'S'thembiso Hlongwane has been named Discovery Health Journalist of the Year for 2012 for his piece, "We're waiting to die," published in Drum magazine, which won the category 'Best Health News Reporting'. Close on 200 entries were received for the fourth annual contest.
Dr Jonathan Broomberg, CEO of Discovery Health, Sthembiso Hlongwane, Prof Tawana Kupe, Convener of the Discovery Health Journalism Awards
Other category winners include Xolile Bhengu; Chris Bateman and Hanna Barry as co-winners; the Herald's team of Brian Hayward, Eugene Coetzee, Estelle Ellis and Khanyi Ndabeni; Lydia van der Merwe; Colette du Plessis; Chris Bateman; Siphosethu Stuurman; Lindile Mpanza and Mukelwa Hlatshwayo; and Fathima Simjee.
According to the judging panel, Hlongwane's article is "a masterpiece of excellent, striking and unforgettable journalism, which portrays a healthcare delivery system on its knees due to political and economic mismanagement by an unelected absolute monarch who spends the nation's resources on himself.
"The story, focussing on Swaziland, demonstrates the collateral effects on South Africa's own challenged health delivery system in ways that similar stories focusing on health crises in other countries did not manage to achieve. The story is exemplary journalism in its uses of a diversity of sources that add informational and explanatory value."
Dr Jonathan Broomberg, CEO of Discovery Health said, "Congratulations to all the deserving winners. These awards aim to make a meaningful contribution to the quantity and quality of health reporting in South Africa by promoting and recognising excellent health reporting. Health journalism is as broad as the healthcare profession is, spanning a number of issues in the clinical, scientific, economics, personal finance, lifestyle and other sectors where healthcare issues are of importance."
Professor Tawana Kupe, convenor of the judging panel and Dean of Humanities at University of the Witwatersrand said, "We were pleased with the overall quality of entries and to receive a record number of entries. Many of these entries skilfully dealt with relevant health issues that are ongoing and will have a significant impact on our society over time; and demonstrated a knowledge, understanding and application of the many facets necessary for delivering excellent health journalism in a factual, well-balanced, clear and informative way. This kind of knowledge, understanding and application of excellent journalism is what judges look for in a competition of this calibre."
loveLife CEO, Grace Matlhape said, "Health reporting targeting youth requires young people themselves to drive that reporting process to capture and retain the attention of youth. Journalism remains a critical tool to promote active citizenship and the health of our nation. The organisation's involvement in the Discovery Health Journalism Awards encourages the participation of young journalists in providing excellent and creative health reporting."
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