Johannesburg, 13th November 2015-Sixteen journalists have been recognized for their exemplary work in reporting on development issues in Africa at the first edition of the Zimeo Excellence in Media Awards held in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The awards also recognized institutions that support the development of viable media across Africa, and media organizations that exemplify the adoption and application of best practice in governance and leadership. South Africa led the winners list with four awardees, followed by Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya and Nigeria with three each.
The competition, the latest addition to the array of services offered by the African Media Initiative, received more than 500 entries from print, broadcast and online journalists. A technical team reviewed the entries and submitted its initial short list to independent panels of judges representing east, west, central, south and north Africa.
Speaking at the awards ceremony at the Birchwood Hotel & OR Tambo Conference Centre in the East Rand area of Johannesburg, judging coordinator and head of the technical team Wangethi Mwangi noted that “Zimeo is a new kind of competition because it doesn’t intend to confer the title of journalist of the year. Instead, it seeks to identify journalism excellence in the various sectors of development on which society’s survival hinges.”
Competition judge Joachim Buwembo noted: “The winning stories were unique in their approach, and helped create interest in daily phenomena. The effective use of citizens’ voices and the exploration of the complexities – social, economic, and more- makes the stories a great example of quality journalism on the continent.”
African Media Initiative CEO Eric Chinje congratulated the winners and thanked the awards sponsors for their continued investment in journalism on the continent. “The entries,” he said, “were quite diverse in terms of subject matter, quality and relevance to the continent’s development agenda. At AMI, we are excited to launch these awards and look forward to growing the competition in the years to come.”
The winners of the first Zimeo Excellence in Media Awards are:
OSISA Award for Excellence in Media: Data Journalism Reporting
Zimeo Award for Excellence in Media: Millennium and Sustainable Development Goals Coverage
Cherif Sy Award for Excellence in Media: Peace and security Reporting
Open Society Foundation Award for Excellence in Media: Technology Reporting
Zimeo Award for Excellence in Media: Infrastructure Reporting
The Rockefeller Foundation Award for Excellence in Media: Agriculture and food security Reporting
Zimeo Award for Excellence in Media: Education Reporting
Zimeo Award for Excellence in Media: Energy Reporting
Nation Media Group Award for Excellence in Media: Maritime Economy Reporting
African Wildlife Foundation Award for Excellence in Media: Environment and Conservation Reporting
Ford Foundation Award for Excellence in Media: Gender Reporting
Ecobank Award for Excellence in Media: Health Reporting
African Development Bank Award for Excellence in Media: Natural Resources Reporting
Dr. Ameena Gurib- Fakim Award for Excellence in Media: Science Reporting
United Bank for Africa Award for Excellence in Media: Business and Finance Reporting
The Rockefeller Foundation Award for Excellence in Media: Youth Reporting
The other categories, recognizing media support institutions and media organizations, are:
Mo Ibrahim Foundation Award for Excellence in Media: Governance and Leadership
Maria Kiwanuka Award for Excellence in Media: African public institutions that support Media
The Zimeo Excellence in Media Awards judging panels were led by Chief Judges Dapo Olorunyomi, Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of Premium Times, Nigeria; Professor Levi Obonyo, Dean, School of Communications, Languages and Performing Arts at Daystar University, Kenya; Agnès Kraidy, senior journalist at Fraternité Matin, Cote d’Ivoire; veteran Cameroonian journalist Alex Gustave Azebaze; Michael Didama, Managing Editor, Le Temps newspaper in Chad; veteran journalist Joachim Buwembo of Uganda; Kafu Kofi Tsikata, Senior Communications Specialist at World Bank in Ghana; and Tunisian-based Lotfi Madani, former Chief Communications Specialist at the African Development Bank.
For further information, please contact:
Communications Officer, African Media Initiative