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Vodacom Journalist of the Year 2016 - Regional winners from Central Region make their mark

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Regional winners from Central Region make their mark

Freedom of expression is one of the basic rights that are enshrined in the Constitution and a cornerstone of democracy. In a world where news frequently breaks as fast as it takes to upload it on social media the challenge is for journalists to interpret and disseminate news timely and accurately over a wide range of news platforms. The last year has seen thought-provoking stories break in South Africa, and this dynamic environment demands that journalists are meticulous in covering the news without fear or favour, and tonight we celebrate the craft of journalism. 

The judges faced a tough job of processing entries that were of a very high standard. This year there were 976 entries, an increase of 204 from 2015; with 250 from the Central Region, a significant growth from the 118 entries received last year.

“The increase in numbers of entries this year was heartening,” said Mary Papaya, convenor of the judging panel.

“We were very happy to see entries from all areas grow - and across all media. This year the Vodacom Awards welcomed an exciting new category ‘Young Journalist’ which replaced the Editor’s Choice Award, and the judges were unanimous in their praise for the high quality of submissions in this category. Fifty young journalists entered their work. The overall quality and depth of entries bodes well for journalism in South Africa.”

There were 12 categories:

  • CSI/Sustainability
  • Young Journalist
  • Financial/Economic
  • Online
  • Photography
  • Print Feature
  • Print News
  • Radio Feature
  • Radio News
  • Sport
  • Television Feature;
  • and Television News.

Takalani Netshitenzhe, Chief Officer for Corporate Affairs at Vodacom Group said: “I would like to pay tribute to the judges, who year after year provide their expertise and knowledge in the adjudication of these prestigious awards, thereby ensuring the integrity of the process.

“The judging panel comprised experts in their fields, and I would like to thank Mary Papaya, Arthur Goldstuck , Ryland Fisher, Elna Rossouw, Patricia McCracken, Nikiwe Bikitsha, Peter McKenzie, and Mathatha Tshedu,” said Netshitenzhe. 

Regional winners for the Central Region were announced today at a function at the Protea Hotel in Bloemfontein. Regional winners each took home R5 000 and will travel to Johannesburg for the national finals in November.

The winners of the 2016 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Regional Awards in the Central region are:

2016 CSI/Sustainability winner
Charné Kemp. Volksblad, Asbes in De Aar.

2016 Financial/Economic winner
Marietjie Gericke. Volksblad, Boere woedend oor verkenning, and Veevoer-bedrieërs slaan munt uit knellende droogte.

2016 Online winners
Thabo Molelekwa and Sibongile Nkosi. Health-e News, Women on front lines as Free State health crumbles.

2016 Photography winner
Willem van der Berg. Platteland, Waar boer en werker hande vat.

2016 Print Feature winner
Elsje Waldeck. Volksblad, 'Dié moordenaars het ons ook doodgemaak'.

2016 Print News winner
Andre Damons. News24, Bloemfontein Huis van gruwels.

2016 Radio Feature winner
Christal-Lize Muller. Central Media. Happy Birthday Madiba.

2016 Radio News winner
Candice Bernice Nolan. SABC Radio News. Trains/Concourt.

2016 Sport winner
Pashkar Moodliar. ANN7, Sports spot betting.

2016 Television Feature winner
Sinenhlanhla Mthembu. SABC (Bophelong), Women's Month.

2016 Television News winners
Earl Coetzee. eNCA, Worst drought in 30 years cripples South Africa.


Hasina Gori. SABC, Repatriation.

2016 Young Journalist winner

Ntombikayise Lina Mlangeni. Daily Sun. From worn out boots to playing for Orlando Pirates,
Malema sings and Zahara is engaged

At each regional finals Media Express, sister company to Internet Express Courier wanted to take the opportunity to express their gratitude to the amazing journalists that so tirelessly serve the people of South Africa. One lucky finalist received R2 500 through a random draw.

“We’d like to congratulate all the winners in the Central region for entering a strong body of thought-provoking and compelling work. We look forward to welcoming you at the national finals, where we will be celebrating excellence in journalism in South Africa,” said Netshitenzhe.

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