The first Citizen Journalism Awards is searching for the best images and video footage from non-professional contributors published in the mainstream media over the past year.

The first Citizen Journalism Awards is searching for the best images and video footage from non-professional contributors published in the mainstream media over the past year.

Launching the awards, organisers acknowledge that the role of the ?citizen journalist? has become increasingly important over the past 12 months, with many news reports ?taking their lead from submissions by the general public?.

Open to residents of the UK and Ireland ? and run by journalists? magazine Press Gazette – the awards will accept entries that have been published in a recognised magazine, newspaper, broadcast service – or media such as a citizen journalism website, photo-sharing website or internet news service company based in the British Isles.

Pictures must have been captured between 1 May 2005 and 30 April 2006 and each entry must be accompanied by a paragraph detailing why it should considered.

Backed by mobile phone company Nokia the awards are free to enter and a maximum of five entries per individual are allowed.

Prizes for the overall winner include a Nokia N90 camera phone and a photo printer, while the runner-up will win a Nokia N80 phone.

Entries will be accepted from 1 May and should be sent to citizenjournalist@pressgazette.co.uk

Judges include Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow and the closing date is 30 June 2006.

Further details of the Nokia NSeries Citizen Journalism Awards are available at

www.citizenjournalismawards.co.uk