The focus of the inaugural awards (2018) is on “news stories” reported by 15 selected news organizations inside and outside the United States. The time frame for the stories is between January 2017 and October 2018. The selected media organizations included CNN, The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, Quartz Africa, The New York Times, The Economist, and Time magazine.
A complete list of the selected news media can be seen through this link.
For several weeks the organization scouted the internet for some of the best news stories about the African continent. Dozens of articles were gathered and analyzed by Africa Agenda volunteers that included Ryan Chase, Joshua White, George Bamu, and Scott DuPree.
We made the decision to not use judges from outside our organization. We felt our own critical and analytical abilities, a skill we are applying with content on our Africa News Matters website, is a principal reason why we exist as an organization. Acting as a critical lens for the community, we used our own standards to weigh these stories. Our selections were ranked according to the below criteria:
- Truth, accuracy and facts of each story
- Fairness (a lack of perceived bias)
- People connection (who was interviewed)
- Representation of the community (was there a connection between the story and the community)
- Importance (priority) and timeliness of each story