Journalism is evolving due to the rapidly changing environment it operates in, and so the Sikuvile Journalism Awards have followed suit, with the organisers and judges acknowledging these changes and the importance of recognising them to ensure the Awards remain relevant.
This has led the judging panel to examine the characterisation of the criteria of some of the categories and the addition of new categories.
2018 Convening Judge Mathatha Tsedu explains the former may include Columns/Editorials which may be expanded to include commentary and analysis. “The criteria of Hard News as inclusive of Breaking News may also need to be looked at as the mainstream platforms are no longer the sites of breaking news,” he says.
“In the not too distant future, we are likely to judge this category solely on Twitter and Facebook reporting, he adds.
A new category being investigated is Lifestyle. “Some of the best writing today is around soft issues such as Travel, Reviews and related topics that cannot compete fairly in the current Features Category, which includes hard subjects. One only needs to look at previous winners to see the disadvantage that this kind of writing suffers by being lumped with Features,” explains Tsedu.
The winners will be announced at the prize-giving function on 13 September 2018, this coming Thursday at the Johannesburg World Trade Centre (known as The Venue Greenpark). Winners receive R15 000, a trophy and a certiﬁcate. All finalists receive certiﬁcates. Commendation Certiﬁcates are awarded at the judges’ discretion.
The 2018 judging panel included Dinesh Balliah, Gus Silber, Latiefa Mobara, Mike Siluma, Tyrone August, Phil Mthimkhulu, Pippa Green, Mary Papayya, Neo Ntsoma, Lizeka Mda, Ryland Fisher, Thabo Leshilo, and Liesel Louw- Vaudram.