Biz-Community (Cape Town)

31 May 2012

South Africa: Newspaper Awards Take On New Sponsor, Present New Theme

Standard Bank is the new sponsor of Print Media South Africa's (PMSA's) newspaper awards, previously known as the Mondi Shanduka Newspaper Awards. "We are thrilled that Standard Bank has come on board so that we can continue to celebrate newspaper journalism as a dynamic and important craft," said Ingrid Louw, PMSA CEO.

The Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Awards, to take place in August, is defined by the theme 'Perfect Balance'. "The awards' central tenet is the perfect balance needed in contemporary newspaper journalism: the balance between research, reporting, writing and presenting the news; the balance between traditional news and values and principles and new media platforms; and the balance between constitutional freedoms and professional responsibilities," Louw explained.

Acknowledging critical role

Thoraya Pandy, group communications director at Standard Bank, said: "Standard Bank is delighted to be associated with these awards, which acknowledge the critical role that the media play in ensuring South Africa remains a viable and sustainable democracy. Joseph Pulitzer put it most aptly when he described journalism as a 'noble profession and one of unequaled importance for its influence upon the minds and morals of the people'."

While the digital revolution has certainly changed the way newspapers operate, the need for a robust newspaper sector remains. It has been predicted by analysts that newspapers continue to form the news staple in many countries, and especially so in developing markets, where circulation and readership show consistent increases.

"In addition, the uncertainty over the freedom of the press means that there has never been more of an important time to have excellent journalists, doggedly and faultlessly working to 'write the realities'. To make a strong case against those who distrust the press, newspapers have to foster the growth and development of good journalists. Moreover, business can rely on the freedom of the media as an excellent economic and investor indicator," said Louw.

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