The finalists in the 17th CNN MultiChoice African Journalist competition were announced today, 18 May 2012, by Ferial Haffajee
, chair of the independent judging panel. This year the competition received entries from 42 countries across the continent, including French and Portuguese speaking Africa.
Announcing the finalists, Ferial Haffajee said, "The growing quality of the entries we pored over is a reflection of a growing continent claiming its place in the sun. We were impressed by the enhanced quality and competitiveness of the work before us; by the heart and soul poured onto pages and into pixels; by the adventurist spirit of the entries which came from more countries than ever before.
In print, in radio, in television it is clear that African journalism is in a growth spurt, claiming its stake as world-class and globally competitive. A bit like our continent." The 34 finalists from 12 countries include: Tunde Akingbade, freelance, The Guardian on Sunday, Nigeria
Joshua Anny, Joy FM, Ghana
Manar Attiya, Ahram Hebdo, Egypt
Adriaan Basson and Piet Rampedi, City Press, South Africa
Najlae Benmbarek, 2M TV, Maroc
Demelza Bush, Craig McKune and Verashni Pillay, Mail & Guardian Online, South Africa
Ramusel Graça, Televisão Santomense, São Tomé e Príncipe
Arsénio Henriques, Soico - STV, Mozambique
Edward Echwalu, freelance, The Observer, Uganda
Teresa Sofia Fortes, A Semana, Cabo Verde
Isabel João, Novo Jornal, Angola
Ahaoma Kanu, National Daily newspaper, Nigeria
Tom Mboya and Evanson Nyaga, Citizen TV, Kenya
Andrew Mulenga, The Post newspaper, Zambia
Nimrod Taabu Mwagamoyo and Charles Kinyua Kariuki, NTV, Kenya
Waihiga Mwaura and Jephitha Mwai Mwangi, Citizen TV, Kenya
John Muchangi Njiru, The Star, Kenya
Peter Nkanga, Elor Nkereuwem, Musikilu Mojeed and Idris Akinbajo, NEXT on Sunday, Nigeria
Antoine de Ras, The Star, South Africa
Megan Small and Clive Mtshali, 3rd Degree, e.tv, South Africa
Stephen Ssenkaaba, New Vision, Uganda
Joy Summers, Carte Blanche, South Africa
Gerald Tenywa, Saturday Vision, Uganda
Nelson Wesonga, Daily Monitor, Uganda
In the run up to the awards ceremony, to take place in Lusaka, Zambia on 21 July 2012, where the winners will be announced, an all expenses paid five day programme of workshops, media forums, networking has been set up for the finalists. The hosts for the evening will be Isha Sesay, host of CNN International's NewsCenter and Franklin Tembo Jnr, ZNBC presenter.
The independent judging panel, chaired by Haffajee, editor-in-chief, City Press, South Africa includes:
Ikechukwu Amaechi, editor, Daily Independent, Nigeria
Amadou Mahtar Ba, CEO, African Media Initiative
Jean-Paul Gérouard, editor-in-chief, France Télévisions
Joel Kibazo, journalist and media consultant
Arlindo Lopes, general manager, Regulatory & Corporate, Angola and Mozambique, MultiChoice Africa Ltd
Zipporah Musau, former managing editor: magazines, The Standard Group Ltd, Kenya
Kim Norgaard, CNN bureau chief, South Africa
Bruno Manteigas, UK Correspondent, Agência Lusa assisted in the judging of the Portuguese General News Category.
Freelance journalist, Paul McNally assisted the judging panel and carried out the first round of pre-selection, removing the entries that didn't meet the required journalistic standards to be put forward to the judging panel for the next stage of judging. Paul was the winner of the Health and Medical Category at the 2009 CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards, and a runner-up in the HIV/AIDS Reporting category of the same year.
This year the competition welcomes Nokia on board to sponsor the Digital Journalism Award, joining a list of sponsors who continue to lend their support to the awards: African Development Bank (AfDB); The Coca-Cola Company; Ecobank; Ericsson; IPP Media, Tanzania; Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), UNICEF and A24 Media.
Calibre of entries
Tony Maddox, executive vice president and managing director of CNN International said, "This year has seen a record number of entries for the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards from a diverse array of countries across the continent. The quality and excellence of the work submitted continues to rise year on year, ensuring that the 2012 competition maintains its place as the most prestigious Pan African Awards for journalists".
Nico Meyer, CEO of MultiChoice Africa said, "The CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards are an investment we truly believe in, as journalists are one of the cornerstones of a nation. We need to continue to recognise them as they tell real stories that reflect the fabric of our diverse societies. The standard of entries continues to grow and the quality of submissions is testimony to the great levels of talent our continent holds. We are honoured once again to be a part of these awards which contribute immensely in shaping freedom of speech and a healthy and vibrant media."
Collins Khumalo, CEO of MultiChoice South Africa said, "It is very important to us to help Africa not only find its voice but also to make that voice heard around the world. The CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards gives a voice to journalists across the continent. We look forward to celebrating their stories and achievements."