21 June 2012

South Africa: Best of Financial Journalism Awarded

On Tuesday 19 June 2012, the best in South African financial journalism was honoured at an event in Johannesburg. The overall winner of the Sanlam Awards for Excellence in Financial Journalism was Lindo Xulu of Financial Mail, with best newcomer being awarded to Phakamisa Ndzamela of Business Day.

Xulu won for his Moneyweb investigative and analytical coverage of the Wendy Machanik Property Holdings story.

In addition to taking top honours, he also won first prize in the Markets & Companies (dailies and online) category and was first runner-up in the Economy & Industry (dailies and online) category. In 2010, he won title as best newcomer in the Awards.

"He fulfilled most of the adjudicators' expectations in serving the information needs of a very diverse audience. Using multiple forms of media, he has contributed to shaping opinions by simplifying complex matters and thereby expanding the understanding of financial matters in South Africa. His work was offered across topics, gaining momentum as it spread into different mediums - and engaged us in the depth it offered," comments Peter Vundla, convener of the judging panel and chairman of AMB Capital,

The Lifetime Achievement in Financial Journalism Award was conferred on 1998 Financial Journalist of the Year, Ethel Hazelhurst in recognition of her consistently outstanding work. Hazelhurst is currently a senior economics writer at Business Report.

Ndzamela was also the second runner up in the Personal Finance (financial media) category.

Other winners

Joy Summers took the audiovisual award for her contribution to Carte Blanche.

Jan de Lange of Sake 24, won for the third consecutive time the Economy and Industry (dailies and online) category;

Claire Bisseker of Financial Mail took the honours in the Economy and Industry (magazines and weeklies) category. Bisseker won last year's award in the special section on the economic implications and effect of the 2010 FIFA World Cup;

Stephen Cranston of Financial Mail for his collection of entries received an award in the Markets & Companies (magazines and weeklies) category;

Bruce Cameron of Personal Finance won the Personal Finance (financial media) category for his collection of entries; and

Patricia McCracken received the Personal Finance (non-financial media) award for her freelance collection.

Initiated by Sanlam in 1974, these are said to be the longest running financial journalism awards in South Africa.

Says Sanlam group chief executive, Dr Johan van Zyl, "Over the years we have invested in these awards because we value the quality contributions of journalists in the economic and financial discourse in our country and globally. We recognise the energy that goes into research and the integrity it takes to produce informed, credible and insightful coverage of events and their impact on the economy and daily life. We believe the awards also inspire excellence as well as unearth talent among seasoned and entrants in the field of financial journalism. We congratulate all the winners and express our appreciation to all the participants in the awards."


Peter Vundla, convener and chairman at AMB Capital;

Ulrich Joubert, economist at Kruger International;

Maud Motanyane, chairperson of Kagiso Media;

Reg Rumney, director of the Centre for Economic Journalism in Africa at Rhodes University;

Caroline Southey, former editor of the Financial Mail and director of Informal Markets at Standard Bank;

Hein Swart, former business editor of Die Burger; and

Marina Bidoli, partner at Brunswick Group.

Vundla adds, "As adjudicators of fine work, we observe the topics that drive your interest and combined it with our own perceptions of the economic drivers."

New categories

Sanlam announced the introduction of two new categories for next year, namely:

Build South Africa - given the significant infrastructure spending on many levels of government and society in general, interest is no doubt mounting on the way our country will grow

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