The 2013 Citi Journalistic Excellence Awards, open to all financial business and freelance journalists from across South Africa, has been won by Max Gebhardt, a former senior associate editor at Business Day.
His winning article, titled 'Bread cartel probe fails to put lid on price inflation', was published in the Business Day on 29 November 2013. The article reported on the progress made by the Competition Commission's probe into South Africa's major bread producers for price fixing and collusion, and the limited impact that the probe has had on bread prices in terms of competition.
Meet with global finance leaders
He will join business and financial journalists from around the world in New York City at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, where they will be provided an opportunity to meet and speak with global leaders in the fields of finance, business, journalism and government.
Gebhardt says that his fascination and respect for financial reporting came about in an unexpected way, "Assisting with staff shortage at a newspaper's business news team was my introduction to the field and I haven't looked back. Financial reporting touches all of our lives and it consumes more of our time than anything else does. I have been lucky to not only report on companies but for a number of years I moved on to do consulting work and run a company. A company's success, or not, determines the fate of thousands of people and this has allowed me to have a better understanding of how businesses operate."
On entering the awards
Talking about his motivation to enter the awards, he says that he was driven by a combination of both professional and personal ambitions. "I started my career in newspapers before the internet and have worked through its rapid evolution. The internet has shaken our industry to its very core and its disruption in the modus operandi of news reporting isn't about to end any time soon - especially with the boom in mobile and smart devices.
"No industry can expect to emerge unscathed from such disruption but it can survive it.
"I entered the awards because they would offer me a chance to interact with my peers from around the world, gain insights from them on how they are tackling the challenges facing their industries, while seeing and experiencing the financial capital of the world," he concludes.
Chief country officer of Citi South Africa Donna Oosthuyse emphasised the significance of the awards, "We are proud of Gebhardt and his contribution to business and financial reporting in South Africa has been of outstanding quality. The awards will offer him the opportunity to participate in discussions with journalists from around the globe and what affects each country across the world; and they will also be a great networking opportunity for him to showcase the quality of reporting in South Africa."