The winners are: Journalist of the Year:
Gerhard Rheeder (Middelburg Observer
)Press Photographer of the Year:
Herman Steyn (Die Pos
) Best Community Radio:
Radio RiversideRantho-Letsebe Community Media Achievement Award:
Namaqualand FM Cronwright (Circulation of 10 000+): Lowvelder
, NelspruitHultzer (circulation -10000): Polokwane Observer
For the past three years the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) and SANLAM partnership to celebrate excellence in the local media industry of South Africa has been growing from strength to strength. Over 300 editors, journalists, photographers and broadcasters from all nine provinces gathered at the Birchwood Hotel & OR Tambo Conference Centre in Johannesburg - Gauteng, where the MDDA-Sanlam Local Media Awards were presented at a gala dinner.
The evening, hosted by one of South Africa's best comedians, Shonisani Muleya commonly known as "Ashifashabba" was filled with laughter as he made sure that guests are entertained and kept in stitches. He spared no one. Guest speaker Dr Iqbal Surve gave a fresh perspective on the transformation of media and media diversity. PRINT MEDIA WINNERS WRITING AWARDS Hard News:
Desireé Rorke (Tygerburger
) Investigative Journalism:
Winner: Susanna Oosthuizen (Lowvelder
); Commendation: Lizeka Tandwa (Zithethele
) Human Interest:
Abrie Bronkhorst (Potchefstroom Herald
Christopher De Wet (Lowvelder
Cathy Stagg (Cape Community Newspapers) Personal Finance:
Clement Deane (Table Talk
) PHOTOGRAPHY News:
Herman Steyn (Die Pos
Mario Van der Waal (Potch Herald
) Features and Portraits:
Herman Steyn (Die Pos
) BEST FRONT PAGES: Community/Grassroots Media: The Eye News
, PolokwaneIndependent emerging newspapers (2-5 years): Titimuleni Nthavela Independent established newspapers (more than 5 years): Ziwaphi Corporate-owned Free Sheets: Tygerburger
, Milnerton Corporate-owned Paid papers: Paarl Post
, Paarl BEST NEWSPAPERS: Community/Grassroots: Ikamva Lase Gcuwa
, Butterworth Independent Emerging (2-5 years)/Independent established (5 years plus): Zithethele
, Nelson Mandela Bay Winner (Established 5 years+): Grocott's Mail
, Grahamstown Corporate-owned Free Sheets: Steelburger
, Lydenburg Corporate-owned Paid newspapers: BROADCAST MEDIA WINNERS Best Community Radio:
Radio Riverside Excellence in Investigative Journalism:
No prize awarded Excellence in Indigenous Language:
Vukani Community Radio Excellence in In-depth Coverage and Current Affairs:
The MDDA/SANLAM Local Media Awards bring together the (more than 22 years of SANLAM Community Newspaper Awards and 4 years of SABC News/MDDA Community Media Awards) into one big event - the MDDA/SANLAM Local Media Awards in the best interest of developing grassroots/local media talent, celebrating and promoting excellence. Over 500 entries have been received from community radio, newspapers, television and small commercial print media for the 2012/13 financial year. The Awards are based on the acknowledgement of the different types of local media operating at grassroots, these being community media, small commercial media and corporate owned local newspapers and magazines.
The two adjudication panels (print and broadcast) for the Awards are media professionals practising in both print and electronic media industry. They are tasked with the responsibility of identifying the best among the best in various categories. The adjudicators for the broadcast section of the competition are Jacob Ntshangase who is the convener and others judges are JP Louw, Nomusa Dhladhla-Mntambo, Martin Vilakazi, Mapule Mbhalati, Bruce Mkhize and Doc Fick. For the print competition, Henry Jeffreys is the convener and the team comprises of Lindsay Clowes, Fanie Groenewald, Collin Nxumalo, Professor Gavin Stewart, Joe Thloloe and Phindile Xaba.
This partnership between the MDDA, SANLAM and industry associations is a milestone in the pursuit of developing and promoting media diversity, and the celebration of excellence in the local media sector. "We are encouraged by the positive response we received from journalists who have entered for the Awards, including those from the remotest areas of the country where there are community newspapers and radio stations," said Sanlam Group Head of Communications, Mr Ainsley Moos.
"We are satisfied that the process was thorough and fair and we commend the hundreds of journalists and media workers who took their time to participate and make this competition challenging and exciting. This years Awards were timely, being part of 10 years of MDDA celebration, 20 years of NCRF, 20 years after the first Bush Radio's broadcast and the celebration of the life of a legend, giant of broadcasting post apartheid, Vuyo Mbuli," said the CEO of the MDDA, Mr Lumko Mtimde.
In a pre-recorded video played at the gala dinner, the judges provided feedback on the entries received. On the use of indigenous languages, the print adjudication committee commented, "We were impressed with the entries in some of the less dominant indigenous languages such as XiTsonga and TshiVenda. The judges felt very strongly that additional prizes for writing in indigenous languages should be considered. The broadcast adjudicators added, "There's a need to review the Rantho-Letsebe Award category. Instead of calling for entries, the judges and the MDDA can identify possible candidates from the sector broadly. The Award should also be used as a token to encourage individuals or organisation (today or past) to strive for excellence. The Awards can look into the issue of incentives where individuals are beneficiaries."