Best digital journalist in Africa goes to SA trio

Demelza Bush, Craig McKune and Verashni Pillay, from South Africa, have been awarded the Digital Journalism Award

July 23, 2012

Demelza Bush, Craig McKune and Verashni Pillay, from South Africa, have been awarded the Digital Journalism Award, presented by Shiv Shivakumar, Senior Vice President for India, Middle East and Africa Nokia, at this year’s CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2012 Awards ceremony.

Demelza, Craig and Verashni, who work for The Mail and Guardian Online, South Africa, won for their feature ‘Leasing Scams: A Dummy’s Guide’, which was chosen from among 1799 entries from 42 nations across the African continent.

The Awards, which rotate location each year in tribute to their pan-African credentials, were held at a Gala ceremony hosted by CNN and MultiChoice at Auditorium Hall, Government Complex Convention Centre, Lusaka, Zambia this evening, Saturday 21 July and broadcast live on ZNBC.

Member of the judging panel, Editor-in-Chief of France Télévisions, Jean-Paul Gérouard, said: “This ‘Dummy’s Guide’ to leasing scams is a good example of what you can achieve by using multimedia tools. The Mail and Guardian had produced an impressive investigation story on how to rip off tax payers with state leases.”

The winners said: “We are very honoured to win this award and hope there will be more of this type of journalism on this continent.”

The CNN MultiChoice competition is now in its 17th year. The prestigious sponsors include: A24 Media; African Development Bank (AfDB); The Coca-Cola Company; Ecobank; Ericsson; Intercontinental Hotel, Lusaka; IPP Media, Tanzania; MSD; Nokia; SuperSport; and UNICEF.

The Awards’ 34 finalists from 12 countries enjoyed an all expenses paid five day programme of workshops, media forums, networking and had the opportunity to see some of the sights of Zambia.

Parisa Khosravi, Senior Vice President for CNN Worldwide in charge of International Newsgathering, said: “The men and women who enter these awards have become part of a community of excellence, representing the very best in journalism and maintaining the highest standards of journalistic integrity. Their resourcefulness and bravery in pursuing the story has my deepest admiration.”

Collins Khumalo, CEO MultiChoice South Africa said: “We salute the finalists and the winners of the 2012 awards. These journalists give a voice to Africa and help to make that voice heard around the world. We encourage journalists from around the African continent to continue to tell the stories of Africa – who knows, your story might be celebrated at the 2013 awards.”

Ways to Watch the African Journalist Awards: 

Viewers across the continent and across the world will be able to watch the African Journalist Awards in the following ways:

  • M-Net will broadcast the ‘Highlights Programme’ of the Award Ceremony on AfricaMagic on Sunday 29 July
  • Broadcasters in 45 countries on the African continent will be transmitting the ‘Highlights Programme’ during August.
  • Internationally, the ‘Highlights Programme’ will be shown on OBE TV in the UK, The Africa Channel in the United States / UK and on RTP Africa.

The overall CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2012 wins a substantial cash prize, a visit to CNN Centre in Atlanta, to attend the three week CNN Journalism Fellowship, along with the prize awarded to all category winners, which consists of a laptop computer, printer, Nokia 800 Lumia and a cash prize.

www.cnn.com/africanawards