INDABA Newsletter | April 2014

Journalist of the Year competition open

The 2013 National Press Club – North-West University Journalist of the Year competition is now open.

Club members may enter one or more of 11 competition categories – in the print section: News, Features and Photography and in the electronic media section: Radio news, Radio in-depth features, TV news, TV in-depth features, TV cameraperson, Online media, Social Media and Media Liaison Officer. Journalists can also nominate their Editor of the Year.

Entries close on Friday, 2 May 2014.

“The panel of judges will comprise of various independent experts and academics,” says press club chairman Jos Charle. “We appeal to journalists, photographers, presenters, producers and media liaison officers to enter.”

The 2012 Journalist of the Year was Cornél van Heerden of Foto24.

He says the nominated Editor of the Year must be an editorial leader who has also acted in a fearless, innovative manner and brought vitality to the industry. “For the Media Liaison Officer of the Year we are looking at outstanding communication skills, accessibility, helpfulness and the like,” he says. The executive committee will choose the winner in this category, as well as the Editor of the Year, based on nominations received.

In every category the winner will receive a cash prize sponsored by the North-West University. From the first ten categories – excluding the media liaison officer and editor categories – an overall winner will be selected.

The National Press Club – North-West University overall Journalist of the Year will win a cash prize of R10 000. Category winners will each win R5 000. “We are delighted that the university has once again come on board as a partner. It is yet another indication of their commitment to recognising excellence.”

Download the guidelines and the rules of the competition, as well as the entry form.

Diarise the AGM – 24 April

The National Press Club’s Annual General Meeting will be held on 24 April, coinciding with a networking forum to be hosted by Absa (venue to be announced).

“We encourage members to attend this very important evening,” says General Manager Ben Rootman.

Members are encouraged to attend the press club AGM on 24 April.

He says members have received the proposed amendments to the press club’s constitution on e-mail.

“This is in line with the discussion at last year’s Annual General Meeting,” he says, “and we would appreciate comments from members before Friday, 19 April.

“The highlighted portions (yellow and green) are suggested changes and the strike-throughs are suggested removals. Members who need another copy of the constitution with the proposed amendments, should please contact the secretariat.”

The final document will be presented to the Annual General Meeting for ratification.

Look in the mirror – Friedman

Steven Friedman, well-known academic and newspaper columnist, made the following remarks on his Facebook page on 20 March. Food for thought?

Yesterday, the largest trade union in the country organised a strike and protests in several cities. Aimed at the youth wage subsidy, it was also the first attempt by Numsa, a major Cosatu union which has distanced itself from the ANC, to show how much muscle it has. How many people participated? What did their banners and posters say? What did speakers who addressed the protesters say? I have no idea.

This morning I consulted all the media I could and found two reports. Neither of them answered any of the questions I have raised. Even by the standards of a media which treats poor and working people as though they do not exist unless they disturb affluent people, this is a disgrace – the marches and strikes occurred in the middle of affluent South Africa and they were still ignored. Yes, the Public Protector’s report on Nkandla was released yesterday but it is possible to cover more than one story on any given day and there is no sign that they abandoned the Pistorius case because of the Nkandla report. Yet the media ignored a major political event. I hope we never hear another word about ‘speaking truth to power’. Our media are not interested in truth where working people are involved. And if they want to speak to power, they can look in the mirror.

The country speaks on Nklandla – Grubstreet

Gill Moodie, publisher and editor of Grubstreet, wrote the following in her regular ‘Front pages’ column on 20 March.

It’s practically wall-to-wall Nkandla today on the front pages, with the Afrikaans papers Die Burger and Volksblad coming up with the funniest headline of all: “Nskandla!”

But this is such a big story that there is no need to get fancy and often the simplest headlines work best: the Dispatch’s “Zuma ‘must pay’; the Sowetan’s “Zuma’s four big lies!”; The Mercury’s “Pay up, Mr Zuma”; The Times’ “You owe us”; and The Witness’ “Pay up, Mr President”.

These headlines work best because they are active and have a voice: that of the Public Protector and the public.

They capture the mood of the nation, I think, and besides the most die-hard ANC supporters, few people in South Africa will fail to see the shame in this: that money from the public earmarked for the public was diverted into the Zuma’s family lavish compound – pool, soccer field, visitor’s centre, cattle kraal and all. How utterly revolting – that they could steal from the nation like this. One wonders how they sleep at night. To me, The Witness’s lead captures the mood of the nation most aptly as the newspaper went to Nkandla to ask people in the area what they thought about the Protector’s findings. Unfortunately, the story is behind paywall but I can tell you from reading it on PressReader that the people interviewed almost all said if Zuma has found to be in the wrong, he must pay back the money. There we go – the country speaks. Is the ANC listening?

Disclosure: The editor of The Witness is the husband of the publisher and editor of Grubstreet.

View the front pages Moodie refers to in this article.

PPC launches its Imaginarium Awards

Members of the National Press Club were given the heads-up about the PPC Imaginarium Awards at a networking forum hosted by PPC Ltd at its new head office in Sandton recently.

PPC Ltd has been rewarded for its innovation in arts. The Imaginarium awards, to be launched on 9 April, will reward innovation and design through the creative use of PPC cement as the primary inspiration or material and has evolved from the PPC Young Concrete Sculptor Awards, which was established 22 years ago.

The Imaginarium Awards will promote six creative disciplines namely sculpture, jewellery, architecture, film, fashion and industrial design by encouraging emerging designers and artists from various fields to enter the awards programme.

The National Press Club plans to host Johannesburg-based networking forums more regularly in future.

New members

The National Press Club welcomes the following new members:

Barileng Cichabe – Armscor
Rorisang Kgosana – Capital Media
Godfrey Matsobe – Legal Aid South Africa
Kevin McDonald – F Stop Photography
Harry van den Berg – Freelance journalist

We look forward to seeing you at a press club event soon!

Thank you for paying membership fees

Thank you to those press club members who have already paid their membership fees for 2014.

Members who have not yet done so, are requested to pay their fees as soon as possible.

Membership fees are R220 for full members, R350 for associate members and R150 for student members.

Members are requested to use their surname as reference when payment is done, so that it can be picked up easily by the secretariat.


Please send any news, suggestions or information for this newsletter to Martin van Niekerk at the secretariat on, 082 257 0305. Website | Facebook | Twitter