CNN anchor Anand Naidoo will host the CNN African Journalist of the Year Awards in Johannesburg, taking place on March 18th.
Naidoo will also present a special edition of 'Insight', CNN's current affairs programme, from Johannesburg, looking at the upcoming political transition in South Africa and the challenges facing the country as it moves into the post-Mandela era. The programme will air at 23.30 Johannesburg time on the day preceding the Awards.
Naidoo, formerly an evening news anchor for SABC, has also previously worked for Radio 702 and M-Net.
'I am delighted to be involved in an event that recognises and encourages African journalistic achievement,' said Naidoo, based at CNN's Atlanta headquarters. 'There is no doubt for me that journalism has a key role to play in the evolution of this continent.'
Naidoo will play host at the event to Cyril Ramaphosa, Chairman of Times Media Ltd., South Africa, who will give the keynote address and announce the overall CNN African Journalist of the Year from more than 700 entries. Among the finalists for the pan-African awards are entrants from 'The Star', 'Sunday Times', Cape Talk and the SABC, alongside finalists from Liberia, Nigeria and Kenya.
Senior CNN executives attending the Awards include Chris Cramer, president CNN International, who will be speaking at the event; Phil Kent, president, Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) International, CNN's parent company; Nan Richards, president, News Networks, TBS Europe; Tony Maddox, Managing Editor for CNN International in Africa/Europe/Middle East; and Maggie Eales, Vice President and Managing Director, TBS Africa. CNN's newly appointed Johannesburg Bureau Chief Charlayne Hunter-Gault and her predecessor Mike Hanna will be present, and Nairobi Bureau Chief Catherine Bond will also be travelling to Johannesburg for the event.
'The CNN African Journalist of the Year Competition has become a fundamental part of our commitment to the region,' said Cramer. 'We are delighted if this event can go some way to supporting and applauding indigenous journalism.'
The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and South African Airways (SAA) are the major sponsors of this year's competition, now in its fourth year.
The Awards ceremony is also being generously sponsored by Multichoice, South Africa; Ashanti Goldfields, Ghana; Coastal Television Network, Tanzania; Fortune Group, Nigeria; IPP, Tanzania; London Satellite Systems, Mauritius; Merck Sharp-Dome (MSD) South Africa; Radio 702, South Africa; Aerial Empire/ATV South Africa; Global Media Alliance, South Africa; and NEC. The official hotel sponsor is Johannesburg's Westcliff Hotel, with the Park Plaza Hotel, also in Johannesburg, providing accommodation for the finalists. The Mohamed Amin Award for photography is sponsored by Camerapix, Kenya.
'CNN is committed to encouraging journalism on a pan-African basis and we are very pleased to again have the support of such prestigious sponsors from such a broad range of African nations,' added Maggie Eales, Managing Director for TBS Africa.
The competition is open to all professional journalists in Africa who have been reporting from and about Africa and are based there. Last year Newton Kanhema, of South Africa's 'The Sunday Independent' was named the overall winner for a portfolio of articles on the South African defence industry.
Judging of the entries was completed in February in London by a distinguished panel of judges, including Akwe Amosu, Editor, Africa Weekly, BBC World Service Radio; outgoing CNN Johannesburg Bureau Chief Mike Hanna; Joel Kibazo, Financial Times; Pat Made, Regional Director-Africa, Inter Press Service; Phil Molefe, Editor-in-Chief, TV News, SABC; Ahmed Rajab, Editor, Africa Analysis; and Kaye Whiteman, General Manager, West Africa Magazine.
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