Know of a science and tech journalist who excels at their job? Or perhaps someone training to be a writer who you think should be commended for their work. Good, because nominations for the 12th annual Profile Awards, which honour hacks from across the continent, are now open.

Engineering technology company Siemens is rolling out the red carpet and honouring science and tech journalists in Africa through the Profile Awards and this year, student journalists will also be recognised and trained to hone their skills.

The company has introduced a new skills development programme to the 2014 Profile Awards and will be working with SA universities to help develop student journalists’ skills in science and technology reporting.

“Journalists play a vital role in distilling complex science, technology and engineering into a language that business, government and the public can understand,” said Siemens’ Clifford Klaas, “”We don’t want to only recognise established journalists.”

Four universities have been chosen to partner with Siemens in this new programme and journalism students will be invited to specialist master classes aimed at equipping them to identify and produce quality science and technology stories.

A student arm of the Profile Awards has also been introduced, the 2014 Student Profile Awards are open to journalism students from across Africa, with five student journalists in line to be 2014 Student Profile Award winners.

The Department of Science and Technology has shown its support for the awards and recognised the importance of science ad tech journalism. Minister of Science and Technology Naledi Pandor said that recognising working journalists and training student journalists would raise awareness about SA science and technology and its role in SA’s growth.

“We rely on journalists to explain how science and technology are an engine for economic growth and a vital factor in building a
knowledge-based economy,” Pandor said. “This is important for people in the world of work, and for parents and teachers in helping to encourage learners with an interest in science and technology to take it further.”

Journalists, government, businesses and members of the public are invited to get involved in the 2014 Profile Awards by nominating themselves or their favourite science journalist or a journalist (Is that a hint? – Ed) that has produced a great science and technology story in any field – from healthcare, industry and energy to the environment, information and communication technology or infrastructure development.

If you’re a student journalist and are interested in the Profile Awards skills development programme or the student awards, visit the Profile Awards Student Portal.

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