The Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Awards 2017 winners have been announced, with Investigative Journalism category winner, Suzanne Venter from Rapport winning the SA Story of the Year for Life Esidimeni and City Press'Sipho Masondo crowned Journalist of the Year. Masondo was also a finalist in the Investigative Journalism category for Watergate.
The night's big winners - Journalist of the year, Sipho Masondo of City Press; SA story of the Year, Suzanne Venter of Rapport; Upcoming/Rising Star of the Year, Botshilo Maake of City Press; and Lifetime achiever, Juby Mayet.
The Allan Kirkland Soga Lifetime Achiever Award went to 80-year-old Juby Mayet, who has outlived all the journalists she worked with, while the Upcoming/Rising Star of the Year went to Botshilo Maake for A body of work, Graphics 24 for City Press.
The Sikuvile Awards are a recognition of excellence in South African journalism, hosted by the Publishers Support Services (PSS) and sponsored by Standard Bank. The event took place on 19 October, at The Venue Greenpark (also known as Johannesburg World Trade Centre) in Sandton, Gauteng.
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.
The list of winners includes:
Hard news winner
Frank Maponya and Sandile Ndlovu
School of horrors
Phillip de Wet
Mail & Guardian
Enterprise news winner
Laura Lopez Gonzalez
The big chill: Health posts freeze threatens services
Health-E News/Daily Maverick
Feature writing winner
Shock closure of frail care centres and Toxic river spill
Investigative journalism winner
Editorial cartoons winner
Brandan Eugene Reynolds
Body of work
Rapport and Business Day
Graphic journalism winner
Lebohang Elvin Nethononda
Soweto uprising 1976
Popular journalism winner
News photographs winner
Feature photographs winner
Blind and in despair amid hardship
Sports photographs winner
Caleb’s quest for the stage
Vuyo Singiswa and Sarah Buitenbach
FM covers 2016
Athandiwe Saba, Delwyn Verasamy and Malcolm Sekgothe
Unitrans stall over vital back pay
Mail & Guardian
Le Roux Schoeman
Kan jy van snoek alleen oorleef
SA Story of the Year shows tenacity
This year’s winner of the Sikuvile Journalism Awards’ SA Story of the Year as well as Investigative Journalism category winner, Suzanne Venter, led to the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, ordering an investigation into the whole saga.
Venter’s investigation of the decision by the Gauteng Health Department to remove mentally ill patients from a secure and comfortable place where they were being cared for, to unlicensed and poorly maintained facilities without any financial assistance, fitted the criteria for this category; in-depth journalism resulting in scoops, arising from research, perseverance, courage and determination.
She was determined not only to expose wrong-doing by the authorities, but as she puts it: “to know that I played a part in exposing the culprits who are responsible for the agonising death of the most vulnerable citizens of society.”
Newspaper production, advertising, graphics award winners
The Daily Sun won the Frewin Award. This Award recognises urban daily newspapers with a circulation above 50,000. A number of newspapers 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.
Convener of judges, Clive Loxton, Creative faculty head of the AAA School of Advertising, says ‘The competition was very fierce in all three categories. We congratulate the winners whose quest for excellence has paid off. Their attention to detail is the factor that sets them apart. We encourage the runners – up to persevere in their efforts to win.
Enduring power of journalism
Hoosain Karjieker, CEO, Mail & Guardian and a PSS director also paid tribute to all the winners. “Your work is a testimony to the enduring power of journalists to hold the most powerful accountable. Long, long may you continue to do so.”
Karjieker also thanked Standard Bank for their sponsorship of the Awards.
Standard Bank sponsor representative, Ross Linstrom, Standard Bank Media Relations, says “Once again this year’s Sikuvile Awards honours journalists who have given us the kinds of stories and photographs that have enabled all of us to exercise our freedom, to judge ideas for ourselves, and to make sense of the world based on objective, comprehensive, and credible reporting.”
Click here to view gallery of 2017 Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Awards.