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Seventh CNN African Journalist of the Year Competition Expands to Include Francophone Category

CNN and South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) announce launch of competition

For Release: 18 October 2001

The launch of the CNN African Journalist of the Year Competition held in partnership with the SABC, sees the addition of a new "General News" category for the Francophone press. French-speaking countries are to be included for the first time in this annual search for Africa's most talented journalists.

Entrants have until 18 January 2002 to send in their work. The winners will be recognised at a gala awards ceremony to be held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa on 15 May 2002.

Judging of the entries will take place in London in March 2002 by the judging panel, comprising chairperson Dr. Doyinsola Abiola, Managing Editor/Editor-in-Chief, Concord Press, Nigeria; John Battersby, Executive Editor, Sunday Independent; Mathatha Tsedu, Deputy Chief Executive of SABC News; Jeff Koinange, CNN Lagos Bureau Chief; Joel Kibazo, Director of Information and Public Affairs for the Commonwealth Secretariat; and Maimouna Mills of African Journal, Washington.

The competition is held in association with South African Airways, the official airline sponsor and The Westcliff Hotel, Johannesburg (part of the Orient-Express collection of luxury hotels) the official sponsor of accommodation for finalists and judges. Other prestigious sponsors include The Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg (the gala dinner venue); TIME Magazine, IPP Media Group, Tanzania, Merck, Sharp & Dohme (MSD), The Freedom Forum and Camerapix, Kenya.

"The CNN African Journalist of the Year Awards are now the most recognised and sought after awards among African journalists. The inclusion of a Francophone category makes the competition truly Pan-African and representative of the range and diversity of Africa's journalism talent. We hope that journalists from all the French- speaking countries will submit their work to be judged and recognised alongside that of their English-speaking counterparts around the continent," said Chris Cramer, president of CNN International Networks.

During the last year CNN has demonstrated its continued commitment to and investment in the African continent with the opening of a bureau in Lagos, its fourth in Africa, enabling the organisation to increase its newsgathering and general programming capabilities from this key part of the world. In addition to CNN's half-hour weekly window on all things African, 'Inside Africa', programming from Africa in 2001 has included in-depth coverage of the World Conference Against Racism, live from Durban; 'Exodus from Africa', an hour-long documentary on the plight of West African refugees by former CNN African Journalist of the Year, Sorius Samura; as well as numerous interviews with African heads of state, including Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Joseph Kabila of the DRC, John Agyekum Kufuor of Ghana and Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria.

"As a responsible global broadcaster, CNN is committed to cataloguing the continent's vast and often complex story through our four African bureaux. The CNN African Journalist of the Year Competition is an integral part of our commitment to the region. Through this platform and with the increased output of our own on-air programming and newsgathering efforts, we hope to bring the unfolding events of the continent to greater prominence for our global audience," added Cramer.

Winners of last year's overall CNN African Journalist of the Year Award were Jacques Pauw (SABC, South Africa), and Sam Rogers ( who beat more than 1,952 entries from 18 African nations to claim the grand prize. Other countries fielding winning entries last year were Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Rwanda

CNN has four bureaux on the African continent, in Cairo, Johannesburg, Lagos and Nairobi. CNN International's service for Africa/Middle East/Europe is available to 15 million households in Africa and features 50 hours of new programming specifically produced for the region.

The European edition of TIME is published specifically for circulation within Europe, the Middle East and Africa and offers readers access to Time Inc.'s global resources with regional, relevant stories. TIME is Europe's most successful weekly newsmagazine, with a circulation of almost 630,000 across EMEA and over five million world-wide.

More information about the CNN African Journalist of the Year Competition can be found at


Seema Alibhai
Tel: +44 207 637 6913/Fax: +44 207 637 6910/email:
Cellphone: (44) 7970 77 77 97

Contact in South Africa:
Communications Services, Barbara Bester or Tracy Purto
Tel: +27 11 463 1011/ Fax: +27 11 463 1323/email:

Entry forms are available from Kevin Talbot on +44 207 637 6742/fax: +44 207 637 6769/email:

Note to Editors: Competition Criteria

The CNN African Journalist of the Year competition is open to professional journalists/technicians (including freelancers) working on the African continent for media organisations that are African-owned or principally based in the region, or publish a publication in Africa which is targeted at an African audience for reception within Africa.

Up to two entries per category published or broadcast in 2001 can be submitted (in print, TV and radio) for the following awards: Television-General News; Francophone General News; Sport; Arts & Culture; Environment; Print Journalist; Radio Journalist; Business/E-Commerce; Health & Medical; and Free-Press Africa Award. The Mohamed Amin Photographic Award requirements include, an individual photograph or a photographic essay (maximum 10 photographs) to be submitted, both black and white and colour accepted.

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