The new categories as well as the date for the opening of entries will be announced prior to the opening of the entries for the 2013 competition in November.
The 2013 Awards, which will be presented in May 2014, cover the period from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2013. Entries will open earlier to allow entrants more time to collate and submit their work.
The Awards have grown over the years and over 600 entries were received for the 2012 awards. In response, the MDDA and Sanlam will boost the Awards and the competition with additional categories in the broadcast section, which has traditionally had fewer categories.
The Awards celebrate and promote excellence in local and community media, and they bring together more than 20 years of Sanlam Community Newspaper Awards and four years of SABC News/MDDA Community Media Awards into one big event.
Encouraging journalists to participate, CEO of the MDDA, Mr Lumko Mtimde said: "We are excited about the upcoming competition and anticipate that entries will grow, particularly in the broadcast section for which we will be introducing new categories."
There are over 200 community newspapers, about 130 community radio stations and 7 licensed community television stations. These are all eligible to enter the MDDA-Sanlam Local Media Awards.
"We urge journalists to enter in their numbers and continue to support these Awards, which we believe promote quality and healthy competition that results in quality news and programming for the readers, listeners and the growing number of community television viewers," Mtimde.
It will be the fourth year that the joint MDDA-Sanlam Local Media Awards are presented. The Awards celebrate and promote excellence in local and community media, bringing more than 22 years of Sanlam Community Newspaper Awards and four years of SABC News/MDDA Community Media Awards into one big event.
Says Sanlam Group Head of Communications, Mr Ainsley Moos: "Sanlam is a growing multi-national with operations in 12 countries in Africa as well as operations in India, Malaysia, the UK, Ireland, America and Australia. But our roots are firmly in South Africa and we remain engaged in our country and committed to local initiatives that support development in South Africa.
"We believe this competition and the Awards play an important role in promoting excellence among community journalists and therefore we continue to invest in these awards. Despite the current challenging media environment, we believe community media is a critical source of information and news for communities that would otherwise have very limited access to media and information."
Moos said entries for the Awards would open earlier than previously to ensure that journalists have ample time to select the work they want to enter and submit it on time, bearing in mind the holiday period and the closing date which is usually at the end of January.
The Awards are run in partnership with various stakeholders in the sector, including the Print and Digital Media South Africa, the Association of Independent Publishers, the Forum of Community Journalists, the National Community Radio Forum, the National Association of Broadcasters, the Association of Christian Media and the Independent Forum of Religious Broadcasters.
"We have enjoyed a mutually beneficial and fruitful partnership with our stakeholders and value their participation in supporting us to organise these awards and assist us with communicating to all the potential participants. We look forward to working with them again this year," Mtimde concluded.