Regional Winners from Kwazulu-Natal Region make their mark

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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 123 from the
KwaZulu-Natal Region.

“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 KwaZulu-Natal Region were announced today at a function at
the Protea Hotel Umhlanga Ridge. 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
KwaZulu-Natal region are:

2016 CSI/Sustainability winner
Julie Laurenz, Francois Grobler. Nguni TV, Mining murder.
The judges commended one other entry in this category.
Judith Subban. eNCA, Illegal sand mining.

2016 Financial/Economic winner

Jeff Wicks. News24, EXPOSED: How Panday bought the cops.

2016 Online winner

Kyle Cowan. Zulu Observer, Anarchy in iSithebe.

2016 Photography winner

Thuli Dlamini. The Times, Poverty has no colour.

2016 Print Feature winner

Nosipho Mngoma. Daily News, Jailhouse rocked.

2016 Print News winner

Chelsea Pieterse. The Witness, SA Code Red – TAC, Hospitals out of medication, SA
Running out of Penicillin.

The judges commended one other journalist in this category
Sihle Manda. INL, Durban’s R31.5m shack shame.

2016 Radio Feature winner

Genevieve Lanka. SABC Radio News, Hlaudi 90/10.

2016 Radio News winner
Nonjabulo Mntungwa. SABC Radio News, Shembe fight court.

2016 Sport winners
Judith Anne Subban, Susanna Holmes, Bongumusa Mkhize. eNCA, Senzo Meyiwa, the man.


Myron Naicker, Susanna Holmes, Francois Grobler. eNCA, Go Durban.

2016 Television Feature winners

Dasen Thathiah, Balungile Dlamini, Xolani Cele. eNCA, Hostel of death.

2016 Television News winner

Sgu Shangase. eNCA, Umbumbulu.

2016 Young Journalist winner

Bernadette Wolhunter. Daily News, Lotter killer interview.

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 KwaZulu-Natal 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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