
First launched in 2010, RDMAs are held annually to recognise media practitioners in TV, radio, print and online that have put in an effort in reporting and driving conversations about the risks of alcohol misuse, promoting measures to promote responsible drinking as well as the socio-economic value of beverage alcohol.
With 2020 RDMAs being postponed to this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, 2021 will mark a decade the awards have been running.
Entries for the 2021 RDMAs officially open today (Wednesday, 1 September 2021) with participating members of the media standing a chance of winning up to R50 000 for their published content around alcohol use.
Corporate Relations Director at Diageo SA, Sibani Mngadi recalls that there was no much media and public attention to the issues of alcohol when the RDMAs were launched in 2010. “We were struggling to get reporting on such things as the risk of drinking during pregnancy, underage drinking and even attention to the problem of drinking and driving was very seasonally linked to holiday periods,” said Mngadi.
He said the 2021 edition of the RDMAs was an opportunity to recognise various members of the media for the high volume of reporting and conversations that have taken place over the past year.
“With the lockdown, we have seen an unprecedented focus on need to scale up interventions against alcohol misuse. The period has also highlighted the critical economic value add of the alcohol value chain from manufacturing, packaging up to retail. There is also a greater recognition of the alcohol contribution to tourism, restaurants and taverns that are an integral part of the township economy,” said Mngadi.
RDMAs have become an entrenched part of the Diageo calendar with the number of entries increasing year on year. The awards are open to all South African media who have generated content that relates to responsible drinking and that talk to the impact of alcohol abuse, including issues such as drinking and driving, alcohol restrictions and policy around the use and sale of alcohol as well as the economic role of the sector.
Any material that relates to the abovementioned topics and published between 1 February 2020 and 30 September 2021, on any media platform is eligible to enter the 2021 awards.
The 2021 awards are categorised and split across best magazine, best newspaper, best online publication or post, best radio, best TV and best up and coming for journalism students, with the main overarching awards for Journalist of the Year. The winner of each category will walk away with R20 000. Journalist of the Year winner will be selected amongst the winners in the other categories and will walk away with a total prize money of R50 000.
The judging panel to be announced soon will be independent of Diageo and made up of senior, experienced practitioners in various segments of the media.
For more information on the awards and how to enter, journalists can visit https://www.diageo.co.za/en/rdma/ Entries are open from 1 September 2021 until 30 September 2021 and can either be submitted online or by downloading an entry form and sending it to DiageoRDMA@verbsa.com