Encouraging newspapers, broadcast stations and online resources to help spread the word about the important role social workers play in society has been a tradition of National Professional Social Work Month, which is celebrated each March.
The outreach effort relies on thousands of social workers from coast to coast to use local media resources to inform neighbors about the many ways social workers help people and their communities.
Building on this year’s theme, “Social Work Matters,” NASW plans to highlight the best reporting and depictions of social work issues showcased by the media through its website, Social Workers Speak.
According to NASW Communications Director Gail Woods Waller, the site will host the first NASW Media Awards Program, which will serve as a platform for the best reporting and media depictions of social work-related stories. Voting will be open from March 1 to 31 and award winners will be announced at NASW’s Annual Leadership Meeting in April. Nominations will be accepted this month.
“We are depending on NASW members to nominate and vote for the most compelling stories and programs across the country,” Waller said.
The 10 media award categories will be: websites; single topic blogs; newspaper/news; newspaper/columns; magazines; radio; TV/news; TV/shows (broadcast or online); film/commercial; and film/documentary. Nominations will be accepted this month.
The awards also will serve as an incentive to social workers to contact their local media with story leads and to make themselves available as subject matter experts throughout the year, Waller noted.
In addition to the awards program, donations to the NASW Foundation from now until March will help support promotional announcements about the profession on National Public Radio, scheduled to air in March.