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Newspaper prestige at annual awards

The annual Mondi Shanduka Awards for newspaper journalism held last week, Thursday 25 April, also saw newspapers awarded for excellence in all disciplines, from: advertising, print and production, layout and typography, to the balance between the use of pictures and graphics.

The criteria for the newspaper industry’s most prestigious publishing awards – 2007 Frewin, McCall and Joel Mervis Awards have been set by the industry to recognise publishers who excel in producing high-quality products.

This year’s judging panel consisted of Clive Loxton, creative faculty head at the AAA School of Advertising; Kerry Swift, executive director of development at Rhodes University; Carmen Schaefer, graphic design lecturer at the AAA School of Advertising; and Logan Naidu lecturer at the Cross Media Training Centre.

The winners are:

FREWIN competition – this competition has been in existence for the past 58 years and recognises all urban daily newspapers with a circulation above 50 000:

1st place: Beeld (points 84)
2nd place: Die Burger (82)
Joint 3rd place: Daily News (77) / Daily Sun (77)

Beeld has won this award five times in the past seven years. The judges said that, “Beeld exuded confidence in its execution with quality control and machine minding skills. The quality of the pictures were of a generally high standard”.

McCALL competition – this competition has been in existence for the past 46 years and recognises urban daily newspapers with a circulation of 50 000 or less:

Joint 1st place: Business Day (points 83) / The Mercury (83)
2nd place: The Witness (81)
3rd place: Volksblad (77)

Third time winner (in the past seven years), Business Day was commended for the design of their advertisements which was better than average and gave the newspaper a very neat and accessible feel. The judges further said that it communicated intelligently to its readers.

The photographic content of The Mercury (second time winner) was generally of a good standard throughout the newspaper, and from issue to issue a good colour consistency and balance was displayed in the entries submitted.

JOEL MERVIS competition – this competition has been in existence for the past 12 years and recognises urban weekly newspapers irrespective of their circulation:

1st place: Mail & Guardian (points 99)
2nd place: Naweek Beeld (90)
Joint 3rd place: City Press (84) / Saturday Star (84)

Judges said that the Mail & Guardian, winner for the second consecutive year, competed with the best in the world. The newspaper’s interesting mastheads, good quality production and photographic standards presented a strong visual package that was among the best in the category.

A total of 16 dailies and 29 weeklies entered this year’s competition. The winners were announced at the Mondi Shanduka Newspaper Awards ceremony held last week at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg.

A fine fellow

Print Media SA also announced the winner of the newspaper industry 2007 Fellow at the 6th annual awards, as: Justin Arenstein, president of the Association of Independent Publishers (AIP).

The Print Media SA Fellowship Award recognises individuals for their devotion and energy in furthering the interests of the newspaper and print media industry over a number of years. The annual Print Media SA Fellowship Award is regarded as the industry’s most prestigious award in recognising key-decision makers who are identified through nominations from industry stakeholders.

Arenstein was instrumental in the creation of the Association of Independent Publishers (AIP) and has remained intimately involved in shaping its strong ‘self help’ and ‘no free handouts’ ethos, as well as engineering many of its most practical and successful projects. He ensured that the AIP did not flounder immediately after its establishment and invested large chunks of his time and personal finances in getting AIP’s governance systems, membership structures and projects off the ground – often at the expense of his own small business and professional interests.

He has championed the argument that the only sustainable and meaningful intervention in the grassroots sector is the development of home-grown production tools, management systems and business skills that allow small newspapers to compete in the marketplace as equals.

The winner of the 2007 PMSA Magazine Fellowship Award will be announced at the MPASA PICA Awards ceremony scheduled to take place later this year.


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