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Multimedia reporting takes top online award

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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3D printed room-service? Visit the hotel of tomorrow

To mark its 100th birthday, Hilton predicts the trends that will change travel and hospitality in the next 100 years.

Intergalactic getaways, fast-food nutrient pills, 2-3 hour working days and adaptable, personalised rooms that can transport guests everywhere from jungles to mountain ranges. These are some of the predictions for the next 100 years that the Hilton hotel group has put together in celebration of its 100th anniversary.

In a report supported by expert insight from the fields of sustainability, innovation, design, human relations and nutrition, findings reveal the impact of the growing sophistication of technology and climate change on the hotel industry in the future.

Key predictions for the hotel of the future include:

Personalisation is King

  • Technology will allow every space, fitting and furnishing to continuously update to respond to an individual’s real-time needs – the Lobby will conjure up anything from a tranquil spa to a buzzy bar, giving every guest the perfect, personal welcome
  • From temperature and lighting, to entertainment and beyond, microchips under the skin will enable us to wirelessly control the setting around us based on what we need, whenever we need it

The Human Touch

  • In a world filled with Artificial Intelligence, human contact and the personal touch will be more critical and sought after than ever
  • Technology will free up time for hotel staff to focus on what matters most: helping guests to connect with one another and building memorable moments

‘Sustainable Everything’ – The Role of Responsibility

  • Only businesses that are inherently responsible will survive the next century
  • Sustainability will be baked into everything about a hotel’s design – from weather-proofed domes, to buildings made from ocean-dredged plastic
  • Hotels will act as the Town Hall of any community, managing local resources and contributing to the areas they serve with community-tended insect farms and vertical hydroponic crop gardens

Menu Surprises and Personalisation

  • Our diets will include more plant-based recipes and some surprising sources of protein – Beetle Bolognese, Plankton Pies and Seaweed Green Velvet Cake will be menu staples!
  • Decadent 3D-printed dinners and room service will provide unrivalled plate personalisation
  • Chefs will be provided with biometric data for each guest, automatically creating meals based on preferences and nutritional requirements

Futuristic Fitness and Digital Detoxes

  • Outswim a virtual sea turtle in the pool, or challenge yourself to climb the digital face of Mount Everest, your exercise routine will be as unique as you are. What’s more, exercise energy generated from workouts will be used to power the hotel, providing a zero-impact, circular system. Guests could even earn rewards based on reaching workout targets
  • Pick up where you left off with trackable workouts and holographic personal trainers
  • Offline will be the new luxury as we seek to find moments of tech-free time

“Since its inception in 1919, Hilton has pioneered the hospitality industry, introducing first-to-market concepts such as air-conditioning and in-room televisions. Last year, Hilton also became the first hospitality company to set science-based targets to reduce its environmental impact,” said Simon Vincent, EVP & President, EMEA, Hilton. “We enter our second century with the same commitment to innovation, harnessing the power of our people and technology to respond to guest demands. Our research paints an exciting future for the hospitality industry, highlighting the growing importance of human interaction in an increasingly tech-centric world.”

Futurologist Gerd Leonhard said: “In 2119 we will still be searching for unique experiences, but they will be more personalised than ever. As technology shapes our lives we will seek out moments of offline connection with others, including hotel team members who will help us truly get what we need from our stays. 100 years from now hotels will have to create opportunities to converse, collaborate and connect, delivering moments that matter, individually, to each and every guest.”

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Gadget ed to chair Digital Council

Specialist financial services provider Sasfin Bank has established a Digital Advisory Council to provide the market with industry-leading expertise and insights on trends shaping the use of technology in financial services.

Digitalisation is one of the most powerful forces for change shaping Finance today. This has turned Fintech into one of the most vibrant sectors in both information technology and among start-ups, generating billions of dollars in investment and development globally. The South African fintech space is dynamic, and Sasfin is playing a leading role in the transformation of local financial services and the resulting enhancement of customer experiences.

“We have been investing in fintech development in-house and acquiring or integrating fintech start-ups,” says Sasfin CEO Michael Sassoon. “Over the last year we have built further digital offerings, integrated via APIs into leading businesses and invested in fintechs. We built and launched B\\YOND, an innovative digital business banking platform and SWIP, a digital wealth and investing platform. We have invested in Payabill, an online SME lender and DMA, a digital trading platform. We recently announced our alliance banking relationship, leveraging open banking, with Hello Paisa to offer seamless banking to the unbanked. We feel that there is a huge opportunity to improve the experience of South African businesses and savers through using technology. We have therefore created an independent forum to assess how to even better improve financial services for South Africans by leveraging the digital economy.”

Arthur Goldstuck, founder of high-tech research consultancy World Wide Worx, editor-in-chief of Gadget, and a globally respected technology analyst has accepted Sasfin’s invitation to head up the Sasfin Digital Advisory Council, an independent think tank that will help Sasfin and its clients decipher the fintech present and future.

“The Sasfin Digital Advisory Council is broader than providing only the bank with a source of insight on how digital services are evolving and lessons from across the world,” said CEO Michael Sassoon. “Sasfin has been involved in fintech investing for many years and we are leveraging this experience as well as the experience of independent experts such as Arthur to provide insights and guidance to interested stakeholders in this space.”

The team appointed to the Digital Advisory Council is being selected for the breadth and range of knowledge they would bring to the table, with further appointments to the Council being announced soon.  There will also be room for the Council to co-opt specialist expertise as it is required.

Goldstuck, who has been covering the fintech sector as an analyst, commentator and columnist for many years, says he sees the role as a welcome challenge.

“There has been a long-standing need for a clear understanding of the impact being made by fintech today, and the exponential change it will cause tomorrow,” said Goldstuck. “My role will be, partly, to curate the wide spectrum of fintech and digitalisation knowledge and insights that the members will bring to the Digital Advisory Council, and help create scenarios that businesses and policymakers may use to navigate the future – both inside and outside Sasfin.”

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