BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN — Aspiring “social journalists” from Brunei are invited to participate in the 2nd ASEAN Youth Social Journalism Contest 2021.
Contestants must submit an essay and campaign ideas based on the theme of “#ASEANYouth and COVID-19 ─ Response, Recovery, and Resilience”.

The contest is inviting talented ASEAN youth to share and promote fact-based and compelling messages showcasing the importance of ASEAN youth at the forefront of efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Young social journalists are encouraged to provide compelling media products to express their critical thinking and allow them to raise their voices on COVID-19 issues affecting their local communities that also have regional implications.
Based on the essay submissions, 20 youth from 10 ASEAN member states will participate in a virtual workshop at the end of April to develop and implement a social awareness activity in their countries.
A “social journalist” is a member of the public who is interested in making a positive contribution to his/her community by collecting and disseminating and/or publishing news and information based upon his/her observations, research, or through other means.
This contest is supported by the ASEAN Foundation, ASEAN Secretariat, Ireland Embassy, and the ASEAN-USAID PROSPECT, a joint project of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and US State Department.

Who can apply?

  1. Any existing or aspiring social journalist that holds an ASEAN member state’s passport (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) and resides in the country of citizenship. (Note: professional journalists who are full-time employees of established media outlets are not eligible to participate).
  2. Interested ASEAN youths are required to form a team of two from the same nationalities. Applicants must be between 18 and 30 years of age on April 26, 2021.
  3. Selected finalists must be proficient in spoken and written English.
  4. Selected finalists must have active Facebook and Gmail accounts for ease of communication with the trainer and other participants.

How to apply?

  1. Write a TEAM’s essay (maximum 500 words) and its summary inclusive of the campaign ideas (maximum 300 words) on the selected theme described above, explaining the theme, why it is important for youth in ASEAN, how it is relevant in your own life.

The summary must answer the following questions:

  1. What is the problem you are trying to solve with your campaign?
  2. What evidence do you have that there is a problem?
  3. Who is your target audience?
  4. What qualifies you to be listened to by the target audience?
  5. How will your campaign contribute to solving the problem?
  6. What will be the expected tangible results of the campaign?
  7. In the application form, list any supporting references to existing publications or sources that support the information in the essay. Such references can be in any format, such as text, photos, infographics and audio/video.
  8. Complete the application form and upload all requested attachments.

Deadline for applications:

March 7, 2021 at 23:59 pm Jakarta/Bangkok time

Application process and evaluation criteria

A selected panel of judges will evaluate the essays. The selection criteria are outlined below:

  1. Clarity of ideas: The essay clearly demonstrates an understanding of the theme and why it is important to youth in the ASEAN Community.
  2. Originality and creativity: The content is unique and written in a creative and compelling way with a thoughtful approach from the youth perspective.
  3. Potential reader impact: The essay conveys personal or aspirational thoughts that are inspiring to viewers.

Following the evaluation process, 10 teams consist of 20 finalists (two from each ASEAN member state) will be selected to participate in a virtual social journalism workshop in April 2021.

What to expect in the workshop?

  1. During the workshop, each country team will develop one agreed upon activity proposal to raise awareness and address the aforementioned theme related to ASEAN and in their home country and pitch this proposal to the trainer and judges.
  2. The trainer and judges will evaluate the proposal pitches and provide feedback to the finalists.

What happens after the workshop?

Following the workshop, each team will receive a stipend and be required to implement their proposed activity to attract public engagement.
Each team will be required to submit content posts (e.g.: news articles, photos, videos, etc.) in English to be evaluated and published on the ASEAN Social Journalism Facebook Group.
Activity and content will then be evaluated based on several indicators such as the amount of content published, diversity of the content format, frequency of the publication of content, and audience engagement.
Following the evaluation, the top three teams will be announced to receive cash prizes.