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Maya Makanjee, Vodacom Group Chief Officer for Corporate Affairs

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As South Africa marks 20 years of democracy, Vodacom is proud to announce this year’s coveted Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards, as Vodacom itself also celebrates its 20th anniversary.

The awards seek to acknowledge journalists who have shown exceptional commitment to reporting excellence across media platforms, and are recognised as a premier catalyst in rewarding distinction in the ever-more crucial arena of dissemination of news and information. They are recognised as a prestigious career achievement, with the overall winner receiving a ZAR100 000 prize.

Maya Makanjee, Chief Officer for Corporate Affairs at Vodacom Group said,“As Vodacom celebrates 20 years of its mission to empower South Africans to be confidently connected, this year’s theme celebrating 20 years of democracy in South Africa is a great fit for us. Recognising excellence in journalism is a way for us to acknowledge and reward those journalists who are communicating vital news of an extremely high standard.”

Some of South Africa’s finest reporters have been recipients of the prizes in the past. The Vodacom Awards have a proud history of honouring excellence in journalism across a range of categories and have celebrated some of South Africa’s finest journalists. Journalists will be able to enter their best achievements in the following categories for work done in 2013/2014:

• Television General News
• Television Feature
• Print General News
• Print Feature
• Radio General News
• Radio Feature
• Financial/Economic News
• Sport
• CSI/Sustainability
• Social Media
• Photography

Editors can also nominate their candidates for:

• The Editor’s Choice Award

The judging panel will vote on:

• The Lifetime Achiever’s Award that recognises the lifetime contribution made by a single individual to journalism and media in this country.

Regional category winners will receive ZAR5 000 each, national category winners will receive ZAR10 000 each, with the coveted and sought-after national accolade of Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award winner receiving ZAR100 000.

Mary Papayya will convene a judging panel made up of some of South Africa’s most experienced journalists: Elna Rossouw, Collin Nxumalo, Arthur Goldstuck, Professor Johann de Wet, Joe Thloloe, Ryland Fisher, Patricia McCracken and Megan Rusi.

Papayya said, “The standard of entries last year, across all categories, was incredibly high. We look forward to seeing as many entries as possible this year. From major news organisations to community radio stations, we saw some amazing work and we hope to receive even more entries this year.”

The national award ceremony will be held in Johannesburg on 31 October 2014. “We are looking forward to hosting South Africa’s top achievers in journalism again this year, and being able to showcase the fine work produced by the media in our country,” said Makanjee.

“The interest in last year’s award was massive, and the impact of new media platforms was evident as the event trended on social media. This year we expect even more excitement and we really want to encourage journalists from around the country to enter their best work.”

“We’d particularly like to invite journalists from community and smaller radio stations and publications to enter their work. Last year the national radio winner came from Radio 786, a community radio station, for his sterling coverage of the farm workers’ strike in the Western Cape,” said Makanjee.

Entries are open from 2 to 30 June; work submitted must have been produced between 1 May 2013 and 30 May 2014. Entries close at 6pm on 30 June 2014. Journalists and editors nominating their Editor’s Choice candidates can enter online through the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards website: journalist.vodacom.co.za

Alternatively, participants can have their entries collected at their desks by Media Express, one of the sponsors of the awards, or they can be delivered to one of five Vodacom regional offices.

For further information, visit the website: journalist.vodacom.co.za

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