Finalists in the prestigious CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2016 Competition were announced recently by Ferial Haffajee, Chair of the independent judging panel.
This year, the competition received 1637 entries – a record number – from 38 countries across the continent, including French and Portuguese-speaking Africa.
The finalists are Adedayo Eriye Oketola, Saturday Punch, Nigeria, Aderonke Bello, naij.com, Nigeria, Eromo Egbejule, Freelancer at Ventures Africa, Nigeria, Folashade Adebayo, The Punch, Nigeria, Veronica Onuchi, TVC News Africa, Nigeria, Yemisi Akinbobola, Ogechi Ekeanyanwu & Paul Bradshaw, IQ4News for Premium Times, Nigeria, Ancillar Mangena, Forbes Africa, South Africa, Asha Ahmed Mwilu & Rashid Idi, Kenya Television Network, Kenya, Ati Metwaly, Al Ahram Weekly, Egypt, Bento Venâncio, Jornal Domingo, Mozambique and Bidossèssi Appolinaire Agoïnon, Office de Radiodiffusion et Télévision du Bénin, Benin.
Others include Cheboite Kigen, Daily Nation Newspaper, Kenya, Chika Oduah, Nigeria, Freelancer at African Story Challenge, Media Initiative, Kenya, Cleófas Viagem, STV, Mozambique, Conan Daniel Businge & Gerald Tenywa, New Vision, Uganda, Coulibaly Zoumana, Le Patriote, Ivory Coast, Diana Neille, Richard Poplak, Shaun Swingler and Sumeya Gasa, Daily Maverick Chronicle, South Africa, Dominic Omondi, The Standard, Kenya, Faten Hayed, El Watan, Algeria, Fidelto Emidio Bata, STV, Mozambique, Garreth van Niekerk, City Press, South Africa, Isaac Otidi Amuke, Commonwealth Writers, Kenya, James Oatway, The Sunday Times, South Africa, Jay Caboz, Forbes Africa, South Africa, Jean-Luc Emile, Teleplus, Mauritius, John Grobler, Namibia, and Fiona Macleod, Oxpeckers Investigative Environmental Journalism, South Africa, Lawrence Seretse, The Botswana Gazette, Botswana, Mia Malan, Mail & Guardian, South Africa, Teresa Fuquiadi, Jornal Nova Gazeta, Angola and Veronica Narkwor Kwabla, Tv3 Network, Ghana.
The independent judging panel, chaired by Ferial Haffajee, Chair of the Judging Panel & Editor-in-Chief, City Press, South Africa, includes: Debo Adesina, Editor-in-Chief, Guardian Newspapers, Nigeria; Jean-Paul Gérouard, Former Editor-in-Chief, France Télévisions; Eleni Giokos, Africa Correspondent, CNN; Fernando Gonçalves, Editor, Savana, Mozambique; Anton Harber, Editor-in-Chief, eNCA, South Africa; Joel Kibazo, Media & Public Affairs Consultant; Amadou Mahtar Ba, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, AllAfrica Global Media; Wanja Njuguna, Senior Lecturer, Namibia University of Science & Technology & CNN Journalist of the year 2000; David Ohito, Digital Editor, The Standard Media Group, Kenya and José Sebastião Paulo, Professor of Journalism, University Agostinho Neto, Angola.
The competition is once again supported by the following sponsors, who continue to lend their valuable support to the awards: African Development Bank, Dow, Ecobank, GE, IPP Media and MSD (MSD is known as Merck in the U.S. and Canada).
The finalists will enjoy an all-expense paid four day programme of workshops, media forums and networking in Johannesburg, South Africa, culminating in a Gala Award Ceremony in October 2016.
Tony Maddox, Executive Vice-President and Managing Director of CNN International said: “This year has seen a record number of entries for the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards, from a diverse array of countries across the continent. The passion which African journalists display for telling compelling and top class stories knows no bounds. Once more, CNN proudly continues its commitment to encouraging inspired journalistic excellence with these awards.”
Greg Beitchman, Vice President, Content Sales and Partnerships, CNN International: “The African Journalist Awards continues to maintain its place as the most prestigious Pan African journalist competition. CNN encourages, promotes and recognises excellence in journalism across all platforms, so we are particularly pleased to be able to support journalists who represent the continent’s thriving news industry in all its forms. With our MultiChoice partners, we look forward to yet another thrilling Awards ceremony celebrating the very best journalism Africa has to offer.”
Mark Rayner, CEO MultiChoice South Africa said: “We’re excited to host the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year Awards in South Africa this year and looking forward to see all the good work done by our journalists celebrated and recognised through these awards. Congratulations to all the finalists.”
Tim Jacobs, CEO MultiChoice Africa, said: It is evident from this year’s entries that Africa has a vibrant media landscape which continues to develop in leaps and bounds. The finalists are to be applauded for their courage in covering some of the stories, many of which were in difficult circumstances. We are committed to increasing excellence in journalism and this initiative is close to our hearts, as it has helped unearth some of Africa’s greatest story tellers. Congratulations to all the finalists, we look forward to celebrating you at the awards.”