The iconic awards have introduced several category changes more in keeping with the ever-evolving journalism landscape.
The theme this year is “The Pen is Mightier than the Sword”, and comes at a time when news in South Africa, and indeed in the world, has become a rapidly shifting canvas both in terms of delivery and content.
Takalani Netshitenzhe, Chief Officer for Corporate Affairs at the Vodacom Group said, “We are pleased to announce that we have updated the various categories that journalists can enter their work in. It’s vital that the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards remain relevant and a true reflection of the evolving media landscape, and with the changes made, we have achieved this.”
“The theme this year promotes the integrity of journalism across all media. The past year has been a momentous one for news coverage and we look forward to entries of a high standard as we recognise journalists’ best work from the past year.” said Netshitenzhe.
Awards are given for the best journalist in a range of categories in five regions nationally, with the process culminating in a national award ceremony in Johannesburg. The awards are regarded as one of the highest accolades for South African journalists. This year also sees a change in the names of regions:
Region A – Gauteng
Region B – Free State, Northern Cape, North West and Limpopo
Region C – KZN and Mpumalanga
Region D – Eastern Cape
Region E – Western Cape
The VJOYs are a means of recognising skill in the all-important arena of news and information dissemination. Winning a Vodacom Award has become a prestigious career achievement, with the overall national winner set to receive a prize of R100 000.
Said Netshitenzhe, “There have been important news stories and reportage over the past year and for Vodacom there is a continuing synergy between keeping people connected through our network and the tireless work that journalists do. We are hopeful that the new categories will appeal to a wider range of journalists. The biggest evolution is the move away from judging awards based on platforms, but rather on content.”
The revised categories for 2018 are:
1. Live reporting/ breaking news
10. Data Journalism
12. Young Journalist of the Year Award
For more information on what is expected in each award, please visit journalist.vodacom.co.za.
This year’s prestigious judging panel (see biographies on the website) will be convened for a second year by Ryland Fisher and includes Mary Papayya, Arthur Goldstuck, Elna Rossouw, Patricia McCracken, Collin Nxumalo, Mathatha Tsedu, Albe Grobbelaar, Megan Rusi and Obed Zilwa. The judging panel will also debate and decide on the Lifetime Achiever’s Award that recognises the lifetime contribution made by a single individual to journalism and media in this country.
The VJOYs have a proud history of honouring excellence in journalism across a range of categories. Journalists will be able to enter their best achievements for work produced between 1 August 2017 and 1 August 2018. In a further change this year, all entries will be online, and hand delivered entries will no longer be accepted. Entries open from 6 August, and can be submitted online at journalist.vodacom.co.za. Entries close at 6pm on 24 August and no late entries will be considered.
Regional category winners will receive R5 000 each, national category winners take home R10 000 each, with the coveted national accolade of Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award winner receiving R100 000. The winner of the young journalist award must have been a journalist for no more than three years, and will win an all-expenses paid overseas trip, that includes a visit to the Thomson Foundation, as well as the opportunity to work in a newsroom.
Money talks and electronic gaming evolves
Computer gaming has evolved dramatically in the last two years, as it follows the money, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK in the second of a two-part series.
The clue that gaming has become big business in South Africa was delivered by a non-gaming brand. When Comic Con, an American popular culture convention that has become a mecca for comics enthusiasts, was hosted in South Arica for the first time last month, it used gaming as the major drawcard. More than 45 000 people attended.
The event and its attendance was expected to be a major dampener for the annual rAge gaming expo, which took place just weeks later. Instead, rAge saw only a marginal fall in visitor numbers. No less than 34 000 people descended on the Ticketpro Dome for the chaos of cosplay, LAN gaming, virtual reality, board gaming and new video games.
It proved not only that there was room for more than one major gaming event, but also that a massive market exists for the sector in South Africa. And with a large market, one also found numerous gaming niches that either emerged afresh or will keep going over the years. One of these, LAN (for Local Area Network) gaming, which sees hordes of players camping out at the venue for three days to play each other on elaborate computer rigs, was back as strong as ever at rAge.
MWeb provided an 8Gbps line to the expo, to connect all these gamers, and recorded 120TB in downloads and 15Tb in uploads – a total that would have used up the entire country’s bandwidth a few years ago.
“LANs are supposed to be a thing of the past, yet we buck the trend each year,” says Michael James, senior project manager and owner of rAge. “It is more of a spectacle than a simple LAN, so I can understand.”
New phenomena, often associated with the flavour of the moment, also emerge every year.
“Fortnite is a good example this year of how we evolve,” says James. “It’s a crazy huge phenomenon and nobody was servicing the demand from a tournament point of view. So rAge and Xbox created a casual LAN tournament that anyone could enter and win a prize. I think the top 10 people got something each round.”
Read on to see how esports is starting to make an impact in gaming.
Blockchain is generally associated with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but these are just the tip of the iceberg, says ESET Southern Africa.
This technology was originally conceived in 1991, when Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta described their first work on a chain of cryptographically secured blocks, but only gained notoriety in 2008, when it became popular with the arrival of Bitcoin. It is currently gaining demand in other commercial applications and its annual growth is expected to reach 51% by 2022 in numerous markets, such as those of financial institutions and the Internet of Things (IoT), according to MarketWatch.
What is blockchain?
A blockchain is a unique, consensual record that is distributed over multiple network nodes. In the case of cryptocurrencies, think of it as the accounting ledger where each transaction is recorded.
A blockchain transaction is complex and can be difficult to understand if you delve into the inner details of how it works, but the basic idea is simple to follow.
Each block stores:
– A number of valid records or transactions.
– Information referring to that block.
– A link to the previous block and next block through the hash of each block—a unique code that can be thought of as the block’s fingerprint.
Accordingly, each block has a specific and immovable place within the chain, since each block contains information from the hash of the previous block. The entire chain is stored in each network node that makes up the blockchain, so an exact copy of the chain is stored in all network participants.
As new records are created, they are first verified and validated by the network nodes and then added to a new block that is linked to the chain.
How is blockchain so secure?
Being a distributed technology in which each network node stores an exact copy of the chain, the availability of the information is guaranteed at all times. So if an attacker wanted to cause a denial-of-service attack, they would have to annul all network nodes since it only takes one node to be operative for the information to be available.
Besides that, since each record is consensual, and all nodes contain the same information, it is almost impossible to alter it, ensuring its integrity. If an attacker wanted to modify the information in a blockchain, they would have to modify the entire chain in at least 51% of the nodes.
In blockchain, data is distributed across all network nodes. With no central node, all participate equally, storing, and validating all information. It is a very powerful tool for transmitting and storing information in a reliable way; a decentralised model in which the information belongs to us, since we do not need a company to provide the service.
What else can blockchain be used for?
Essentially, blockchain can be used to store any type of information that must be kept intact and remain available in a secure, decentralised and cheaper way than through intermediaries. Moreover, since the information stored is encrypted, its confidentiality can be guaranteed, as only those who have the encryption key can access it.
Use of blockchain in healthcare
Health records could be consolidated and stored in blockchain, for instance. This would mean that the medical history of each patient would be safe and, at the same time, available to each doctor authorised, regardless of the health centre where the patient was treated. Even the pharmaceutical industry could use this technology to verify medicines and prevent counterfeiting.
Use of blockchain for documents
Blockchain would also be very useful for managing digital assets and documentation. Up to now, the problem with digital is that everything is easy to copy, but Blockchain allows you to record purchases, deeds, documents, or any other type of online asset without them being falsified.
Other blockchain uses
This technology could also revolutionise the Internet of Things (IoT) market where the challenge lies in the millions of devices connected to the internet that must be managed by the supplier companies. In a few years’ time, the centralised model won’t be able to support so many devices, not to mention the fact that many of these are not secure enough. With blockchain, devices can communicate through the network directly, safely, and reliably with no need for intermediaries.
Blockchain allows you to verify, validate, track, and store all types of information, from digital certificates, democratic voting systems, logistics and messaging services, to intelligent contracts and, of course, money and financial transactions.
Without doubt, blockchain has turned the immutable and decentralized layer the internet has always dreamed about into a reality. This technology takes reliance out of the equation and replaces it with mathematical fact.