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FCJ Excellence Awards 2017: Winners announced!

The winners of the 2017 Forum of Community Journalists' Excellence Awards were announced at a glamorous event on Friday, 29 June at the Leriba Hotel and Spa in Centurion.
The Forum of Community Journalists (FCJ) bestowed honorary life membership of the FCJ on Joe Thloloe, chairperson of the judging panel of the FCJ Excellence Awards. Here Thloloe receives a gift from Hugo Redelinghuys (executive director of the FCJ) to mark the occasion.

The awards have been presented under the auspices of the Forum of Community Journalists (FCJ) for over two decades now and are widely considered as the “Oscars” of the local and community media industry.

At the FCJ Excellence Awards local and community newspapers from all over the country and across all media houses compete against each other to award the best of the best in South Africa.

In the judges’ report they state the following: Our general impression is that the local newspapers are still very much alive in South Africa. They are indeed serving their communities very well.

The awards recognised work published in 2017.



  1. Zita Goldswain, Witbank News
  2. Selogile Leshage, Potchefstroom Herald
  3. Lazarus Dithagiso, Sedibeng Ster
  4. Carina Roux, TygerBurger
  5. Elsje Vermeulen, Vaalweekblad
  6. Devidean Moses, Paarl Post
  7. Isabel Venter, Zoutpansberger
  8. Marguerite Vermeulen, Vrystaat News
  9. Ettienne van Rensburg, Vaalweekblad
  10. Hugo Redelinghuys, George Herald

  1. Jannie du Plessis, Vaalweekblad
  2. Zita Goldswain, Witbank News
  3. Elsje Vermeulen, Vaalweekblad
  4. Zita Goldswain, Witbank News
  5. Isabel Venter, Zoutpansberger
  6. Ronald Sibiya, Pretoria Rekord
  7. Samantha Traill, Witbank News


  1. Ettienne van Rensburg, Vaalweekblad
  2. Stefan de Villiers, Lowvelder/Nelspruit Post
  3. Ronald Sibiya, Pretoria Rekord
  4. Carina Roux, TygerBurger
  5. Hugo Redelinghuys, George Herald
  6. Isabel Venter, Zoutpansberger
  7. Joe Dreyer, Far North Bulletin
  8. Zita Goldswain, Witbank News
  9. Wouter Pienaar, Potchefstroom Herald
  10. Herman Steyn, Die Pos

Photographer of the Year
  1. Elsje Vermeulen, Vaalweekblad
  2. Ettienne van Rensburg, Vaalweekblad
  3. Isabel Venter, Zoutpansberger
  4. Ronald Sibiya, Pretoria Rekord
  5. Zita Goldswain, Witbank News


Digital reporting
  • Jana Boshoff, Middelburg Observer

  • Keina Swart, Die Pos
  • Hedda Mittner, The Village News
  • Ettienne van Rensburg, Vaalweekblad

In top eight:
Johnny Masilela, The Beat
Madré Marais, Kalahari Bulletin
Pieter Delport, Bloemfontein Courant
Roelien Vorster, Roodepoort Northsider
Wouter Pienaar, Potchefstroom Herald

Editorial comment
  1. Marlene Jordaan, Worcester Standard
  2. Lerato Serero, Sedibeng Ster
  3. Tobie van den Bergh, Middelburg Observer

In top seven:
Danie Keet, Eikestadnuus
Hennie Stander, Potchefstroom Herald
Lise Beyers, Paarl Post
Tasmin Cupido, District Mail

  1. Riaan van Zyl, Roodepoort Record
  2. Murray Stewart, The Village News
  3. Zita Goldswain, Witbank News

In top ten:
Cornelia Carstens, Mosselbaai Advertiser
Jan-Hendrik Coetzer, Hermanus Times
Johnny Masilela, Die Pos
Marlene Jordaan, Worcester Standard
Michelle van der Spuy, Eikestadnuus
Raymond Willemse, District Mail
Tobie van den Bergh, Middelburg Observer

  1. Johann Gresse, Middelburg Observer
  2. Hugo Redelinghuys, George Herald
  3. David Rush, South Coast Herald

In top ten:
Carli Koch, Lowvelder
Earl Haupt, People's Post
Ettienne van Rensburg, Vaalweekblad
Joe Dreyer, Far North Bulletin
Raymond Willemse, District Mail
Tandy-Lee Marinus, Paarl Post/Worcester Standard
Wouter Pienaar, Potchefstroom Herald

Human interest
  1. Desirée Rorke, TygerBurger
  2. Carina Roux, TygerBurger
  3. Andries van Zyl, Zoutpansberger

In top ten:
Alida Buckle, Weslander
Bianca du Plessis, Hermanus Times
Lauren O’Connor May, Northern News
Lise Beyers, Paarl Post
Nadine Williams, Eikestadnuus
Nielen de Klerk, TygerBurger
Tshifhiwa Mukwevho, Limpopo Mirror

Investigative reporting
  1. Anton van Zyl, Zoutpansberger
  2. Riaan van Zyl, Roodepoort Record
  3. Dustin Wetdewich, Potchefstroom Herald

In top four:
Andries van Zyl, Zoutpansberger

Hard news
  1. Dustin Wetdewich, Potchefstroom Herald
  2. Gerhard Rheeder, Middelburg Observer
  3. Elmon Tshikhudo, Limpopo Mirror

In top twelve:
Alida Buckle, Weslander
Andries van Zyl, Zoutpansberger
Hazel Allies-Husselman, Athlone News
Karen Watkins, Constantia Bulletin
Ronél van Jaarsveld, Die Pos
Samantha Lee, People’s Post
Tamlynne Thompson, The CapeTowner
Trish Goosen, Weslander
Yolande du Preez, False Bay Echo

Alet Roux Award 
It is awarded to the best newcomer - a journalist with less than three years' experience.
  1. Marianke Saayman, Potchefstroom Herald
  2. Selogile Leshage, Potchefstroom Herald
  3. Carina Roux (TygerBurger) and Tamsyn Jantjies (District Mail)

Journalist of the Year
  1. Zita Goldswain, Witbank News
  2. Trish Goosen, Weslander
  3. Lise Beyers, Paarl Post

In top ten:
Andries van Zyl, Zoutpansberger
Bianca du Plessis, Hermanus Times
Dustin Wetdewich, Potchefstroom Herald
Jamey Gordon, District Mail
Joe Dreyer, Far North Bulletin
Marianke Saayman, Potchefstroom Herald
Tamlynne Thompson, The CapeTowner

Front pages

Independent commercial newspapers
  1. No award
  2. The Village News
  3. Zoutpanberger

Corporate-owned free newspapers
  1. TygerBurger
  2. Roodepoort Northsider
  3. People’s Post

Corporate-owned paid newspapers
  1. Die Pos
  2. Paarl Post
  3. District Mail

Newspaper of the year
Independent commercial newspapers
  1. The Village News
  2. Zoutpansberger
  3. Limpopo Mirror

Corporate-owned free newspapers
  1. Roodepoort Northsider
  2. TygerBurger
  3. Pretoria Rekord

Corporate-owned paid newspapers, circulation less than 10,000
– Hultzer trophy
  1. District Mail
  2. Potchefstroom Herald
  3. Mossel Bay Advertiser

Corporate-owned paid newspapers, circulation more than 10,000
– Cronwright Trophy
  1. Lowvelder
  2. Middelburg Observer
  3. Paarl Post 

The FCJ congratulates all the winners on a job well done and looks forward to next year’s competition and entries.
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