Despite the state of the industry, the quality of the entries into this year’s Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Awards is still high.
So says Convening Judge, Mathatha Tsedu. “We have seen Sunday World close and retrenchments at The Sowetan. Ultimately this will impact on the quality of journalism, but this year’s Sikuvile entries show that journalists and sub-editors are still doing a great job.”
Despite the disruptions and challenges in the industry, he says, the Sikuvile Awards are still going strong. “The Awards recognise journalism and journalists, but they also give the industry the opportunity for introspection. In the normal day-to-day production of a newspaper – and any media form – where journalists move from one story to the next, the ability to reflect on the cumulative body of work does not happen,” he explains.
The Sikuvile Awards is an avenue that provides the industry with the ability to come that evening and listen to the view of a group of fellow professionals who spent time looking at a chunk of work put in front of them. “The judges’ comments are important to help editors to understand the trends that are happening, which when you are living the story you don’t have the ability to see,” he adds.
He recognises the important role of Standard Bank in this regard. “The ability of Standard Bank to stay the course is important, and I pat them on the back for sponsoring this event,” he says.
Judging took place in May and the judging panel is made up of industry experts, all well-known and respected in the newspaper industry and includes Dinesh Balliah, Henry Jefreys, Mike Siluma, Tyrone August, Phil Mthimkhulu Pippa Green, Liesl Louw-Vaundrum, Mary Papayya, Ryland Fisher, Neo Ntsoma, Maud Motanyane, Lizeka Mda, Thabo Leshilo and Themba Hadebe.
Category winners take home R15 000, a trophy and a certiﬁcate. The winners will be announced at the awards event on 12 September at The Venue, at Melrose Arch.