Vodacom offers South Africa's biggest journalism prize

Total cash prizes of R450,000 are on offer in the Vodacom Journalist of the Year 2003 competition, which includes a grand prize of R100,000 for South Africa's most outstanding journalist. Closing date for entries is 31 July 2003.

Vodacom, is offering South Africa's most lucrative media prize in a new competition to honour excellence in journalism.

The decision to provide generous prizes is born out of Vodacom's commitment to the power of communication and its belief in the crucial contribution journalists make to the betterment of society.

Total cash prizes of R450,000 will be on offer in the Vodacom Journalist of the Year 2003 competition. This includes a grand prize of R100,000 in cash for South Africa's most outstanding journalist.

The winner of the grand prize and the title Vodacom Journalist of the Year, will be announced at an Award Ceremony on Saturday, November 1, 2003.

Other cash prizes totalling R350,000.00 will go to 50 other prize-winners in this competition.

Journalists have until 31 July 2003 to enter the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award 2003, and submissions must be material broadcast or published between 1 July 2002 and 30 April 2003.

"Vodacom is offering these generous rewards in recognition of the significant role played by journalists in a changing world and a changing country. This new awards programme will reach right across the length and breadth of South Africa and across all forms of media to find the work which epitomises the excellence of South African journalism," said Mthobi Tyamzashe.

"In a fast changing world it is important to recognise the contributions made by journalists in print, radio, photography and television in South Africa. The Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award is a national initiative aimed at honouring outstanding journalists who report with insight and clarity in the face of political, social or economic pressures," said Tyamzashe.

An independent judging panel comprising some of the country's best known and respected academics and former media personalities will adjudicate the awards and the results will be audited by De Loitte & Touche.

The judging panel, which was convened by Phil Molefe, head of SABC Africa, consists of Mashilo Boloka, Prof Johann de Wet, Anthea Garmen, Sandra Gordon, Prof Anton Harber, Dr Tawana Kupe, Peter Magubane, Dr Jyoti Mistry, Douglas Mitchell, Rich Mkhondo, ZB Molefe, Louisa Mojela, Chris More, Khaya Ngqula, Sefaka Nyaka, Kaizer Nyatsumba, Mary Papayya, Prof Lizette Rabe, Prof Govin Reddy, Advocate Robin Sewlal, Mike Siluma and Heather Sonn.

The Grand Prize of R100, 000.00 will be awarded to the entrant whose individual piece or body of work merits the title: "Vodacom Journalist of the Year 2003". This person will be chosen from regional category winners who will all attend the national Award Ceremony on Saturday, 1 November 2003.

This is a competition for journalists working in all sectors of the media: Print, Radio, Television, Columnist/ Anchor or Photography. Categories for entry are: Television - News, Television - Feature, Radio - News, Radio - Feature, Print - News, Print - Feature, Sport, Columnist, Specialist areas e.g. health, environment, education, tourism, Sport, and a Photographic category. Entry is open to all South African journalists working for South African media organisations to submit material published or broadcast between 1 July 2002 and 30 April 2003.

The competition aims to attract entries from throughout the South African journalist community. Entries should be submitted through five Vodacom regions that cover the whole country. Each region is named for the city forming the centre of that geographical region.

Johannesburg (Southern and Northern regions)
Bloemfontein (Central Region)
Cape Town (Western Region)
Port Elizabeth (Eastern Region)
Durban (KwaZulu-Natal)

There will be a winner in each category from each region. Each regional winner will be given a certificate and a cash prize of
R5, 000.00 and will automatically be entered for the national competition.

In addition there will be a special "Editor's Choice" prize awarded to South Africa's most promising journalist. Judges will make their selection from nominations by editors and news editors throughout the country. These entries must include examples of work and a motivation of the nomination of a journalist who has been in the business for up to five years. This winner will be flown to Wales where he or she will receive three-months training at the Thomson Foundation. Both the Editor's Choice winner and the editor who nominated him or her will be flown to Johannesburg for the ceremony on 1 November.

For more info visit www.vodacom.co.za.

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