Jenny Wetter, Population Institute
Jenny - The global media awards are an opportunity for the population institute to congratulate and encourage population and population-related issues such as how it affects environment, security, food availability and then this whole slew of issues around population. It gives us an opportunity to look at various outlets including film, newspaper, radio and hopefully encourage more media outlets to do more work in this area.
Ben - Media is quite a big world. As itís global media you have a huge range of people to look at. The winners were not only from the States and the UK but also from the Philippines, as far away as that. How do you actually choose in the first place who to look at, even for a shortlist?
Jenny - We send out a call for entries around the world. We go to various outlets. We just kind of put it out there to whoever is going to answer it. We had entries from most of the continents. We had several entries from Africa, the Philippines, in Asia and Europe. I donít think we had any from South America this year but itís a great opportunity to highlight people doing things all over the world.
Ben - How do you choose who will win?
Jenny - We brought together all of our entries and we had seven different judges. Each judge was responsible for 2-3 different categories. We had two judges per category. They rate all the entries that they had in each category. The two judges would then confer on their list of ranked entries and if they agreed then they were done. If they didnít agree then they would talk about why they favoured this one over that one. Then the judges ultimately came to a decision.
Ben - How many nominations did you have? How many did you start with?
Jenny - This year we had 161 entries from most continents around the world. It was great.
Ben - Although you know the geographical remit is huge, itís a global awards system, did people have to specifically work on population issues or do you reward the efforts of people who look at things in a broad way and just happen to focus on population as one particular blog post or one particular issue?
Jenny - I think The Naked Scientists was a great example of someone who doesnít necessarily focus on population issues but looks at science issues as a whole. While some of their talks may talk about population you donít need to focus solely on population. Itís great to bring in these audiences that maybe arenít as familiar with population issues, to be more familiar with them.