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Who will be Vodacom Journalist of the Year 2007?

South Africa's top journalists have come through the regional finals in the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards. Now it's a waiting game until the national winners are revealed this Sunday evening, 4 November 2007, at Vodaworld, Midrand, Gauteng.
Here are the names of the regional winners with quotes about their work from the judging panel.

In the Print Feature category:

Kerry Cullinan, Health –E News (KZN Region)
“Her writing is excellent; she takes big story ideas and makes them accessible to her readers.”

Willemien Brummer, Insig Magazine (Western Region)
“A brave, well-written and thought provoking article on violence in schools on the Cape Flats.”

Tanya Farber, The Star (Southern Northern Region)
“Unbelievable sensitivity in the writing and detail in the narrative.”

Sibongile Dimbaza, Weekend Post (Eastern Region)
“This story features interviews with traumatised guards who live with not only the fear of being attacked, but the reality of having survived attacks.”

Charlene Stanley, Passi (Central Region)
“For the creative, well-written and integrated feature on a Free State icon, former Premier Winkie Direko.”

In the Print News category:

Megan Power and Jocelyn Maker, Sunday Times (KZN Region)
“A very thorough piece well researched over three months, speaking to over 150 people to expose a secret world.”

Lauren Kansley, Independent Newspapers (Western Region)
“It was the tenacity and ability to stay with the story, which led this journalist to get this scoop.”

Simpiwe Piliso, Sunday Times (Southern Northern Region)
“The news value, research and quality of writing were commented on by the judges as was the interpretive skills of the writer.'

Tom Mapham, Daily Dispatch (Eastern Region)
“A story that helped the community opens its heart to two stranded brothers who now live in an orphanage and where their mother can visit them. “

Jana Engelbrecht, Diamonds Fields Advertiser (Central Region)
“For the national headline-breaking story about Kimberley magistrate Kubashni Panayachee, who released suspects, including suspected rapists – because it was 4pm and she was ‘tired and hungry'

In the Columnist category:

Thobile Nxumalo, Ilanga News (KZN Region)
“A surprisingly different style of writing, coupled with an understanding of her readers, make her columns a pleasure to read.”

Lauren Beukes, The Big Issue (Western Region)
“She tackles issues of the day in a no-nonsense fashion. The column is entertaining, sometimes satirical mostly amusing.”

Fred Khumalo, Sunday Times (Southern Northern Region)
“Highly individualistic style, simple and effective writing epitomize Fred Khumalo's columns in the Sunday Times.”

Dana Snyman, Weg (Southern Northern Region)
“Focused on travel in a unique way, full of character, readers can easily identify with the tales of another age. A consummate storyteller.”

Paddi Clay, The Herald (Eastern Region)
“For her insightful and sharp commentary on topical issues of the day.”

Gert Coetzee, Volksblad (Central Region)
“For the column on the almost never ending ANC power struggle in the Free State in which the columnist shows creativity and a laudable depth of understanding of politics on a higher level.”

Editors Choice

Magaqshini Mottian, SABC (KZN Region)
“This winner shows great promise. She asked brave and penetrating questions and pushed the issue.”

Sipokazi Maposa, The Cape Argus (Western Region)
She goes through to the final round of the competition to be held in Johannesburg. The winner gets an all expenses paid trip to study at the prestigious Thompson Foundation in Cardiff, Wales

Mandy Weiner, Talk Radio 702 (Southern Northern Region)
“Displaying admirable versatility, courage and tenacity in her work, the journalist makes remarkable use of natural sound to bring real-life stories to her audience.”

Nicky Willemse, The Weekend Post (Eastern Region)
“This individual is a talented journalist. Writing on a wide range of topics, the journalist takes her profession seriously. She endeavors to get the full and complete story for her readers. She displays deep insight into her stories. From rape on the high seas to the perennial problem of anorexia, the journalist excels.”

Marapedi Sekhoane, SABC (Central Region)
“For the versatility, critical inquiry, insightfulness, knowledge and diligence shown by a most promising broadcast journalist.”

In the Financial/ Economic category

Fred Kockott, Sunday Tribune (KZN Region)
“A breaking story with far reaching implications for the region. The winner displayed technical proficiency and a depth of understanding.”

Bruce Cameron, Personal Finance (Western Region)
“He has a strong nose for news in his area of expertise, and exhibits a deep understanding of economic issues.”

Barry Sergeant, Moneyweb (Southern Northern Region)
“For his in-depth investigation and thorough reporting of a financial catastrophe.”

Bianca Capazorio, The Herald (Eastern Region)
“The journalist has succinctly captured the downtrodden past, and demonstrates the growth the area is experiencing through investments.”

Vida Booysen, Volksblad (Central Region)
“The South African economy needs entrepreneurs, and the stories to inspire and motivate other others to be successful. For the piece on Bloemfontein's own self made entrepreneur, Ms Doll Mahatanya

In the Sport category

Morgan Collins , e-TV (KZN Region)
“This entry stood head and shoulders above other submissions. The winner used an interesting angle and his approach to the story was good.”

Dale Granger, The Cape Argus (Western Region)
“He is clearly technically proficient and the quality of his writing also helped maintain interest.”

Carlos Amato, Sunday Times (Southern Northern Region)
“An in-depth story on attempts by the SA football players union to provide a fair deal for all PSL players.”

Luxolo Mantambo, Daily Dispatch (Eastern Region)
“The journalist displays due sensitivity in writing this sports story, but at the same time weaving a range of positive outcomes.”

Johann de Jager, Volksblad (Central Region)
“For the exclusive interview with the naughty boy of South African cricket, Herschelle Gibbs, about his personal life and apprehension of touring India with the Proteas in October 2006.”

In the Radio News category

Seema Diahnan, East Coast Radio (KZN Region)
“She impressed the judges with her grasp of radio news characteristics.”

Gaye Davis, Cape Talk Radio (Western Region)
“A radio story well presented, well scripted and well packaged will never go unnoticed, not even for the busiest of listener.”

Mandy Weiner, Talk Radio 702 (Southern Northern Region)
“The journalist gives a moving, yet detailed account of the death of Khensani Mitileni in the Johannesburg CBD shoot-out.”

Veronica Fourie, SABC (Eastern Region)
“A good story that highlights the 30th anniversary of Mkhuseli Jack, who stood as a symbol of resistance against apartheid.”

Ntsiepe Masoetsa, SABC (Central Region)
“For the technical proficiency and quality of script and presentation of the shocking story about the misery of a family caused by the death of an employee who was mauled by lions at a Henneman farm game lodge.”

In the TV News category

Morgan Collins, e-TV (KZN Region)
“The winner exhibits versatility in presenting a wide range of newsy items to which he brings different techniques.”

Robyn Smith, e-TV (Western Region)
“This media exploited its environment to provide stories beyond the expected.”

McIntosh Nzimande, e-TV (Southern Northern Region)
“The winner in this category shows that the truth knows no class, culture, race or gender.”

Asanda Mbetshe, SABC (Eastern Region)
“She has a knack for finding interesting news angles and this story captures her drive for fresh and interesting angles.”

Charlene and Eddie Stanley, e-TV (Central Region)
“For the wonderful use of images, creativity and timing on a snow rescue' story.”

In the Community Media category

Sandile Nzama and Mandla Khwela, Radio Kwezi (KZN Region)
“These two radio entrants made the judges take notice because both were good and deserve joint status.”

Bernard Lamprecht, Radio Namakwaland (Western Region)
“The story had a human face and highlighted how farm owners cared for their labourers and their children as much as their own families.”

Giyani Shivambo, City Vision (Southern Northern Region)
“It is the task of community media to highlight grassroots community issues such as basic living conditions which was done.”

In the Photography category

Sandile Ndlovu, Independent Newspapers (KZN Region)
“For his flexibility and understanding of his subject which came through in the good composition of the picture.”

Simone Scholtz, Insig Magazine (Western Region)
“ The pictures are straight, simple and intimate. It's a fine documentary and sweet.”

Greg Marinovich and James Oatway, Sunday Times (Southern Northern Region)
“Both winning entries were well researched and the depth of understanding of the plight of the subjects told a visual and necessary story.”

Werner Hills, Die Burger (Eastern Region)
“What stood out in the photograph was that the children at play were caught mid-air and their shadows were drawing images like those of Bushmen drawings.”

Charle Lombard, Volksblad (Central Region)
“This documentary has been well captured on monochrome, it goes straight to the subject matter and does not confuse with its colours.

In the Radio Feature category

Thabo Mofokeng, SABC (KZN Region)
“He captured the mood and captured the attention of the listener. The script and the snippets merged well and showed technical proficiency and a depth of understanding.”

Thandiswa Mawu, SABC Radio News (Western Region)
“Our winner exploited the powerful and dynamic reach of radio. The story was gripping, hard hitting and well balanced.”

Mabutho Ngcobo of Health – E News (Southern Northern Region)
“This piece is not only very well researched but it deals with a subject affecting everyone in a manner that effectively drives the point home.”

Asanda Magaqa, SABC (Eastern Region)
‘She left the convoy to conduct her own interviews because she didn't believe the government's official sound bytes. She risked going “Where government convoys do not stop…”

Johan van Zyl, OFM (Central Region)
“For the moving feature broadcast on world AIDS day about children infected with the HI Virus who were living also a life filled with joy and laughter at an orphanage in Klerksdorp.”

In the Cartoonist category

Zapiro, Sunday Times (Western Region)
“This cartoonist is in a league of his own.”

Sifiso Yalo, The Sowetan (Southern Northern Region)
“A poignant portrayal of reality.”

Mark Wiggett, Mark Wiggett Cartoons (Eastern Region)
“This cartoon looks at how President Mbeki responded to calls in parliament one of his budget speeches.”

Gavin Petersen, Volksblad (Central Region)
“For the news value, creativity, caricature and excellent conceptual clarity depicted in the cartoon on crime and HIV/ AIDS.”

In the TV Feature category

Hazel Friedman, SABC (Western Region)
“This feature excelled in every way. It was beautifully conceptualized and filmed, rigorous in its research and innovative in its approach.”

Megan Small and Laurell Boyers, e-TV (Southern Northern Region)
“The story revealed the raw pain and the complete and utter helplessness of the less powerful in our society.”

Keith Sayster, SABC (Eastern Region)
“He put together a well-rounded feature on how pupils are easily exposed to pornography.”

Charlene and Eddie Stanley, e-TV (Central Region)
“For the almost eerie investigative feature on a home brew invention which has helped trace criminals and victims in a crime-ravaged land.”
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