Dispatch and sister publications shine at journalism awards
The Daily Dispatch and its sister publications, The Herald and Weekend Post, took home the lion’s share of praise dished out at this year’s Vodacom Journalist of the Year (VJOY) awards for the Eastern Cape region announced on Thursday.
VJOY convener Mapi Mhlangu said: “Eastern Cape journalists have always excelled in telling stories about the daily challenges facing the people of this largely rural province and this year was no different.
“Journalists demonstrated their ability to unearth what is hidden, ask the questions that need answering, before packaging it all in a compellingly told yet all-too-real and sobering story.”
For investigative journalism, Daily Dispatch’s Matthew Field received a commendation for his investigative piece titled “Big stink over ‘R1bn’ sewer tunnel”.
In the opinion category, Dispatch journalists Mike Loewe and Lulamile Feni were named joint winners, for Loewe’s body of work on climate change, “So many different ways to tap into a climate beat”, and Feni’s insights into the reuniting of AbaThembu royals, “AbaThembu king’s reconciliation with son a truly joyous moment”.
Dispatch’s Luke Charter, Bongani Fuzile, Aphiwe de Klerk, Vuyolwethu Sangotsha and Sithandiwe Velaphi were also commended for “their elaborate piece which provides an insightful perspective on the Enyobeni tavern tragedy”.
Feni and the Dispatch were again honoured as winners of the VJOY’s breaking news category for “an incredible body of work that encapsulates the execution of a mother and her daughters, a miracle baby being pulled out from a grave, and a wife buried under a bathtub”.
In the features category, Riaan Marais from the Weekend Post received a commendation for his story titled “Praying for a miracle in the dust”.
Marais was also the winner of the sport category for “Beyond the blood and bruises” about MMA stars fighting for a better life.
Daily Dispatch’s Asanda Nini brought home the honours in the financial and economics category for his piece exposing the social development department’s failure to spend its food parcel budget, which resulted in R67m returned to the Treasury, leaving millions who could have benefited from the allocation destitute.
In politics, The Herald won the award for its work dealing with the collapse of the coalition government in Nelson Mandela Bay, by Michael Kimberley, Mandilakhe Kwababana and Yolanda Palezweni, with contributors Ntsikelelo Qoyo and Siyamtanda Capa.
Capa, with Kimberley and Palezweni, of The Herald, were commended for their body of work on “The bloody battle for control of the ANC in the Eastern Cape”.
Capa, Kimberley, Palezweni and Qoyo of The Herald were also commended for their body of work entry in the sustainability category, “A city in drought”.
Werner Hills of The Herald won the photography category for his set of photographs that “shows how anger at unequal service delivery can lead to damage to much-needed infrastructure”.
The national awards ceremony will take place on November 24.
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