Reading Time: 6 minutes

Television – General News
– Feature Television reaches more people, more often, in more parts of the world than any other type of media. Therefore, the importance of strong and unbiased journalism and hard-hitting investigative features on TV is more crucial than ever before. For this reason, awards will be handed out in this category for both the best General News and Feature stories.
Maximum four minutes for General News.
– General News
– Feature It may find itself being overshadowed by the new media forms, but we remain a very long way from the death of print. The oldest and often considered the purest form of journalism, print – whether short succinct new stories or lengthy, well-researched feature articles – remains a critical part of the media establishment.
– General News
– Feature Despite the seeming dominance of TV, in South Africa the radio is still one of the most popular and widespread forms of communication, reaching the ears of millions of people on a daily basis. Since this is often their only means of obtaining news, it is crucial that reporters in this medium deliver both top quality General News and Features.
Maximum three minutes for General News.

‘Graft’, ‘backhanders’ and ‘golden handshakes’ are all terms that most South Africans today are familiar with. In a nation struggling to deal with the spectre of corruption and one still feeling the after-effects of the financial crisis, Financial and Economic journalists have an ever greater role to play in keeping businesses and citizens alike more well-informed.
Consumer Journalism

The recent provisioning of the new Consumer Protection Act indicates that the government itself is seriously concerned with consumer rights. However, while the law and the courts are there to protect consumers, their strongest voice and best recourse to action remain the dogged consumer journalists, whose main focus is to protect the customer.

Sometimes, the best medicine for a festering sore such as a political scandal, a hidden crime or a ridiculously overpriced government tender is to lance it with words. Columnists tend to display acerbic wit and telescopic focus in equal measure, poking fun at sacred cows and revealing idols’ feet of clay, while also shining a light into the darkness in a way a news stories never could. This category is for those opinion pieces published regularly across all media.

It takes a special kind of talent to highlight an important issue through the method of satire, in a single, hand-drawn picture. Cartoonists not only turn the less palatable aspects of life into something that is generally funny, the best ones do it in such a way as to make life particularly uncomfortable for the targets of their pencils, be they politicians, criminals or members of academia. This category is for cartoons published regularly across all media.

A picture, they say, is worth a thousand words, which is the need for photojournalism has grown exponentially. In a similar vein to the cartoonist, the photographer captures a specific moment in time, telling the story with a single picture. In light of both the immediate and historical value of such photographs, there can be little doubt as to the enormous value placed on this particular profession. The submission for this category can include a single photographs or photographic essays published across all media

Sport is one of the few issues that can draw a sometimes divide nation together, shouting with one voice and with one goal in mind. As the nation witnessed last year during the FIFA World Cup, sport is truly the ultimate unifier. For this reason, those who write so eloquently about the subject deserve the credit to be given where it is due.
Community Media

While it is vital that journalists report on the national and international issues that have the potential to impact people across the globe, knowing what is going on in our own communities is of equal importance. The role played by community reporters in keeping towns. Cities and regions up to date with local news must never be underestimated.
Editor’s Choice

The buck always has to stop somewhere, and in the journalism game, it stops with the editor. As the commander of his or her particular media environment, the editor’s word is law, and their decisions are final. That is why the Editor’s Choice is so crucial. It reflects the style and focus of a media establishment, it is the voice of all the members of the media who work there and those who they nominate for this award have their full support. For this category, editors throughout South Africa to nominate their most promising young journalists who have been in the business for a minimum of two, and a maximum of five years.
Online Journalism

One of the newest forms of reporting, Internet-based journalism is rapidly becoming the go-to place for readers to access their news in bite-sized chunks. A specific type of talent is required to succeed in this environment. After all, it not only requires a unique set of writing skills to get one’s message accurately across in such short snippets, but also a far deeper understanding of technological intricacies than many old-school journalists possess. This category includes Internet based and MP3 based media, such as podcasts, blogs, and photography, as well as web-based newsletters and columns. These must be available on a ‘free access’ basis and that are not carried in the ‘traditional’ media of print, radio and television. The entry must have been originally created for the online medium.
Social Media in Journalism

Social Media has played a massive role in a great number of global changes recently. It is also impacting enormously on the way we do business, with the rise of social entrepreneurship. Perhaps what is most notable is the manner in which it provides instant access and updates to unfolding issues while enabling the true voice of the people to be heard. The rest of the media would do well to keep a close eye on the development of this, the newest member of its fraternity. This category recognises the most effective use of social media networks, communities and tools in the creation and / or delivery of journalistic content. This could cover the use of social media in information gathering, research or promotion and distribution of the content of a story.

– By Vodacom website