Get a child in need a pair of shoes for free
Radio is first and best. That’s the sentiment of this year’s annual MTN Radio Awards.
The annual affair promotes and rewards national and community radio stations for excellence in various categories and culminates in a formal ceremony every year.
Like last year the MTN Radio Awards gala banquet will take over the International Convention Centre in Sandton on April 13.
“We really have come of age,” says MTN Radio Awards chief executive, Lance Rothschild.
“We set the target to receive 1 000 entries last year; there were 866, and we way exceeded 1 000 this year.”
Those 1 000 entries were submitted by no fewer than 68 South African radio stations. The awards committee asked that each entry be six of the very best minutes that pertain to each category because, says Rothschild, “if we catch people in the act of doing good (and reward that) then they will always aim to do good radio”.
At least six adjudicators judge every entry and the scores are then averaged, so you couldn’t bribe a judge even if you tried. The judging panel is comprised of 35 leading radio practitioners including Greg Maloka, Ed Jordan, Jeremy Maggs, Ismail Variava, Jackie Phaka, Zandile Nzalo and Tim Modise.
Obviously, some of the judges are still active in certain fields of radio and where there is a conflict of interest, the affected judge will be excused and not score that entry.
At last year’s banquet, the hosts for the evening were Jeremy Mansfield and Anele Mdoda (pictured). This year, only the latter will be returning for hosting duties and “there will be guest presenters from the radio industry and we’re hoping to engage young and energetic talent that is lesser known in Gauteng to be a part of that.”
While the awards have been consistently held in Gauteng, Rothschild insists that “the Radio Awards’ office infrastructure is Gauteng-based and we’d like to move the ceremony around the country, but it’s not on the cards this year. That doesn’t mean it won’t be on the cards forever, though.”
Aside from dropping 15 categories from the ceremony, there are a few more changes this time around. For instance, the My Station Award which debuted last year, will have two parts to it this year. Listeners are asked to vote in two categories under this My Station Award umbrella: the most listener votes as well as the most number of votes as a ratio against RAMS audience numbers. Last year, representatives of Radio Islam and Ukhozi FM walked away with awards from this category, respectively.
A listener who has voted will win a trip for two to these awards, a smartphone with R500 airtime as well as a VIP trip to the 2013 South African Music Awards (Samas).
Although entering the MTN Radio Awards is free to radio stations, there is no cash prize at the end of the day.
“It would be fantastic to give away a cash prize,” says Rothschild, “but what you win is the recognition from your peers.”
And if the growing number of entries is any indication, that is enough for some people.
• The MTN Radio Awards, International Convention Centre, Joburg, April 13. Voting for the My Station Award ends on March 15 at midnight. Voting details: www.mtn radioawards.com