CNN MULTICHOICE AFRICAN JOURNALIST AWARDS 2009
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1995 - 2008 Finalists and Winners


CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2008 return to Ghana

CNN International and MultiChoice this week officially launched the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2008 Awards. The event returns to Ghana where it was founded in 1995. The winners of these prestigious annual Awards will be announced at a gala ceremony to be held in Accra in July 2008.

Tony Maddox, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of CNN International, said: "We are delighted that for the 2008 CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards, we are returning to the awards birth place of Ghana. As the awards continue to grow in stature, strength and prestige, it is fitting that Ghana be chosen as the host country. It is wonderful that entries from across the continent continue to grow, making this a truly pan-African event." Nolo Letele, CEO MultiChoice South Africa, said: "After the very successful 2007 African Journalist of the Year awards held in Cape Town, we are delighted to again partner with CNN for the 2008 awards. The Awards truly enable us to celebrate media excellence, and recognise the power and impact of the media on the African continent."

Eben Greyling, CEO MultiChoice Africa, said: "Our continued partnership with CNN, to support these journalism awards actively demonstrates our support for media that carries Africa's voice on local and global issues. The awards have grown over the years in importance and meet a key need to encourage, showcase and celebrate the best that the continent has to offer in journalism. We look forward yet again to the challenge of finding and rewarding new stories and voices from the continent."

Richard M. Kavuma from Uganda, was awarded the top prize at the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2007 Awards ceremony. Richard, who works for The Weekly Observer in Uganda won for his series of articles, 'To assess the country's performance on Millennium Development Goals', which were chosen from among 1670 entries from 40 nations across the African continent.

Richard Kavuma said: "Winning CNN Multichoice African Journalist of the Year Award has been the most humbling, yet most beautiful thing to have happened to me. The award has transformed me from a simple messenger amplifying the people's voice to a national hero inundated with congratulatory messages and stopped by ordinary people in the streets. But it has also given me access to more platforms and podiums to speak about the plight of the people that my winning articles focussed on. Since July, I have granted numerous interviews to radio, TV, newspaper, and Magazine journalists from Africa and Europe. I have addressed various audiences including University students and have been recognised by various organisations and companies. The Award has strengthened my motivation and put me in a strong position to live my personal and professional dreams. As the first Ugandan to win this prestigious award, I am still congratulated by my colleagues, many of them saying "Man, that was big" while others tell me they plan to enter the 2008 award. It seems my award has brought not only pride to my colleagues but also a greater realisation of their own potential as journalists. I therefore hope that you too submit your work at least to see how it compares with that of your professional colleagues. Like me, you may be in for the biggest surprise of your life."

Over the past twelve years, the competition has grown in size and status to become Africa's most prestigious media event. In 2007, it attracted a record-number of entries from 40 African countries and a 'Highlights Programme' of the ceremony, held in Cape Town, South Africa, was broadcast in 44 African countries, on the Africa Channel in the US, the OB Channel in the UK and RTP Africa.

This year, the competition will recognise excellence in 16 categories:

  • Tourism Award
  • Arts and Culture Award sponsored by Celtel
  • Economics & Business Award sponsored by Coca-Cola Africa
  • Environment Award sponsored by Ecobank
  • Free Press Africa Award
  • MSD Health & Medical Award
  • The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Award for Excellence in HIV/AIDS Reporting in Africa
  • MIH Print Africa Award - Best Feature in a Consumer Magazine
  • Mohamed Amin Photographic Award presented by Camerapix
  • Print General News Award sponsored by Safebond Africa Ltd
  • Radio General News Award
  • Sport Award sponsored by Global Media Alliance
  • Television - General News - Feature/Current Affairs Award sponsored by IPP Media Tanzania
  • Television - General News - News Bulletin Award
  • Francophone General News Awards (Print and TV/Radio)
  • Francophone MIH Print Africa Award - Best Feature in a Consumer Magazine
  • Portuguese Language General News Award

From these category winners, the judges choose the overall winner - The CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2008.

Finalists in the 2008 competition will participate in a four day finalists' programme that will include workshops, a media forum, networking opportunities with senior journalists, editors, business leaders and media owners from across the continent, culminating in a gala awards ceremony in July, 2008. Each category winner receives a substantial cash prize plus laptop, with modem and printer. The CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2008 will receive an additional cash prize and a trip to CNN Center in Atlanta.

The competition is open to African professional journalists including freelancers across print, television, internet, photographic and radio. Full details on how to enter can be found by logging on at www.cnn.com/africanawards. The closing date for entries is 15th February, 2008 and the judging will take place in May.

About the award:

The CNN African Journalist of the Year Award was founded in 1995 by Edward Boateng (formerly African Regional Director for Turner Broadcasting System Inc., CNN's parent company) and the late Mohamed Amin to recognise and encourage excellence in journalism throughout Africa. The competition is open to African professional Journalists (including, but not limited to freelancers) working on the continent for African owned media organizations or media organizations headquartered on the continent of Africa that produce a printed publication or broadcast through an electronic medium (television broadcaster, radio station or website) primarily targeted at and received by an African audience. All entries should be broadcast or published during January - December 2007.

Note to Editors:

Judging of the entries will take place in May by a prestigious panel including Joel Kibazo, journalist and media consultant, Sophie Ly Sow, journalist and promoter of free press in Africa, Arlindo Lopes, Secretary General, SABA - Southern African Broadcasting Association, Anna Umbima journalist and broadcaster, Azubuike Ishiekwene, Executive Director, Publications, Punch Nigeria Limited and Ferial Haffajee, Editor-in-Chief, Mail & Guardian newspaper, South Africa.

www.cnn.com/africanawards
Issued: 10th January 2008

For further information please contact:
CNN International London: Joel Brown +44 20 7693 0967 joel.brown@turner.com
MultiChoice South Africa: Marilyn Watson +27 11 289 3062 mwatson@multichoice.co.za
MultiChoice Africa: Caroline Creasy + 27 11 289 3081 ccreasy@multichoice.co.za

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