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Regional winners from Northern Region make their mark

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Regional winners from Northern 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 processing entries that were of a very high standard. This year there were 976 entries, an increase of 204 from 2015; with the Northern Region having the most entries at 310.

“The increase in numbers of entries this year was heartening,” said Mary Papayya, 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 Papayya, Arthur Goldstuck , Ryland Fisher, Elna Rossouw, Patricia McCracken, Nikiwe Bikitsha, Peter McKenzie,  Mathatha Tshedu, and Albe Grobbelaar,” said Netshitenzhe. 

Regional winners for the Northern Region were announced today at a function at the Protea Hotel Fire and Ice.

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 Northern region are:

2016 CSI/Sustainability winner
Sheree Bega. INL, Water for mines, but not humans, Carolina's thirst for clean water, Water, water ... but not a drop to drink.
The judges commended two other entries in this category.
Mpho Lakaje, Samuel Rong, Ashley Market, and Mathaba Khalanyane. eNCA, Education in a Bottle.
Gerhard Uys. Caxton, Handling for Health.

2016 Financial/Economic winner
Lisa Steyn. Mail & Guardian, From boom to bust in five years, When good property turns bad, Lawyers in debt loophole.

The judges commended two other entries in this category
Phillip de Wet. Mail & Guardian. Oakbay and Optimum Coal.
Graeme Hosken. The Times, “Till Death do us Part”.

2016 Online winner
Susan Comrie. City Press Online, Pushing Heroin.

The judges commended four other journalists in this category
Lenyaro Sello, Anastasya Eliseeva, Lebohang Mashiloane, Jessica Mulder. eNCA, Human trade.

2016 Photography winner
Moeletsi Mabe. Sunday Times, No One Cares Anymore.

2016 Print Feature winner
Mia Malan. Mail & Guardian, Diepsloot: Where men think it's their right to rape.

The judges commended two other journalists in this category
Athandiwe Saba and Sebabatso Mosamo. Mail & Guardian, The Believers.

2016 Print News winners
Qaanitah Hunter, Sibongakonke Shoba, Thanduxolo Jika, Sabelo Skiti. Sunday Times, Pravin snubs the Guptas, Zuma told me to help the Guptas, How Guptas shopped for new minister.


Thanduxolo Jika, Piet Rampedi, Qaanitah Hunter. Sunday Times, Behind Zuma's U-turn, ‘SA will go bust’, Gupta ministers' in secret trips to Dubai.

The judges commended one other journalist in this category
Lindile Sifile. Sowetan, Turf wars.

2016 Radio Feature winner
Izak du Plessis. SABC Radio News, Gekaapte geboue, Bosvelddroogte, Namakwaland.

2016 Radio News winner
Gia Nicolaides. EWN, Fees must fall.

2016 Sport winners
Sameer Naik. INL, Hansie’s ghost re-appears.


Junia Stainbank. eNCA, The Elites.

2016 Television Feature winners
Matshwela Ngoveni. SABC (Cutting Edge), Missing in action.


Ntokozo Sindane. eNCA, Payola.

2016 Television News winners
Zikhona Tshona, Muraga Mpaphuli. eNCA, Botched.

2016Young Journalist winner
Pontsho Pilane. Mail & Guardian.

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 Northern 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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