It is a special year for Mondi Shanduka Newsprint’s partnership with the Newspaper Association of South Africa and, of course, the South African newspaper industry at large.
After sponsoring this competition for a decade, Mondi Shanduka Newsprint remains unequivocally committed to promoting excellence in the various fields of newspaper journalism. It is with pride that we look back on the winners and finalists who have collected a Mondi Shanduka nib for their outstanding work.
The world of journalism is changing at a rapid pace. In an article by Mandy Roussouw in The Media magazine, she referred to Twitter as ‘news for the news’”. One only needs to look at the recent events in Libya and Egypt and the stories flowing from the Japanese earthquake, ensuing tsunami and nuclear crisis to grasp how quickly news can spread in the digital age.
During the days and weeks after these events, newspapers were rich with analysis and commentary on the uprisings, upheavals, triumphs and tragedies.
I firmly believe that while the print media has taken a knock on the chin by its digital counterparts, there is still a place for newspapers to flourish. There is no essence in fighting the incredible growth of the digital age – it is time to embrace the opportunities that technology brings to our sector.
That said, it is in our best interests to keep newspapers alive in the hard copy format. The forestry, timber, pulp and paper industries collectively generate direct employment some 119 000 people, and 50 800 people indirectly. Conservatively, a further 11 000 people are employed in the recovery and recycling of paper. Add to this the dependency ratio, and the forest and forest products industry supports over 850 000 dependents. And that’s not counting the newspaper journalism fraternity!
And if we want to be sentimental about it, we could ask, what fun is it sipping our morning coffee, nibbling on a croissant (maybe with a dash of blue cheese) and scrolling through a Smartphone?
So to the winners, finalists and commendees in the 10th annual Mondi Shanduka Newspaper Awards, thank you for keeping our newspapers alive – with your words, wisdom and wit; with your photographs and graphics and the ability to lay it all out on a page that makes us want to grab that coffee and croissant and immerse ourselves in the news of the day.
As always, our thanks must go to Professor Guy Burger and his team of judges, for collaborating on 760 entries. To the team at the Newspaper Association of South Africa – a huge thank you for the hours and the energy that you put into making this competition a success.
CEO, Mondi Shanduka Newsprint