With the tagline ‘100% fake free’, this year’s Sikuvile Journalism Awards celebrated excellence in South African media, with 328 entries in the 14 categories.
Now in its sixth year, the Awards are hosted by Publishers Support Services (PSS) and sponsored by Standard Bank. The emcee for the evening was Azania Mosaka and entertainment was provided by comedian Tats Nkonzo, who had the audience in stitches with his routine.
A presentation of three special publication awards kicked off the event. The Frewin Award, which recognises urban daily newspapers with a circulation above 50 000, was won by the Daily Sun. A sad fact of newspaper life is that a number of publications had to withdraw after their circulations fell under 50 000 during the Awards period.
The McCall Award, which honours urban daily newspapers with a circulation of 50 000 or less, was won by Volksblad.
The Joel Mervis Award, recognising urban weekly newspapers irrespective of their circulation, was won by Mail & Guardian.
The individual awards were then presented. The big winner on the night was Suzanne Venter of Rapport who walked away as not only the winner in the Investigative Journalism category, but also with the SA Story of the Year Award. This was for her coverage of the Life Esidimeni situation, which is still setting the news agenda with the current arbitration underway, where more awful facts are coming to light.
Speaking to The Media Online after the awards, Venter’s passion for the story shone through. “The story for me was so special because my parents taught me that no person is better than another, we are all equal. We should treat everyone with respect, and they didn’t get that, they were treated like animals. And I didn’t want to give up,” she said. “It’s not my story, it’s their story, told by me and other journalists … I’m not going to rest until the culprits held accountable and pay for their mistakes.”
Venter’s dual win caps off a great year for her as she also won this year’s Taco Kuiper Award for Investigative Journalism for the story.
The other dual award winner on the night was Alon Skuy of The Times, who clinched the News Photographs and Sports Photographs categories.
Journalist of the Year went to Sipho Masondo of City Press, while the Rising Star of the Year award was presented to Butello Make of Graphics 24. The winner of this year’s Allan Kirkland Soga Lifetime Achiever Award was Juby Mayet.
“You just need to pay attention to detail,” Masondo said of good investigative journalism. “Somebody can give you a very big story but you may miss it if you read through documents or speak to somebody and decide there’s no story here.” He also advised journalists to follow the money and the paper trail, as this would lead to important stories that have to be told.
Here are some photos from the awards evening:
Here is a full list of the finalists, with the winners highlighted in bold:
CATEGORY 1: HARD NEWS
|Finalists:||Frank Maponya & Sandile Ndlovu||School of horrors||Sowetan|
|Mzilikazi wa Afrika||High commissioner exposed as drug mule||Sunday Times
|Mzilikazi wa Afrika||Minister smuggles friend on state jet||Sunday Times|
CATEGORY 2: COLUMNS / EDITORIAL
|Finalists:||Phillip de Wet||Winegum racism||Mail & Guardian|
|Mondli Makhanya||Tragic fall of Brian||City Press|
|Adriaan Basson||Decoding Pravin Gordhan||News24|
CATEGORY 3: ENTERPRISE NEWS
|Finalists:||Laura Lopez Gonzalez||The big chill: Health posts freeze threatens services||Health-E News/Daily Maverick|
|Lisa Steyn||From boom to bust in five years||Mail & Guardian|
|The Star Women’s Team 2016||The rise of women’s power||The Star|
CATEGORY 4: FEATURE WRITING
|Finalists:||Estelle Ellis||Shock closure of frail care centres
Toxic river Spill
|Shaun Smillie||Raising private Mtolo||The Times|
|Hanlie Retief||Apartheid was ‘n familiekwaal||Rapport|
|Hlengiwe Nhlabathi||Mashaba: Mayor in waiting||City Press|
CATEGORY 5: INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM
|Finalists:||Suzanne Venter||Life Esidimeni||Rapport|
|Sipho Masondo||Watergate||City Press|
|Mzilikazi wa Afrika||Minister smuggles a friend on state jet||Sunday Times|
CATEGORY 6: EDITORIAL CARTOONS
|Brandan Eugene Reynolds||Body of work||Rapport|
|Jonathan Shapiro||Body of Work||M&G|
|Wilson Mgobhozi||Body of Work”||The Star|
CATEGORY 7: GRAPHIC JOURNALISM
|Finalists:||Lebohang Elvin Nethononda||SOWETO uprising 1976||The Star|
|Rudi Louw||2016 F1 World Championship||Graphics24 for City Press|
|Jaco Grobbelaar||Gupta’s strike black gold||Graphics24
for City Press
CATEGORY 8: POPULAR JOURNALISM
|Finalists:||Stephen Molobi||Pastor Doom||Daily Sun|
|Philani Mzila||Meet Nathi’s nyatsi||Sunday Sun|
|Norman Masungwini||Mapona Minister||Sunday Sun|
CATEGORY 9: NEWS PHOTOGRAPHS
|Finalists:||Alon Skuy||Cliff/Dali/Oscar||The Times|
|Phando Jikelo||Grabouw Meyham||Cape Times|
|Motshwari Mofokeng||Youth gone off the rails||Daily News|
CATEGORY 10: FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHS
|Finalist:||Phando Jikelo||Blind and in despair amid hardship||Cape Times|
|Jaco Marais||Freedom through art||Die Burger|
|Leon Sadiki||I’m the celebrity love||City Press
CATEGORY 11: SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHS
|Alon Skuy||Caleb’s quest for the stage||The Times|
|Phando Jikelo||BlitzBoks fall at final hurdle||Daily News
CATEGORY 12: PRESENTATION
|Finalists:||Vuyo Singiswa & Sarah Buitenbach||FM covers 2016||Financial Mail|
|Narianan Nelandri||June 16: 40 Years on||The Star|
CATEGORY 13: MULTIPLATFORM
|Finalists:||Athandiwe Saba; Delwyn Verasamy & Malcolm Sekgothe||Unitrans stall over vital back pay||Mail & Guardian|
|Liesl Pretorius; Ross Eyre; Lailah Ryklief; Ray Joseph||Dying for a toilet||City Press
|Graeme Hosken; Alon Skuy, Boikhutso Ntsoko||#DeathDrive||The Times/TimesLive|
CATEGORY 14: MULTIMEDIA
|Le Roux Schoeman||Kan jy van snoek alleen oorleef||Netwerk24.com|
|Susan Comrie||Pushing Heroin||City Press Online|
|Jerusha Sukhdeo-Raath||Frontline in conversation with||News24|
The entries were judged in July by the judging panel and 41 titles were selected as finalists. The judging panel was headed by convener Judge, Mathatha Tsedu and included Dinesh Balliah, Gus Silber, Henry Jeffreys, Mike Siluma, Tyrone August, Phil Mtimkulu, Pippa Green, Tim du Plessis, Latiefa Mobara, Thabo Leshilo, Mary Papayya, Ryland Fisher, and Neo Ntsoma.
Follow Michael Bratt on Twitter @MichaelBratt8