Win illustrates weight that Dispatch carries

CUAN Miles, the Daily Dispatch’s popular cartoonist, has scooped the cartoons category of the prestigious Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Awards.

The winners were selected from 683 submissions across 14 award categories.

The awards, presented in Johannesburg on Wednesday night, seek to celebrate journalistic excellence.

In a year in which news has been dominated by the Oscar Pistorius affair, it was Miles’s clever take of Zwelinzima Vavi’s tenuous position in Cosatu that caught the judges’ attention.

This year’s winners were “assets to the journalism industry” and had “displayed passion and substantial editorial experience – they have understood the mind and heart of their audience”, said the convener of judges, Paul Fray.

Miles pipped The Star’s photographer Wilson Mgobhozi and ENCA’s Jeremy Nell to the post in the cartoon category. The Star’s Antoine de Ras scooped the Newspaper Journalist of the Year award for his Pistorius coverage.

Although Miles has won provincial awards before and been a finalist in the Mondi Shanduka (2009), the Vodacom Journalist of the Year (2011) and the Standard Bank Sikuvile (2012) awards, this is his first overall win.

“It’s good to receive the recognition and the affirmation from other journalists, especially working out of the mainstream area. It is also motivating,” said Miles, who works from his studio in Vincent.

He has been cartooning for the Dispatch for eight years.

Delighted by Miles’s win, Daily Dispatch editor Bongani Siqoko paid tribute to the cartoonist for his hard work, keen news sense and creativity. The win, he said, was another feather in the Dispatch’s cap and evidence of how a small regional newspaper could punch above its weight. — DDR

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