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Gadget scoops top award for online journalism

The top prize for online journalism in South Africa has been awarded to Gadget editor-in-chief Arthur Goldstuck for his writing in Gadget. Read more …

The top award for online journalism in South Africa was awarded to Gadget editor- in-chief Arthur Goldstuck at the Telkom ICT Journalist of the Year Awards on Tuesday night. He was winner of the category for Electronic Journalism, which acknowledges writing that appears in online media. Gadget faced strong competition, with the country’s two leading online-specific media properties, Moneyweb and ITWeb, also taking prizes in the category.

Category winners and runners-up were:

Electronic journalism

Winner: Arthur Goldstuck (Gadget) 2nd Place: Belinda Anderson (Moneyweb) 3rd Place: Rodney Weideman (ITWEB)

Broadcast Television

Winner: Grant Nelson & Nikki Berryman (Ingwe Productions for Carte Blanche) 3rd Place Tie: Kim Cloete (SABC) and Jo-Anne Roodt (Summit TV)

Mainstream Newspaper

Winner: Robyn Chalmers (Business Day) 2nd Place: David Shapshak (Mail & Guardian and This Day) 3rd Place: Gugulakhe Masango (Business Report)

Business Magazine

Joint Winners: Ivo Vegter (ITWEB Brainstorm) & Marina Bidoli (Financial Mail) 2nd Place: Duncan McLeod (Financial Mail)

New Journalist

Winner: Gugulakhe Masango (Business Report) 2nd Place: Tshepo Ikaneng (SABC Radio) 3rd Place: Stephen Whitford (ITWEB)

Broadcast Radio

Commendable Mention (3rd Place Prize): Tshepo Ikaneng (SABC Radio)

Community Newspaper

Commendable Mention (3rd Place Prize): Jacci Babich (Sandton Chronicle)

Marina Bidoli of the Financial Mail was named the overall winner of the Telkom ICT Journalist of the Year Awards for 2003, with Ivo Vegter (ITWEB Brainstorm)and Robyn Chalmers (Business Day) placed second and third respectively.

The awards were made at a glittering gala banquet at the Sandton Convention Centre. Bidoli’s prize comprises R25 000, as well as an expenses-paid trip to Malaysia and the United States as a guest of Telkom’s strategic partners (Telekom Malaysia and SBC Communication in the United States), while the winner of each category will receive a R10 000 cash prize.

‚Marina’s work is just remarkably consistent,‚ commented judge Alison Gillwald (Research Director of Wits University’s LINK Centre). ‚She has a good grasp of the business. She brings the facts behind the facts. She goes a little bit further and I think the strength of her work is that not only does it win a business category for its vigour and insight, but is able to win an overall category where she’s brought us some of the drama that’s unfolded in the sector this year.‚

One of the judges, Tholoana Qhobela, chairman of Ogilvy PR South Africa, said of Arthur Goldstuck’s award for his Gadget articles: ‚‚ Arthur’s pieces on the electronics sector were as ever short, concise, entertaining, but also very educational and informative ‚ again criteria that we look for very hard throughout all these categories.‚

Says Goldstuck: ‚The timing couldn’t have been better, with Gadget about to celebrate its sixth birthday and looking to adopt a more educational slant. We intend to continue with our tradition of entertaining writing, while providing solid technology coverage. It’s encouraging to see that all these values are recognised by leading lights of the profession.‚

This year the competition attracted some 190 entries across eight categories from journalists writing about the fast-paced, multi-faceted world of information, communications and technology, which has enjoyed an eventful year in South Africa. Entries from writers for Business Magazines predominated, with recurrent themes including liberalisation, development and black economic empowerment in the ICT sector. Specific topics covered in depth include the SNO (second network operator) process, regulatory changes, privatisation and developments in technology.

This year Telkom broadened the scope of the awards by initiating a competition among art students to design the trophies being presented to the winning journalists. Five entrants from the Tshwane University of Technology (previously Technikon Pretoria) had their designs selected.

Over the past four years the Telkom ICT Journalist of the Year Awards have established themselves as meaningful, sought-after accolades in the field of journalism where developments in the information and communication technology industry are not only reported accurately, but interpreted, commented upon and given meaning in their impact on society. ‚Interface‚ the theme chosen for this year’s awards aptly sums up this role played by the media, with journalists comprising the interface between the ICT sector and an informed audience.

Initiated by Telkom and launched in conjunction with the IAJ (Institute for the Advancement of Journalism) in 2000 to develop and nurture an interest in ICT (Information and Communication Technology) in the media, the competition has established itself as the premier platform where journalists are recognised for their contribution to the sector by an independent panel of judges.

Once again a panel of respected industry experts judged the entries, providing a collective understanding of the influence effective ICT journalism has on all South Africans. The independent judging panel for this year’s awards include: Mondli Makhanya (Editor, Sunday Times), Andile Mazwai (CEO, BJM Securities), Nick Worrall (Trainer at the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism), Tholoana Qhobela (Chairman, Ogilvy PR South Africa) and Alison Gillwald (Research Director of the LINK Centre ‚ Learning, Information, Networking & Knowledge ‚ at the University of the Witwatersrand).

‚The judges were guided in their judging by three main criteria: excellence, clarity and balance,‚ explains Amanda Singleton, Telkom Corporate Communications Group Executive. ‚With these qualities in mind, they have set out to reward skillful and enterprising journalism that goes beyond the obvious, the ordinary, the expected and the regular. The winners are informed journalists who demonstrate a depth of understanding, thoroughness of research and richness in resources. They have shown that they can explain technology to their specific audience, be conscious of quality in their writing, comment effectively and generate light as well as heat on an issue. Lastly, when looking for balance in the work submitted, judges look for journalists who can put issues into context and perspective, not unquestioningly accepting only one point of view.‚

The various categories make it possible for journalists from any beat to enter and include: Mainstream Newspapers, Business Magazine, Lifestyle Magazine, Community Newspaper, Television, Radio, Electronic and New Journalist. Category winners stand to win a cash prize, while category runners-up could be awarded, depending on the quality of entries received.

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