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Vodacom celebrates central region winners of the 2011 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards

Friday, 30 September 2011

This morning the winners of the central region for the 2011 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards were presented with their prizes, and applauded by the judges at a champagne breakfast event at the Protea Hotel Willow Lake Tandora in Bloemfontein.

After an entry period that lasted a month, and a rigorous judging process involving 13 judges, Vodacom is thrilled to announce the regional winners of the 2011 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards.

Teboho Letshaba from the SABC won the radio feature and sports category;

Charné Kemp won the community media category and best print feature writer category;

Pieter Steyn was awardedwith theprint general news category, as well as the Editor’s Choice Award.

Overall, the judges were very impressed with the quality of the work submitted by the regions. The winning journalists put intelligent thought into their stories and spent time researching and thoroughly analysing their work.

Convenor of the judges for the Awards, Advocate Robin Sewlal commented, ""The competition provides a wonderful opportunity for journalists to be duly recognised for their commitment to quality journalism. In this the 10th year of the contest, we've received an incredible number of entries where the work displays tremendous dynamism and depth. The robust debates during the adjudication process ensured that only top-of-the-drawer entries were rewarded. On the behalf of the panel of judges, I thank those who entered and offer heartiest congratulations to the winners in each of the categories. You've done yourself and the country proud."

The citations and winners of the 2011 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards in the central region are:

2011 Columnist winner
James Siddall, Independent Newspapers, Sunday Independent, The unbearable brightness of being.

Whoever said that life was no bed of roses, knew what they were talking about. Chances are that they had had firsthand experience. Similarly, the winner in this category relates his first hand experience as a young upwardly mobile gentleman who, on account of the newly acquired status, has the best of what life has to offer, including what could be the envy of his peers, that is, dining and spoiling the current Miss Universe. But these are material things and soon they're all gone.

The story is that of a journey characterised by a man-about-town, who later slides down into the gutters, only to realise his mistakes and goes for Divine intervention, with the hope of rediscovering himself. The article is a mirror of life for most young men who start off as the untouchable ‘real deals' but end up regretting their foolish mistakes.

The winner is James Siddall of Sunday Independent for his unflattering experience about the travails of life.

2011 Community Media winner
Charné Kemp, Kalahari Bulletin, Bouers op knieë gedwing.

Many municipalities in the land are inconsistent. And they often appear to make decisions that are not based on the necessary consultation with role players. A typical example is that of the Ga - Segonyana municipality at Kuruman which at its own volition without following procedures decided to hike the rate for building plans by more than two thousand per percent - that is, for middle class residential and commercial property plans, while the rate for low cost housing plans was not raised.

The winner is Charné Kemp for the Kalahari Bulletin for reporting the story creatively and fairly.

2011 Consumer Journalism winner
Ansja Ferreira, Vrouekeur, Bespaar op mediese kostes.

This writer takes what could have been a boring subject and makes it interesting, thus providing a valuable service to the reader.

The winner is Ansja Ferreira of Vrouekeur for her step by step guide on how to save on medical aid costs.

2011 Financial/Economic winner
Vida Booysen, Media24, Sake24, Draadkarre.

There is a general acknowledgment that unemployment is at the core of the country's most dire challenges - this contributes to the negative image of South Africa as the world's crime capital. It is largely due to this negative perception of South Africa that has seen the world's rating agency Moody's, declaring the country one of the least preferred destinations for investment and tourism, coming in a distant third behind Nigeria and Niger. Against this background, any effort at creating employment opportunities must be encouraged and commended, particularly if these opportunities are directed at rural communities, where the most demand exists.

The winner is Vida Booysen of Media24, Sake24 for her piece Draadkarre.

2011 Online Journalism winner
No winner.

2011 Photography winner
Willem van der Berg, Wilcoberg, Tien dae in Ficksburg.

There is a local hero in every area. And in South Africa this comes to the fore when violence   and protest centres around such heroes.

The winner in this category is Willem van der Berg of Wilcoberg for his collection of     images on the violence that erupted in Ficksburg in 2011.

2011 Print: Feature winner
Charné Kemp, Media24, Volksblad, SA het talle Bonnie en Clydes opgelewe.

This journalist followed up the shooting of the French couple in the Karoo with a background story which chronicles other Bonnie and Clyde-type characters who similarly weaved a trail of blood in South Africa's history. A good angle and well constructed.

The winner is Charné Kemp of Media24, Volksblad for her piece SA het talle Bonnie en Clydes opgelewe.

2011 Print: General News winner
Pieter Steyn, Media24, Volksblad, Skokverkragting in Pelonomi!

The Free State and the national healthcare communities were traumatised by the rape of a doctor on duty at the Pelonomi hospital which led to new security measures at the institution. Good and innovative on-site reporting under great pressure.

The winner is Pieter Steyn of Media24, Volksblad for his piece Skokverkragting in Pelonomi!

2011 Radio: Feature winner
Teboho Letshaba, SABC, Lesedi FM Makumane, Breakfast in prison.

The winner gave us a first-hand account of life behind bars. What should have been a PR exercise on the part of correctional services officials was turned into a very poignant and credible account of the harsh life inmates really experience behind bars. The interviews were relevant, the script well written and the story creatively packaged. The reporter managed to transport the listener into the prison cells.

The winner is Teboho Letshaba of Lesedi FM Makumane for his piece Breakfast in prison.

2011 Radio: General News winner
Zimasa Mbewu, SABC Current Affairs, Tatane.

The death of community activist Andries Tatane sent shock waves around the country and this story took us to the heart of developments in the small community as they unfolded from the time the first bullets were fired. The police brutality was highlighted, as was the plight of the poor who pine for service delivery that was clearly portrayed and the tragic pain of the family who lost a loved one was powerfully captured. The winning entry showed the importance of integrity, balance and fairness, in a story that was heart wrenching and could have been sensationalised. This journalist was at the scene when the horror unfolded yet diligently delivered on a body of work that was informative, relevant and clinically crafted for radio.

Our winner is Zimasa Mbewu of SABC Current Affairs for his piece Tatane.

2011 Sport winner
Teboho Letshaba, SABC, Lesedi FM Makumane, Where to Bafana?

South Africans love their sport. So when the 2010 Football World Cup came to our shores, the country rallied and put their full weight behind Bafana Bafana. Hopes were high for the team to put in a sterling performance. This was fuelled when the first goal in the tournament was scored by South Africa. However, the high expectations counted for nothing when Bafana Bafana were ousted in the first round. It was a devastating blow given the fact for the first time in World Cup history the host nation was knocked out so early. The journalist captures the emotions of the players who kept their heads high with dogged determination and even rallied behind Pitso Mosimane to be given the job as coach of Bafana Bafana. The views of Mosimane are also elicited.

For his fine analysis titled ‘Where to Bafana', the winner in the Sport category is the SABC's Teboho Letshaba

2011 Television: Feature winner
No winner.

2011 Television: General News winners
Filane Chomane, SABC, News, Service Delivery, police brutality mass action.

Motale Sebego, SABC, News, Service Delivery, police brutality mass action.

This piece highlights the role of media as a watchdog, which among other things exists to protect citizens' rights. In this instance the crew captured violence on camera, and then authorities could not but respond. The evidence was beyond doubt. The reporters then stayed with the story in subsequent bulletins, giving both detail and context.

The winners are Filane Chomane and Motale Sebego of SABC, News for their piece Service Delivery, police brutality mass action.

2011 Editors Choice winner
Pieter Steyn, Media24, Volksblad.

2011 Cartoonist winner
No winner.

The judges for the 2011 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards included, Advocate Robin Sewlal (Convenor), Maud Motanyane (Co-convenor), Ruda Landman, Professor Johann de Wet, Mary Papayya, Victor Matom, Dr Melanie Chait, Arthur (ZB) Molefe, Colin Nxumalo, Leonard Maseko, Tim Modise, Arthur Goldstuck and Max du Preez.

The regional winners were each awarded with R7500 and also stand a chance of being crowned the national winner of the 2011 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards at the national awards ceremony to be held on 4 November 2011 in Johannesburg.

The overall 2011 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards national winner will walk away with R125 000 in prize money, as well as being given the opportunity to donate an additional R125 000 to an official charity of his or her choosing.


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