National Press Club names state capture, President Jacob Zuma, the Guptas and Adv Thuli Madonsela as newsmakers for 2016

Listen to an audio clip by National Press Club Chairperson, Tanya de Vente-Bijker

The National Press Club has named state capture, President Jacob Zuma, the Guptas and Adv Thuli Madonsela as newsmakers for 2016.

National Press Club Chairperson, Tanya de Vente-Bijker said President Jacob Zuma and the Guptas dominated news headlines in what became known as state capture.

“This culminated into the ‘State of capture’ report compiled by the former Public Protector, Adv Thuli Madonsela.

“In terms of impact, news value and media attention on all platforms state capture dominated the news in 2016. The club annually names a newsmaker based on the amount of media coverage generated as well as the impact.”

According to media monitoring company ROi Africa, state capture generated 51 percent of coverage in 2016 – occupying the 1st position in terms of coverage. The public projector also took up position 11 with coverage and the Guptas position 9.

De Vente-Bijker said the release of the ‘State of capture’ report itself was a major news event as Zuma unsuccessfully tried to interdict the report and other political parties called for court orders for the release of the report.

“State capture is still dominating news headlines in 2017.”

In selecting the newsmaker, the press club invites members to nominate possible newsmakers. The executive committee debates nominees, using data from media monitoring agencies as guidelines.

“Last year was a big news year and the executive committee had a difficult decision to name a newsmaker. The newsmaker award is neither an accolade nor is it criticism, it represents the dominant themes of the 2016 news cycle.”

The annual Newsmaker of the Year function will take place in Pretoria later this year.

The club is synonymous with the Newsmaker of the Year award. Over the years the club has recognised many newsmakers – both Zuma and Madonsela were previous recipients. Other recipients include former president Thabo Mbeki, Hollywood star Charlize Theron, Zachie Achmat and the Treatment Action Campaign, the late Hansie Cronjé and various other sporting personalities. Eskom and Cope and FIFA’s Sepp Blatter and Danny Jordaan and Julius Malema were also named as newsmakers in recent years. Last year the newsmaker was #FeesMustFall.

Tanya de Vente Bijker
072 267 0751,

National Press Club secretariat
082 257 0305