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Multimedia reporting takes top online award

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The Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards saw the top award for online journalism go to an entry that used the medium’s multi-platform potential to the full.

Reporting that made full use of the multi-platform potential of online publishing took the top online award in the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards announced on Friday night.

The winner was Kim Harrisberg of Code4SA for News24, for her multimedia reporting on domestic workers’ employment conditions. The entry, entitled Living on the Edge, has it’s own dedicated micro-site at http://livingwage.code4sa.org/.

This year marked the 14th Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards. The theme, Write Here. Right Now, reflected the speed with which we have seen news stories being generated via electronic platforms directly from the story location. The awards acknowledged that, given the need to be first with a story, journalists must remember that it is excellence in reporting and producing good stories that make for award-winning journalism.

The national Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award, which comes with a R100 000 prize, was awarded for a story that displayed journalism at its very best, said Maya Makanjee, Chief Officer for Corporate Affairs at Vodacom Group.

“For Vodacom, we see the role we play in supporting media through our technology as vital, and this is evidenced by the speed with which stories and photos are shared through various platforms,’ she said. “By linking technology with journalism, we are proud to say that the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards remain among the most credible awards in a rapidly changing industry.

“Once again I have been told that our panel of judges had a difficult time choosing the winners. They were presented with outstanding submissions and we are pleased that some of these came from smaller publications and online sites. Next year we hope to see even more entries from a wide range of media platforms.”

Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award

The 2015 overall National Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award was given to two journalists from the Gauteng Province who covered the Killing of Emmanuel Sithole for the Sunday Times.

“Our overall winners are examples of the synthesis of great media coverage. Without the determined coverage of this photographer and this journalist, South Africa and the world would never have known of the casual yet targeted brutality of the killing of Emmanuel Sithole,” said Mary Payayya, convenor of the judging panel.

Beauregard Tromp and James Oatway of the Sunday Times share the 2015 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award and the prize of R100 000.

Entries were received in 12 categories this year: CSI/Sustainability, Editor’s Choice, Financial/Economic, Online, Photography, Sport, Print Feature, Print News, Radio Feature, Radio News, Television Feature and Television News.

“The judging panel this year had to make hard choices and we thank Mary Papayya, Elna Rossouw, Collin Nxumalo, Arthur Goldstuck, Albe Grobbelaar, Ryland Fisher, Megan Rusi, and Patricia McCracken, who made their time and expertise available to us,” said Makanjee.

The national winners in the various categories are as follows, with winners per category taking home R10 000.  If there is more than one winner, the prizes are shared.

The winners of the 2015 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards nationally are:

2015 Radio Feature

As in previous years, this was a strongly contested award. Ultimately the judges found that the key components of script originality, creativity in production and research were observed by most entries. The winner went above and beyond – taking breaking news stories and presenting them to the listener with great care and skill while also showing credible reporting and analysis. The winner of the National 2015 Radio Feature Award is Minoshni Pillay of SABC Radio News for a two part series Camp Life.

2015 Radio News

This is another highly contested category with all finalists giving a good perspective of the key stories being broadcast over radio in South Africa. The finalists could all have been winners. The national prize is shared by two journalists for relentless and committed coverage from start to finish. They are Minoshni Pillay of SABC Radio News for two stories namely, The Murder of Baby Jamie; and the Return of the Remains of SA Journalist Nat Nakasa 50 Years After His Death; and VumaniMkhize of EWN for Bafana Bafana Captain Murdered.

2015 TV Feature

This entry is a victory for consumer journalism told very effectively through the medium of television. It demonstrates a thorough investigation into the legalities and finances of the complex process of personal injury claims and how they get abused. Excellent interviewing skills made the weaknesses of the respondent’s argument clearly visible to the viewer. The winner is Joy Summers for Bobbroff’s Fall from Grace produced for Carte Blanche.

2015 TV News

All entrants in this category were potential winners. The stories gave insight into the country’s news landscape and the stories critical to South Africa. However, there was one story that captured the world’s attention. The TV news winner for 2015 is Philip Owira of eNCA for a brilliant piece on Rhodes has Fallen.

2015 Print Feature

Our features finalists gave us hope and made us laugh, but they also exposed the darker underbelly of South African society. The winner stood head-and-shoulders above the rest. The award goes to Maygene Prins of Die Burger for her insightful articles on George ‘Geweld’ Thomas.

2015 Print News

It was a year of big news stories covering crimes of passion, corruption and hostage dramas, but a theme that has dominated the news throughout the year has been the issue of xenophobia. The winner wrote his story not only because he was at the right place at the right time, but also because of extensive background investigative work. The winner is Beauregard Tromp of the Sunday Times for his reporting on the Killing of Emmanuel Sithole in Alexandria Township.

2015 Photography

The best news photography depends on the electric combination of a historic moment that is accurately, yet emotively depicted, thanks to split-second decisions on technical issues such as composition and lighting to F-stop and angle. This year’s national winner calibrated all of this mentally while directing his camera to document horrific events unfolding just five meters away from where he stood. The award goes to James Oatway of the Sunday Times for The Killing of Emmanuel Sithole.

2015 Financial/Economic

The best financial and economic reporting combines detailed assessment of facts with clear and deep analysis. Combining news reporting with crisply observed contextual development, the winner produced a well-researched piece with disturbingly accurate conclusions. The award goes to Claire Bisseker of the Financial Mail for SA’s Friday the 13th.

2015 CSI/Sustainability

The national winner is a public-interest story of the highest calibre. It pours intense investigative and analytical effort into a perceptive and far-seeing analysis of how we must act now to prevent the next resources crisis to hit South Africa. The joint winners are Phillip de Wet, Sipho Kings, Sarah Wild, and Rapula Moatshe of the Mail & Guardian for SA’s Great Thirst Has Begun.

2015 Online

Reporting that makes full use of the multi-platform potential of online publishing remains largely underexploited in South African media. For an excellent example of multimedia reporting on the issue of domestic workers’ employment conditions, the winner is Kim Harrisberg of Code4SA for News24 for Living on the Edge.

2015 Sports

Choosing a winner in this fiercely contested category was no easy task. The dedication, commitment, and persistence paid off and resulted in a series of stories that went to the core of good investigative journalism. Congratulations to BonganiFuzile of the Daily Dispatch for exposing so many of the wrong-doings and ‘shenanigans’ in the top echelons of rugby in a body of work on the state of Border Rugby.

Editor’s Choice Award

The Editor’s Choice Award seeks to identify a young journalist, nominated by his or her editor for outstanding work and showing great promise. It honours a young reporter who shows the potential to become a great journalist. The judges interviewed nominees from across the country and were impressed by most, but no one impressed them more than this year’s winner, Yusuf Omar from eNCA. Omar will join the Thomson Foundation in the United Kingdom for The Summer Convergence Course in August next year. Participating journalists will each be provided with one week’s work experience at a British media organisation during the final week of the course. All expenses are paid for by Vodacom.

Lifetime Achiever Award

This award honours a journalist who has made a significant lifetime contribution to the media in South Africa. This year the judges were unanimous in their choice of Leslie Sehume, known in the trade as Bra Les. Sehume worked across a number of titles during his career and was known as a man who did not tolerate mistakes in copy. A hard task-master, many of South Africa’s most well-known journalists credit him with teaching them how to be meticulous writers and searchers for the truth. He was passionate about sport and in particular boxing.

Makanjee said, “This year has been a celebration of excellence with great stories being entered into the Awards. From entries telling the everyday tales of human life, to massive breaking stories, we saw entries from journalists who looked beyond the obvious and found jewels.”

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Acer gaming beast escapes

Acer this week unveiled two notebooks that take portable gaming to new extremes.

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Acer  unveiled two new Predator Helios gaming notebooks this week at the next@acer global press conference in New York. They include the powerful Predator Helios 500, featuring up to 8th Gen Intel Core i9+ processors, and the Predator Helios 300 Special Edition that includes upgraded specs from its predecessor and a distinctive white chassis. Both feature VR-Ready performance, advanced thermal technologies, and blazing-fast connectivity.

“We’ve expanded our Predator Helios gaming notebook line in response to popular demand from gamers seeking extreme performance on the go,” said Jerry Kao, President of IT Products Business, Acer. “The Predator Helios 500 and Helios 300 gaming notebooks feature Acer’s proprietary thermal technologies and powerful components that, coupled with our award-winning software, deliver unparalleled gaming experiences.”

“The 8th Gen Intel Core i9+ processor for gaming and creation laptops is the highest performance Intel has ever delivered for this class of devices; purpose built for enthusiasts who demand premium gaming experiences whether at home or on the go,” said Steve Long, Vice President and General Manager, Client Computing Group Sales and Marketing, Intel. “Intel and Acer’s long relationship has produced amazing products over the years, and the new Acer Predator Helios gaming notebooks are powerful examples of what’s possible with this unprecedented level of performance.”

Predator Helios 500 is a gaming beast featuring overclocking, 4K 144 Hz panels

Designed for extreme gamers, the Predator Helios 500 is a gaming beast. It features up to overclockable 8th Gen Intel Core i9+ processors and overclockable GeForce GTX 1070 graphics. Intel Optane memory increases responsiveness and load times, while ultra-fast NVMePCIe SSDs, Killer DoubleShot Pro networking, and up to 64GB of memory keep the action going, making the Helios 500 the ideal gaming notebook for graphic-intensive AAA titles and live streaming.

Top-notch visuals are delivered on bright, vibrant 4K UHD or FHD IPS 17.3-inch displays with 144Hz refresh rates for blur- and tear-free gameplay. NVIDIA G-SYNC technology is supported on both the built-in display and external monitors, allowing for buttery-smooth imagery without tearing or stuttering. For those looking for maximum gaming immersion, dual Thunderbolt 3 ports, and display and HDMI 2.0 ports support up to three external monitors. Two speakers, a subwoofer, and Acer TrueHarmony and Waves MAXXAudio technology deliver incredible sound and hyper-realistic 3D audio using Waves Nx.

The Helios 500 stays cool with two of Acer’s proprietary AeroBlade 3D metal fans, and five heat pipes that distribute cool air to the machine’s key components while simultaneously releasing hot air. Fan speed can be controlled and customized through the PredatorSense app.

A backlit RGB keyboard offers four lighting zones with support for up to 16.8 million colors. Anti-ghosting technology provides the ultimate control for executing complex commands and combos, which can be set up via five dedicated programmable keys.

Acer’s PredatorSense app can be used to control and monitor the notebook’s vitals from one central interface, including overclocking, lighting, hotkeys, temperature, and fan control.

Predator Helios 300 Special Edition brings a sophisticated design twist to gaming notebooks

Acer’s budget-friendly Helios 300 gaming line sees the addition of a Special Edition model featuring an all-white aluminum chassis accented with gold trim, an unusually chic design for gaming notebooks.

The Helios 300 Special Edition (PH315-51) allows for ultra-smooth gameplay via its 15.6-inch FHD IPS display with an upgraded 144Hz refresh rate. The rapid refresh rate shortens frame rendering time and lowers input lag to give gamers an excellent in-game experience. It’s powered by up to an 8th Gen Intel Core i7+ processor, overclockable GeForce GTX 1060 graphics, up to a 512 GB PCIe Gen 3 NVMe solid state drive, and up to a 2 TB hard disk drive.

The Helios 300 Special Edition also comes equipped with up to 16 GB of DDR4 memory, and is upgradable to 32GB. Intel Optane memory speeds up load times of games and applications, access to information and improves overall system responsiveness. In addition, Gigabit Ethernet provides fast wired connections, while Gigabit Wi-Fi is provided by the latest Intel Wireless-AC 9560 that delivers up to 1.73Gbps throughput when using 160 MHz channels (2×2 802.11ac, dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz).

The Helios 300 Special Edition also includes two of Acer’s ultrathin (0.1 mm) all-metal AeroBlade 3D fans designed with advanced aerodynamics and superior airflow to keep the system cool. They can be controlled with Acer’s PredatorSense app, which offers three usage modes:

1. Coolboost mode:

For heavy loading games, rendering, streaming, and extended video consumption

2. Normal mode:

For productivity tools like Microsoft Office

3. Silent mode:

For web browsing and online chatting

Price and Availability

Predator Helios 500 will be available in South Africa in June starting at R34 999.00

Helios 300 Special Edition will be available in South Africa in August 2018. Exact Price will be communicated closer to the time.

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LG G7 arrives in SA

LG this week introduced South Africa to its latest premium smartphone, the LG G7 ThinQ, focused on bringing useful and convenient AI features to the smartphone experience.

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Powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform, the LG G7 ThinQ offers 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage to run demanding tasks and apps with. It is equipped with a 6.1-inch Super Bright Display, but the LG G7 ThinQ remains compact enough to use with one hand.

Sporting a new design aesthetic for the G series, the polished metal rim gives the LG G7 ThinQ a sleeker, more refined look, complemented by Gorilla Glass 5 on both the front and the back for enhanced durability. Rated IP68 for dust and water resistance, the LG G7 ThinQ is also awarded MIL-STD 810 c certification, having been subjected to a range of extreme temperature and environment tests designed by the United States military.

The LG G7 ThinQ has an 8MP camera up front, rendering clear and natural selfies, with two 16MP cameras at the back that deliver higher resolution photos with more detail, as well as a Super Wide Angle configuration.

As with other leading brands, LG has evolved its signature camera by including AI functionality. The AI CAM offers 19 shooting modes for intelligence-optimised shots. Users can also improve their photos by choosing from an additional three effect options should the AI CAM recommendation not suit their taste.

The new Super Bright Camera captures images that are up to four times brighter than typical photos shot in dim light. Through the combination of pixel binning and software processing, the AI algorithm adjusts the camera settings automatically when shooting in low light.

Live Photo Mode records one second before and after the shutter is pressed for snippets of unexpected moments or expressions that would normally be missed. Stickers uses face recognition to generate fun 2D and 3D overlays, such as sunglasses and headbands, that can be viewed directly on the display.

New to the G series is Portrait Mode, which generates professional-looking shots with out-of-focus backgrounds. This effect can be generated using both front and rear standard lenses as well as the rear Super Wide Angle lens.

LG G7 ThinQ offers further AI functionality with the inclusion of Google Lens features. Google Lens is a new way to search using the AI and computer vision. Google Assistant and Google Photos allow users to access more information on objects such as landmarks, plants, animals, and books. It can identify text or visit websites, add business cards to contacts, events to the calendar or look up an item on a restaurant menu.

A button just below the volume keys launches the AI functionality. A single tap of this button launches the Google Assistant, while two quick taps launches Google Lens. Users can also hold down the button to start talking to the Google Assistant without the repetition of the OK Google command.

With Super Far Field Voice Recognition (SFFVR) and the highly-sensitive G7ThinQ microphone, the Google Assistant can recognise voice commands from up to five meters away. SFFVR is able to separate commands from background noise, making the LG G7 ThinQ an alternative to a home AI speaker, even when the TV is on. Commands for the Google Assistant have been increased in the LG G7 ThinQ so users can get more done with their voice alone.

“The LG G7 ThinQ is strongly focused on the fundamentals and its launch marks a new chapter for our company,” said Deon Prinsloo, General Manager for Mobile Communication, LG Electronics S.A Pty Ltd. “Through the combination of personalised and useful AI functionalities with meaningful smartphone features, this is LG’s most convenient and in the moment smartphone yet.”

Key Specifications

  • Mobile Platform: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform
  • Display: 6.1-inch QHD+ 19.5:9 FullVision Super Bright Display (3120 x 1440 / 564ppi)
  • Memory:
    • LG G7 ThinQ: 4GB LPDDR4x RAM / 64GB UFS 2.1 ROM / MicroSD (up to 2TB)
  • Camera:
    • Rear Dual: 16MP Super Wide Angle (F1.9 / 107°) / 16MP Standard Angle (F1.6 / 71°)
    • Front: 8MP Wide Angle (F1.9 / 80°)
  • Battery: 3000mAh
  • OS: Android 8.0 Oreo
  • Size: 153.2 x 71.9 x 7.9mm
  • Weight: 162g
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac / Bluetooth 5.0 BLE / NFC / USB Type-C 2.0 (3.1 compatible)
  • Colours: New Aurora Black
  • Others: Super Bright Display / New Second Screen / AI CAM / Super Bright Camera / Super Far Field Voice Recognition / Boombox Speaker / Google Lens / AI Haptic / Hi-Fi Quad DAC / DTS:X 3D Surround Sound / IP68 Water and Dust Resistance / HDR10 / Google Assistant Key / Face Recognition / Fingerprint Sensor / Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 Technology / Wireless Charging / MIL-STD 810G Compliant / FM Radio
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