ANC Youth League president, Julius Malema, has been named Newsmaker of the Year. News24, South Africa’s largest digital news platform, named the firebrand Malema its Newsmaker after users voted for the candidate or event of their choice.
Other notable events that made the final lists were the deaths of Muammar Gaddafi and Osama Bin Laden as well as the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Jannie Momberg, News24’s editor says: “2011 was a memorable news year. Internationally the major stories included the Arab Spring uprisings, the Japan tsunami, the killing of Osama bin Laden and the death of Steve Jobs amongst others.
“It is fitting though that Julius Malema, a leader impossible to ignore, was by a clear margin our users’ Newsmaker for 2012. Local news stories remain the most popular content on News24 and no one generated as much interest as the Youth League president,” said Momberg.
A shortlist of 11 newsmaker finalists, chosen each month from a panel of three, were put forward for the public’s vote during the first half of December.
Previous winners include Jacob Zuma (2007), Barack Obama (2008), Michael Jackson (2009) and the Soccer World Cup in 2010.
In another year-end list News24 joined Julius Malema and Kaizer Chiefs as one of the main news search terms in South Africa in 2010 on Google’s annual ‘Zeitgeist’ report.