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Nomsa Maseko - overall Vodacom Journalist of the Year

Talk Radio 702's Nomsa Maseko walked away with the title of overall 2009 Vodacom Journalist of the Year on Friday night, 9 October 2009 at the eighth annual Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards held at Vodaworld, Midrand, Gauteng. She was honoured for her moving coverage of the xenophobic attacks in Gauteng last year, and broadcast on Talk Radio 702.
Two members of the Daily Dispatch Online team hard at work after the 2009 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards ceremony.
The Lifetime Achievement Award - nominated by the judges - was awarded to veteran journalist Khaba Mhhize. Mkhize, who is recovering from a stroke that happened last year, was recognised for his relentless contribution to great journalism during the pre- and post-democratic phases of South African history. He is a prolific writer, whose contributions have graced some of the most influential news publications both in this country and abroad.

Editors choice

Editors throughout South Africa were encouraged to identify their most promising journalists with the prize a three-month all-expenses-paid journalism course with an overseas journalism school. The winner, selected by the judging panel for 2009, was Sikonathi Mantshantsha from Finweek.

Xenophobia was the subject of a number of winning entries. Apart from Maseko's coverage, for which judges praised her for her ability to make a difficult subject accessible to the listening public, Beauregard Tromp's The Burning Man - published in The Star - took the Print News category and Thanduxolo Jika for Dying to Live, published in the Daily Dispatch, won in the Print Feature category. A team from the Daily Dispatch also won in the Online Journalism category for Dying to Live.
Khaba Mkhize (center) received the lifetime achievement award at the annual Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards. He received the award from Romeo Kumalo (right), executive director: commercial (Vodacom SA) and judge Maud Motanyane (left).

The full list of winners, who earned national winning status in the following categories, is:
  • TV news: Nonkumbelo Sithole for Camps in eTV Prime Time News
  • TV feature: Joy Summers for Water aired on M-Net's Carte Blanche
  • Print news: Beauregard Tromp for The Burning Man in The Star
  • Print feature: Thanduxolo Jika for Dying To Live in Daily Dispatch
  • Radio news: Nomsa Maseko for Xenophobia in Gauteng on Talk Radio 702
  • Radio feature: Siphiwe Cyril Mnguni for Utrecht on SABC News
  • Financial/economic: Claire Bisseker for On Pins and Needles in Financial Mail
  • Columnist: Brian Hayward for One Wedding, Two Cultures And… in The Weekend Post
  • Cartoonist: Jonathan Shapiro (Zapiro) for Rape of Justice in the Sunday Times
  • Photography: Alon Skuy for Living Inside A Bridge in both The Times and Mail & Guardian. There was a commendation by the judging panel to Ronelle Ramsamy for the photograph Head Hunted of the Zululand Observer.
  • Sport: Johann Russouw for reportage of the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan on RSG
  • Community Media: Munadia Karaan for the Muslim marriage act that made global history in Voice of the Cape
  • Online Journalism: Tegan Bedser, Shadley Haupt, Jan Hennop, Theo Jephta, Thanduxolo Jika, Rudi Louw, Sino Majangaza and Andrew Trench for Dying To Live posted on the Daily Dispatch site, www.dispatch.co.za.
  • Editors' Choice: Sikonathi Mantshantsha from Finweek


Nomsa Maseko was named the 2009 Vodacom Journalist of the Year winner and received R125&nbdsp;000 for Xenophobia in Gauteng on Talk Radio 702's Eyewitness News With her is judge Robin Sewlal, left, and Romeo Kumalo, right, executive director: commercial (Vodacom SA).
Apart from receiving R125 000, Maseko will be given the opportunity to donate an additional R125 000 to the official charity of her choice. The grand prize is in addition to the R15 000 each national category winner received and the R7500 every regional category winner was given earlier this year. Each national winner also received a Nokia E71.

The judging panel consisted of Melanie Chait, Johann de Wet; Victor Matom, Rich Mkhondo, ZB Molefe, Maud Motanyane, Collin Nxumalo, Len Maseko, Mary Papaya, Lizette Rabe and convener of judges, Robin Sewlal.

Said Bob Collymore, chief officer of corporate affairs for the Vodacom Group, “Our heartiest congratulations go to all this year's winners as their outstanding reporting has successfully captured change in our society. We also extend our thanks to all the participating journalists who submitted their best reporting.”

The Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards is sponsored by Vodacom in association with 1Time Airline, Southern Sun, Sandton Sun, Nokia, Media Express and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

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