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Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards: Regional winners announced

This year's Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards introduced new categories more in keeping with the 21st Century media landscape, drawing close to 1 000 entries from all over the country. The theme for the 2018 awards is 'The Pen is Mightier than the Sword'.
L to R: Theodore Jephta (Die Son); Asanda Nini (Daily Dispatch – also accepted obo Bongani Fuzile, Nonsindiso Qwabe); Travis Goate (Vodacom); Jayed-Leigh Paulse (SABC); Malibongwe Dayimani (accepted obo Sino Majangaza, Bongani Fuzile); Ryland Fisher (VJOY convenor) and Deidre Uren (SABC - accepted obo SABC winners).

Takalani Netshitenzhe, chief officer for corporate affairs at the Vodacom Group said:
We are pleased with the response to the updated categories that were introduced this year. It’s vital that the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards remain relevant and a true reflection of the changing media landscape.
Special thanks went to our judges Ryland Fisher, Mary Papayya, Arthur Goldstuck, Elna Rossouw, Patricia McCracken, Collin Nxumalo, Mathatha Tshedu, Albe Grobbelaar, Megan Rusi and Obed Zilwa; who Netshitenzhe says continue to lend their time and expertise in the adjudication of these awards.Convenor of the judging panel Ryland Fisher said: “There was an excellent array of entries across the 12 categories this year. The winners can be proud of the work they have done and we hope to see even more entries from this region next year.”The regional winners in the categories are as follows:

Eastern Cape

  • Investigative: Bongani Fuzile from the Daily Dispatch
  • Opinion: No winner
  • Lifestyle/feature: Zimkhita Manqinana and Cwenga Mgubasi from SABC TV.
  • Photography: Theodore Jephta from Die Son Newspaper
  • Sport: Jayed-Leigh Paulse of the SABC
  • Economic/financial: Bongani Fuzile from The Daily Dispatch for ‘Broadband Deal’
  • Politics: Makhaya Komisa from SABC News Radio
  • CSI/sustainability: No winner
  • Live reporting/breaking news: Asanda Nini from The Daily Dispatch
  • Data journalism: No winner
  • Multi-platform: Sino Majangaza from Tiso Blackstar
  • Young Journalist of the Year Award: The nominee is Nonsindiso Qwabe from Tiso Blackstar Group


  • Investigative: Susan Comrie and Pauli van Wyk
  • Opinion: Sipho Hlongwane from the Daily Vox
  • Lifestyle/feature: Nicola de Chaud from Tin Can Communications, for her story on Carte Blanche
  • Photography: Alon Skuy from Tiso Blackstar
  • Sport: Ronald Masinda and the team, Gift Kganyago, Nceba Ntlanganiso, Charle Lombard from eSAT TV
  • Economic/financial: Lisa Steyn from The Mail & Guardian
  • Politics: Sasha Schwendenwein from Combined Artists for her piece on Carte Blanche
  • CSI: Sheree Bega from Independent Media (Saturday Star)
  • Live reporting/breaking news: Zikhona Tshona from eNCA
  • Data journalism: Alastair Otter and Laura Grant from Media Hack
  • Multi-platform: Kim Harrisberg, Warren Raysdorf and Mohale Mashigo from Health E-News
  • Young Journalist of the Year Award: The nominee is Mashadi Kekana from The Mail & Guardian

KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga

  • Investigative: Ziyanda Ngcobo and Pieter Theron from EWN
  • Opinion: Matthew Savides from Tiso Blackstar
  • Lifestyle: Glynis Horning (freelance), and Dasen Thathia from eNCA. Also credited are video editor Susanna Holmes and camera operator Nkanyiso Mdlalose
  • Photography: Jackie Clausen from Tiso Blackstar
  • Sport: Quintin van Jaarsveld from eHowzit
  • Economics: Sam Sole, Susan Comrie and Craig McKune from AmaBhungane
  • Politics: Sabelo Nsele from The Witness
  • CSI: Julie Laurenz from Nguni TV
  • Live reporting/ breaking news: Dasen Thathiah, Nkanyiso Mdlalose, Susanna Holmes, Terence Stone, and Francois Grobler from eNCA
  • Data journalism: No winner
  • Multi-platform: Jeff Wicks, Suthentira Govender and Lwandile Bhengu from TimesLive
  • Young Journalist of the Year Award: Vuyelwa Mtolo from Media24

Free State, Northern Cape, North West and Limpopo

  • Investigative: Puleng Modupe from SABC News
  • Opinion: No winner
  • Lifestyle: Charles Smith from Media24, Volksblad
  • Photography: Mlungisi Louw from Volksblad
  • Sport: Andre Damons from Media24, Netwerk24
  • Economics: Ulrich Hendriks and Jabu Oa Afrika from SABC
  • Politics: Tabelo Timse from Amabhungane
  • CSI: Mlungisi Louw and Charles Smith from Volksblad
  • Live reporting/breaking news: Josca Human from OFM, and Reginald Witbooi from SABC Morning Live - who has also credited Sphiwe Hobasi
  • Data journalism: No winner
  • Multi-platform: No winner
  • Young Journalist of the Year Award: Nominee for this region is Olebogeng Motse from Central Media Group

Western Cape

  • Investigative: Annalise Lubbe of Carte Blanche
  • Opinion: Willemien Brummer from Netwerk24
  • Lifestyle: Jay Caboz from Media24
  • Photography: Cindy Waxa from Independent Media
  • Sport: Leila Dougan from The Daily Maverick
  • Economics: Bobby Jordan from the Sunday Times for the story ‘Rotten Cargo’
  • Politics: Marianne Merten from The Daily Maverick
  • CSI: Aletta Harrison from News24
  • Live reporting/breaking news: Athi Mtongana, Mario Pedro, and Lungile Tom from eNCA
  • Data journalism: The team of Roxanne Joseph, Adi Eyal, Siphe Macanda, Anton van Zyl, Raymond Joseph, Jeff Lowenstein, Damien Schlechter, Daniela Lepiz and Khadija Sharife for 'Gaming the lottery'
  • Multi-platform: Diana Neille, Bernard Kotze, Leila Dougan, Marelise van der Merwe, Sumeya Gasa and Heidi Swart from The Daily Maverick
  • Young Journalist of the Year Award: Robin-Lee Francke from Independent Media

Regional category winners will receive R5,000 each, national category winners take home R10,000 each, with the coveted national accolade of Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award winner receiving R100,000. The winner of the young journalist award will win an all-expenses-paid overseas trip that includes a visit to the Thomson Foundation, as well as the opportunity to work in a newsroom.
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