National Press Club North-West University Journalist of the Year competition

The awards aim to encourage excellent journalism and communication and reward excellence.

Coming soon

Past winners

Oscar Pistorius trial commemorated as Newsmaker of the Year for 2014

15 May 2015

The Oscar Pistorius trial has been commemorated as the National Press Club – North West University Newsmaker of the Year for 2014.

This includes the roles played in the trial by Oscar Pistorius himself, Judge Thokozile Masipa, prosecutor Adv Gerrie Nel and defence lawyer Adv Barry Roux.

National Press Club Chairperson Jos Charle says both in terms of impact and news value and media attention in electronic, print, online and social media, the trial dominated the news in 2014.

“For the first time in the history of South Africa, most of any trial’s court proceedings were broadcast live on a dedicated TV channel. An international Oscar Pistorius trial TV channel followed soon afterwards. At least four books have been published on the trial – with more in the offing.

“Media-wise the trial was bigger than the FIFA 2014 World Cup. Judge Thokozile Masipa’s banning of blogging and tweeting of graphic evidence by pathologist Gert Saayman prompted 2 500 articles. In 24 hours news and social media hit over 106 000 unique inserts. Pistorius having retched in court was carried in 2 300 news articles. In nine days the press hit the 750 000 article mark,” says Charle.

“Nothing could move the media attention away from Oscar,” says the media monitoring group Data Driven Insight.

“Media data was compiled from 6,2 million social media platforms including blogs, forums, social networks and commentary, 60 000 global online newspapers, 2 000 South African print publications and 66 radio and television stations.”

“A digital revolution has been in the offing for long, but this trial has finally drawn the line on the old mass media dispensation,” says Prof Johannes Froneman of the Journalism Department at the North-West University.

“The shroud of secrecy has been ripped off court proceedings. We could all see, hear and read – on TV, radio, newspaper and smartphones – how the trail was unfolding.

“How the media covers major stories now has a new pattern. The rumours of media convergence have ballooned. Media coverage during the trial was a combination of broadcast channels, printed newspaper, tweets, Facebook and blogs.

“Morning newspapers, for example, had to finally change its role as “reporter-in-the-morning” to a hybrid, day-and-night collector of news, views, highlights on social media and predictor of what will happen.

“Journalists now report on multiple platforms – simultaneously tweeting, taking photos, appearing in front of TV cameras and writing books. It also demands closer selection by the media user,” says Froneman.

Charle says the trial has irrevocably changed the manner in which news is compiled, covered and consumed.

“It is no longer a ‘one medium does one thing’ and ‘take it or leave it’. The trial has realised digital media presentation – both media producers and media consumers have become much more sophisticated – overnight.

“The extremely high media visibility of the trial also placed the tragic results of violent human behaviour in the forefront. The essential timeous attention to such behaviour cannot be over-emphasised. The National Press Club expresses its heart-felt sympathy to all the role-players that suffered from the actions that gave rise to this trial – especially the Steenkamp family,” says Charle.

The club is synonymous with the Newsmaker of the Year award. Over the years the club has recognised and awarded many newsmakers. Previous recipients include President Jacob Zuma, former presidents FW de Klerk, and Thabo Mbeki. Other newsmakers include Hollywood star Charlize Theron, Zachie Achmat and the Treatment Action Campaign, the late Hansie Cronjé and various other sporting personalities, DA Leader Helen Zille, ESKOM and Cope and FIFA’s Sepp Blatter and Danny Jordaan also received the award in recent years. Other recipients were Thuli Madonsela and Julius Malema and the South African rhino. Last year the award went to the late Nelson Mandela – his legacy. He was also awarded before.

Journalist of the Year announced

The winners in the National Press Club – North-West University Journalist of the Year competition were also announced at the function.

Prof Dan Kgwadi, Vice-Chancellor of the North-West University, said: “The National Press Club and the North-West University have today recognised your excellent service to South Africa. We need to do our best at all times because the community, the entire country and the world depend on us. I believe this cooperation is mutually beneficial and will most certainly assist to ensure that our hard-fought right to information will never be forfeited.

“The freedom of the media is one of the cornerstones of our democracy, and for that reason it is of the utmost importance that we continue to acknowledge media freedom and that we continue to encourage independence and high standards of ethics in journalism, the quest for truth in the public interest and holding the powerful accountable.”

The winners of the different categories in the competition are:

Print media

  • Category 1 – News: Botho Molesankwe, The Star
  • Category 2 – Features: Kevin Ritchie, The Star
  • Category 3 – Photographs: Bongiwe Mchunu, The New Age

Electronic media

  • Category 4 – Radio news: Thando Kubheka, Eyewitness news
  • Category 5 – Radio features: Alex Eliseev, Eyewitness News
  • Category 6 – TV News: No entries
  • Category 7 – TV features: Graham Coetzer/Sasha Schwendenwein/Susan Comrie, Carte Blanche
  • Category 8 – TV camerawork: Thuthuka Zondi, eNCA
  • Category 9 – Online media: Vumani Mkize, Eyewitness News
  • Category 10 – Social media: Barry Bateman, Eyewitness News
  • Category 11 – Media Liaison Officer: Craig Allenby, National Zoological Gardens of SA
  • Category 12 – Editor of the Year: George Mazarakis, Carte Blanche
  • Journalist of the Year: Graham Coetzer/Sasha Schwendenwein/Susan Comrie, Carte Blanche

Nelson Mandela honoured as National Press Club – North-West University Newsmaker of the Year for 2013

29 May 2014

Nelson Mandela has been honoured as the National Press Club – North-West University Newsmaker of the Year for 2013.

National Press Club Chairperson Jos Charle said at the awards event in Pretoria this evening that both in terms of impact and media coverage Nelson Mandela dominated the news in 2013.

“We are not commemorating his death but celebrating the life of a world icon and legend, as well as his role as an international statesman.

“Nelson Mandela’s death riveted the attention of the world for 10 days. It consumed South Africans – and much of the world – as the country pulled out all stops to bury the father of the South African nation with military precision and ancient Xhosa customs.

“The world’s news media – television, radio and print media – extensively reported on Nelson Mandela’s life and his role in South Africa’s liberation struggle for weeks following his death.

“One hour after the announcement of his death, two million tweets were generated with over six million tweets recorded on 5 December, the day of his death. The hash tags #RIPNelsonMandela, #Madiba and #RIPMandela were the top three topics on the social network on that morning – at one stage 95 000 tweets per minute – more than 13 million over a month.

“The Nelson Mandela Facebook page gathered over 2,2 million likes and several posts, including tributes from the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

“Within minutes of the announcement, broadcast internationally, crowds of all hues began flocking to the former president’s home where they prayed, sang and laid flowers in front of the world’s media.

“Countries from the US to New Zealand joined South Africa in lowering their flags to half-mast and 91 heads of state attended the funeral, with 4 500 journalists from all over the world covering the funeral. South African broadcast houses ran only “Madiba” programmes for more than ten days.

“Add to this the fact that for 86 days last year the world’s media camped outside the Medi-Clinic Heart hospital in Pretoria where Mandela had been admitted for a recurring lung infection, and it becomes clear that he generated huge media interest – both nationally and internationally.”

Charle says in February – the month day he was released from Victor Verster Prison – Mandela became the first non-Briton to be honoured with a memorial service at Westminster Abbey – the iconic venue that has been the coronation church for every British monarch since 1066 and the burial place of 17 royals.

“The best known black man in the world and probably the most photographed man in the world certainly leaves behind a living legacy – truly a man for all seasons.”

Charle says the award is made on the grounds of impact, news value and media attention in electronic, print, online and social media.

Prof Herman van Schalkwyk, Vice-Principal of the North-West University said it is of utmost importance that we continue to acknowledge media freedom and encourage independence and high standards of ethical journalism. “This is the quest for truth in the public interest and appropriate accountability. We salute this endeavour by the National Press Club to raise the bar when it comes to the standards of journalism.”

The club is synonymous with the Newsmaker of the Year award. Over the years the club has recognised and awarded many newsmakers. Previous recipients include President Jacob Zuma, former presidents FW de Klerk, Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki. Other newsmakers include Hollywood star Charlize Theron, Zachie Achmat and the Treatment Action Campaign, the late Hansie Cronj� and various other sporting personalities, DA Leader Helen Zille, ESKOM and Cope and FIFA’s Sepp Blatter and Danny Jordaan also received the award in recent years. Other recipients were Thuli Madonsela and Julius Malema. Last year the award went to the South African rhino.

Journalist of the Year announced

The winners in the National Press Club-North-West University Journalist of the Year competition were also announced at the function. For the first time in the history of the competition, the overall winner was a television cameraperson, the late Dudley Saunders of Carte Blanche.

The winners in the print categories were Botho Molosankwe of The Star (news), Mia Malan of the Mail & Guardian (features) and Paballo Thekiso of The Saturday Star (photography).

The winners in the electronic media categories were Alex Eliseev of Eyewitness News (radio news), Melini Moses of the SABC (radio features), Dani�lla van Heerden of eNCA (television news), Kate Barry of Carte Blanche (television features) and Dudley Saunders of Carte Blanche (television cameraperson).

The winner in the online media category was Christa Eybers of Eyewitness News.

The media liaison officer of the year was Nandi Mokoena of the Competition Tribunal and the editor of the year was Ryk van Niekerk of Moneyweb.

Journo winners 2012 Print media – news Poloko Tau – The Star Print media – features Mia Malan – Mail & Guardian Print media – photography Cornél van Heerden – Foto24 Electronic media – radio news Gia Nicolaides – Eyewitness News Electronic media – radio features Mia Malan – Darren Taylor Electronic media – TV news Daniella du Plooy – E-Nuus Electronic media – TV features Amalia Christoforou – Carte Blanche Electronic media – cameraperson Thuthuka Zondi of etv Media liaison officer Panyaza Lesufi – Department of Basic Education Editor Katy Katopodis – Eyewitness News Journalist of the Year Cornél van Heerden – Foto24 Proudly SA awards MNet Cares Pretoria News

National Press Club – North-West University Journalist of the Year awarded

23 March 2012

Barry Bateman of Eyewitness News is the National Press Club – North-West University Journalist of the Year for 2011.

Bateman was awarded for his perseverance, notion for factually correct reporting and for working under tremendous deadline pressure. His tenacity with the story on the Tshwane Metro Police used of vehicles with false number plates is a prime example of excellence in journalism.

The awards were made at the National Press Club – Aon South Africa Newsmaker of the Year awards in Pretoria tonight.

Thabiso Thakali of the Saturday Star is the print news category journalist of the year for his portfolio of outstanding journalism.

Jane Vorster of YOU magazine won the print features category for the first-ever face-to-face interview with Pieter Dirk-Uys and Evita Bezuidenhout – he/she normally only answers written questions.

Craig Nieuwenhuizen of Foto24 won the photography category for his picture of a policeman rescuing a child during the eviction of people from the Schubart Park flats in Pretoria.

Thebeetsile Keameditse of the SABC won the radio features journalist of the year category for his articles on electronic banking in rural areas and modernised circumcision.

Lirandzu Themba of e.tv is the winner in the TV news category for the unbiased reporting on the eviction of the Schubart Park flats in Pretoria.

Odette Schwegler and Nicola de Chaud of Carte Blanche are joint winners in the category for television features with their reporting on baby brokering and the investigation of malpractices of the Johannesburg fire chief.

Tutuko Zondi of e.tv is the television cameraperson of the year for an excellent portfolio, including ‘The Indian vote” in Kwazulu-Natal.

Taurai Maduna of Eyewitness News won the online category for the reporting on the abuse of platinum workers on the Johannesburg East Rand.

Mandy Wiener, also of Eyewitness News won the category for social media for her reporting on the Selebi case.

McIntosh Polela of the Hawks was named the Media Liaison Officer of the Year for his interactive and professional interaction with the media.

Nic Dawes, Editor of the Mail & Guardian was awarded as the Editor of the Year for his uncompromising stance on excellence and his commitment to the fight for media freedom.

The inaugural National Press Club Proudly South African award in conjunction with Proudly SA was jointly awarded to the SABC for their programme Touching Lives and Primedia’s Lead SA.

The National Press Club – North-West University overall Journalist of the Year won R10 000 while each category winner received R5 000 each, sponsored by the North-West University.

The entries were judged by a panel of various independents experts and academics.

Charles Naud� is a media consultant, Cornia Pretorius is a senior lecturer in journalism at the School of Communication Studies at North-West University and Gilbert Mokwatedi is a communications practitioner at Unisa. Peter Morey has been running his own photographic studio for the last 16 years after working as a photographer at the Pretoria News for many years and Marion Scher is an award winning freelance journalist, writing for many of South Africa’s major consumer publications.

Natalia Rosa works at Africa’s largest travel trade publisher, Now Media, as managing editor of Travel News Weekly and Southern African Tourism Update. Pluto Panoussis is a lecturer at the Open Window School for Visual Communication and Tshamano Makhadi is a multi-award winning South African journalist.

Theuns Eloff, Vice Chancellor of North-West University says if the awards can assist in further improving the quality of journalism in the country, it will have served its purpose.

“However, the university shares the concern held by all journalists that the Protection of State Information Bill might have serious implications on the freedom of information and the freedom of journalists’ freedom. We care about our democracy and our expensive freedom. We already see the impact of the Bill on our international reputation, and share your unease about the weakened position of South Africa on the Reporters without Borders scale, falling from position 33/179 in 2009, to 39/172 in 2010 and to 42/179 in 2011 on the freedom-of-press scale.

“Moreover, we request government to reconsider the language and rhetoric of the current debates on the flow of information. Expressions like ‘national security’ sound very similar to the language of the apartheid government and are not compatible with the new democratic ethos and its values of freedom, equality and human dignity that we want to see realised in all facets of life in South Africa.

“Despite all this, we are fortunate to be involved in this highly-respected event. We congratulate all the winners and trust that our contribution adds to the ongoing roll of excellence currently evident on the South African media scene,” said Eloff.

Read the address by Yusuf Abramjee, Chairman of the National Press Club

National Press Club � North-West University Journalist of the Year awarded

14 March 2011

The National Press Club � North-West University Journalist of the Year for 2010 is Graeme Hosken of the Pretoria News. The award was made at the annual National Press Club � Aon South Africa Newsmaker of the Year function on 14 March 2011.

National Press Club Chairperson Yusuf Abramjee said the awards aim to encourage excellent journalism and communication and reward excellence.

The winners in the other categories were Graeme Hosken, Mogomotsi Magome and Patrick Hlahla of the Pretoria News in the print news category for their articles ‘City tender can of worms’ and ‘Tswane Metro Police’. Herman Scholtz of Rapport was commended in this category for ‘Ou vleis herverpak.’

Graeme Hosken of the Pretoria News won the print features category for his reporting on the earthquake in Haiti, Masi Losi of Pretoria News won the photography category and Mandy Wiener of Eyewitness News won the radio news category for ‘Lolly Jackson’.

Melini Moses of SAfm was the winner in the radio in-depth features category for ‘Out of pocket’ and Mandy Wiener of Eyewitness News was commended in this category for her feature ‘Rent a child’. Joy Summers and Bernadette Cook of Carte Blanche are joint winners in the electronic media � television in-depth features category for ‘Acid mine drainage’ and ‘Rhinos’ respectively. Julie-Anne Reid of Carte Blanche was commended in this category for ‘Witbank hospital horror.’

Mia Willemse of eNuus is the winner in the TV news category for “Renoster” and “Danville” and Taurai Maduna of Eyewitness News in the electronic media � online category for ‘Jub Jub protests.’ Dr Barbara Jensen from the Gautrain was named the Media Liaison Officer of the year. Members of the National Press Club nominated their favourite media liaison officers and the executive committee chose the winner in this category. Abramjee said Barbara won because she is always available for media comment and very helpful towards the media. “We looked for someone with outstanding communication skills, accessibility, helpfulness and the like.”

Ferial Haffajee of City Press was awarded as the Editor of the Year for 2010. Members of the National Press Club nominated their favourite editor and the executive committee chose the winner in this category. She was awarded for her uncompromising stance on excellence. “Her influential voice continues to be heard � whether it is on official platforms like SANEF or on her hugely popular Twitter account. She constantly advances the voices of other women, in her newspaper and on other platforms, and is a trusted source of analysis about the state of our nation,” said Abramjee. The entries were judged by a panel of various independents experts and academics.

Cornia Pretorius is a senior lecturer in journalism at the School of Communication Studies at North-West University. Before that she was associate editor, education at the Mail & Guardian and editor of the Teacher. She won the Unitech Higher Education Journalism Award in 2004, the Association for the Development of Education in Africa award for education journalism in Africa in 2003 and the Sanlam/British Council Award for education journalism in 1987 and 1988.

Gilbert Mokwatedi has 15 years of experience in radio journalism, journalism training � specialising in radio news and current affairs � media relations and corporate communications. He has worked for media organisations such as the South African Press Association and the South African Broadcasting Corporation.

Peter Morey has been running his own photographic studio for the last 16 years after working as a photographer at the Pretoria News for many years. He was the official photographer at the inauguration of both former presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki.

Marion Scher is an award winning freelance journalist, writing for many of South Africa’s major consumer publications, the custom publishing field as well as public relations companies and the corporate world. She is also a trainer for the Print Media Association of South Africa and trains at 702 Talk Radio.

Theuns Eloff, Vice-Chancellor of North-West University says the university has a long standing scholarly relationship with journalism. “To express the NWU’s ongoing commitment to the indispensable role of an independent media in South Africa, I would like to announce our further sponsorship for a future prize for “Editor of the Year”. May this encourage the media as a whole to maintain the high standards of ethical journalism, the quest for truth in the public interest and appropriate accountability. The NWU supports you fully in this noble endeavour.”

Abramjee says the club will continue to award and reward excellence in journalism. “We must continue to raise the bar,” he said.

The National Press Club � North-West University overall Journalist of the Year won a cash prize of R10 000 and the winners in the different categories won a cash prize of R5 000 each, sponsored by the North-West University. The editor of the year received a luxury weekend break-away.

Abramjee thanked the North-West University for their sponsorship. “We are delighted to have the university on board as a partner. It is a yet another indication of their commitment to recognising excellence.”

National Press Club-North West University Journalist of the Year awarded The National Press Club-North West University Journalist of the Year 2009 is Joy Summers of Carte Blanche. She was also awarded as the Television – In depth features journalist of the year. The awards were made at the annual National Press Club Glenrand MIB Newsmaker of the Year function. National Press Club Chairperson Yusuf Abramjee said the National Press Club’s executive committee decided to re-introduce the awards and to secure a sponsorship so that they can encourage excellent journalism and communication and reward excellence. The winners in the other categories were in Graeme Hosken from Pretoria News in the Print News category; Theane Calitz from Beeld in the Photography category; Cathy Mohlalana from Talk Radio 702, Eyewitness News in the Radio News category; Liela Magnus from SABC in the Radio In depth features category; Megan Raubenheimer from e.tv in the Television Camera Person category. Adrian Lackey from SARS was awarded the Media Liaison Officer of the year. Members of the National Press Club nominated their favourite Media Liaison Officers. The executive committee choose the winner in this category. Abramjee said Adrian won because he is always available for media comment and very helpful towards the media. “We looked for someone with outstanding communication skills, accessibility, helpfulness and the like.” The entries were judged by a panel of various independents experts and academics. Pippa Green is Associate Professor and Head of the Journalism Department at the University of Pretoria. She is a member of the Nieman Selection Committee as well as the SABC board. She has been a journalist and a writer for the past 25 years. Gilbert Mokwatedi has 15 years of experience in radio journalism, journalism training – specialising in radio news and current affairs – media relations and corporate communications. He has worked for media organisations such as the South African Press Association and the South African Broadcasting Corporation. 2 Peter Morey has been running his own photographic studio for the last 16 years after working as a photographer at the Pretoria News for many years. He was the official photographer at the inauguration of both former presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki. Liesl Pretorius is the outgoing editor of The Media. She took over the editorship, following a stint as launch editor of the magazine’s sister website, TheMediaOnline. She has spent the bulk of her journalism career at daily newspapers. At Beeld, she was in-depth reporter covering media. She was a regional winner in the Editor’s Choice category of the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards. Marion Scher is an award winning freelance journalist, writing for many of South Africa’s major consumer publications, the custom publishing field as well as public relations companies and the corporate world. She is also a trainer for the Print Media Association of South Africa and trains at 702 Talk Radio. Theuns Eloff, Vice-Chancellor of North-West University says the university has a long–standing scholarly relationship with journalism. “To express the NWU’s ongoing commitment to the indispensable role of an independent media in South Africa, I would like to announce our further sponsorship for a future prize for “Editor of the Year”. May this encourage the media as a whole to maintain the high standards of ethical journalism, the quest for truth in the public interest and appropriate accountability. The NWU supports you fully in this noble endeavour.” Abramjee says the club decided to bring the journalism awards back because they were very popular in the past. “We also received scores of requests from members. We will continue to award and reward excellence in journalism. We must continue to raise the bar,” said Abramjee. The National Press Club – North-West University overall Journalist of the Year will won a cash prize of R10 000 and the winners in the different categories won a cash prize of R5000 each sponsored by the North-West University. The North-West University announced that they will sponsor the competition again for next year. Abramjee thanked the North West University for extending their sponsorship to 2010 and for extending their sponsorship to include a category for Editor of the Year next year. “We are delighted that the university has come on board as a partner. It is a yet another indication of their commitment to recognising excellence.” For more information contact: Martin van Niekerk Secretariat: National Press Club Tel 012 804 5199 / 083 447 4864 Date: 19 March 2010