Cybertorial: City Press scooped the prestigious Joel Mervis award at the 2013 Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Awards held at the World Trade Centre in Sandton on Wednesday 08 May.
Announced by Print and Digital Media South Africa, the Joel Mervis Award honours newspaper excellence in advertising, printing and production, layout and typography as well as the balanced use of pictures and graphics. The award is championed by the Newspaper Association of South Africa, with the winners announced at the Annual Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Awards.
The Joel Mervis Award has been in existence for the past 16 years and recognises urban weekly newspapers irrespective of their circulation that excel in the criteria laid down by the industry.
Convener of judges, Clive Loxton, creative faculty head of the AAA School of Advertising, commented, “City Press is stylish, colourful, precise and energetic. And it’s my impression that the team has raised the ante for everyone else, a truly South African style.”
He said that overall, he and his fellow judges – Logan Naidu, Tebogo Serobatse and Linda Rademan – agreed that this year’s entries reached a higher standard than those of 2012.
“We aim to be world-class, to set the local news agenda, to be on the money and first with trend-spotting, and to serve up a total Sunday package,” editor of City Press, Ferial Haffajee, says. “Our declared aim is to lead the Sunday reading market and I believe us to be well on our way.”
City Press received the following judges’ comments:
MASTHEADS: Less busy and well designed – full of visual interest.
SECTION DELINEATION: Very good – one of the best design programmes this year.
UNDERLYING GRID: Good and used confidently incorporating white space and graphics effectively. I liked the use of very big quote marks.
FONT CHOICES: Very Good – modern choices.
HEADLINE FONT: Good bold sans serif.
HEADLINE LENGTH & KERNING: Good kerning of short lines.
SUBHEAD FONT/S: Good serif font and sans serif in pale blue is a clever component.
BODY COPY SETTING & KERNING: Very good, both justified and ragged right setting.
SIZE OF PICTURES: Good – some much bigger ones this year add a dramatic dimension to the layouts.
ILLUSTRATIONS: Good use of colour in well-designed panels to carry type.
DEEP-ETCHED PICTURES: Very good use of large ones.
OTHER: Excellent use of bold colour panels – as is the use of picture captions on little colour panels.
The award is named after Joel Mervis, the great former Sunday Times editor, who was known for his devotion to robust opposition, non-racialism and honest reporting.
Editor of City Press, Ferial Haffajee, accepts the Joel Mervis Award
Jaco Grobbelaar, for City Press and Rapport, won the award for his HMS Titanic graphic, which judges described as “a complex and astonishingly detailed graphic of The Titanic, the product of several months’ work at his own initiative”.
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