The amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism’s Susan Comrie has won the 2016 Sanlam Financial Journalist of the Year award. She also took home the Business and Companies and Print Financial Journalist of the Year categories for her submission of a series of investigative pieces on a state-owned entity.
Presenting the coveted Journalist of the Year award to Comrie, the adjudication panel said they had been struck by the writer’s capacity to turn a complex story into a series of accessible pieces that reflected her own understanding of the issue and her innovative narrative and use of the medium.
“It is a vote of confidence when a financial expert like Sanlam recognises your work. I am honoured to be awarded amongst veterans in financial journalism, people who I’ve looked up to throughout my career. My winning stories on Optimum Coal and Eskom’s relations with the Guptas show that investigative stories are rarely not financial stories. It’s exciting times for financial journalists and I look forward to coming back again next year, this time with the amaBhungane team effort on state capture and all the other stories I have written in 2017,” Comrie said in a statement.
Veteran journalist, Ann Crotty, who the judges referred to as the doyen of financial journalism, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement award. “She has kept her passion for detail, especially in analysing annual financial statements. This unique professional characteristic shows in her investigative work even today. In recent years, she has used her knowledge of companies to extend her coverage to issues of social justice,” the panel said.
Aviwe Mtila of CNBC Africa won the Best Newcomer award. Just two years into financial journalism, Mtila entered for three categories, including the Financial Markets one in which he was one of only 10 entrants.
“It is clear that the much-talked about state capture is not just about politics but indeed about the economy and the political economy because of its far reaching impact,” convenor of the panel, Peter Vundla, said.
Other winners last night were:
- Claire Bisseker (Financial Mail): Economy
- Rob Rose (Financial Mail): Financial markets
- Ryk van Niekerk (Moneyweb): Consumer financial education and Radio Financial Journalist of the Year
- Joy Summers (M-Net Carte Blanche): Television Financial Journalist of the Year
- Craig McKune (amaBhungane): Online Financial Journalist of the Year
- Ancillar Mangena (Forbes Magazine): The African Growth Story
Speaking at the awards presentation, Sanlam group chief executive officer, Ian Kirk said: “At a time when South Africa faces a myriad of challenges, the role of financial journalists, in particular, is important in supporting the country in the efforts to build the sustainable and inclusive growth which we must all strive for.”