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Issue 483 -- 30 Apr - 6th May 2011
27 Emerge Finalists In CNN Multi-Choice African Journalist Contest
Johannesburg, SA, April 30, 2011 – Twenty-seven finalists have emerged in the CNN/MultiChoice African Journalist 2011 Competition. According to Joel Kibazo, chairman of the independent judging panel, in a statement, the 27 finalists came from different media houses across Africa.
Among the finalists from Nigeria are Oluwatoyosi Ogunseye of Sunday Punch and Nnamdi Okosieme from Next Newspaper. The competition is in its 16th year.
Announcing the finalists, Kibazo said: "African journalists are becoming noticeably more challenging, showing greater courage and strength which would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. Entries this year have demonstrated this - bolder, more determined on their home patch and with a new found zeal to cover countries beyond their own borders."
This year, the competition received entries from 42 countries across the continent, including French and Portuguese speaking Africa.
This year's recipient of the Free Press Africa Award is Mahamud Abdi Jama, editor of Waaheen, an independent private newspaper published in Somaliland. Waaheen, part of the Waaheen Media Group, is known for its critical coverage of the government.
Mahamud was sentenced to three years in prison and fined in connection with a story alleging public corruption. After pressure on the government Mahamud was granted a presidential pardon and released after spending over a month in prison.
He is awarded this prize for working under stressful conditions, and in the face of opposition and providing the public with important information, regardless of the consequences.
The winners of the competition will be announced at an award ceremony and gala evening in Johannesburg, South Africa on Saturday, June 25.
The hosts for the evening will be Isha Sesay, presenter of CNN International's weekly programme 'Inside Africa' and Robert Marawa, the face of one of DStv's SuperSports channel and regular host of Metro FM's Discovery Sports Centre.
Tony Maddox, executive vice president/managing director, CNN International, said: "The passion which African journalists display for telling compelling and top-class stories knows no bounds. Once more, CNN proudly continues its commitment to encouraging inspired journalistic excellence with these awards".
Collins Khumalo, president, MultiChoice Africa, stated: "We remain committed to the development of media in Africa and to giving recognition to outstanding journalists for their tireless effort and work in telling the African story. Our wish is to inspire all the finalists to use this opportunity to not only strive to become the best in Africa, but to become the best in the world".
To enter the CNN/MultiChoice African Journalist 2011 competition the journalist must have been an African national and have worked on the continent for African owned, or headquartered, media organisations that produced a printed publication or broadcast through an electronic medium (television broadcaster, radio station or website) primarily targeted at and received by an African audience.
Source: Business Day Online