The New Times reporter Donah Mbabazi was Wednesday night crowned Journalist of the Year during the 6th edition of the Development Journalism Awards 2018.
The awards-giving gala was held during the celebration of the Africa Day of Information in Kigali yesterday.
Mbabazi bagged Rwf1,200,000 for the top prize, having also pocketed Rwf 800,000 for Gender and child rights reporting award and Rwf 600,000 after emerging first runner-up for Anti-Corruption Reporting.
She won the awards alongside five other journalists from The New Times namely; Lydia Atieno who emerged the winner of Health Reporting Award worth Rwf 800 000 and Kelly Rwamapera who emerged the best grassroots reporter of the year.
Others are Marie-Anne Dushimimana who won the award for best reporting in Business, Finance and Economics while Frederic Byumvuhore and Michel Nkurunziza emerged runners-up in Green Growth Reporting.
Meanwhile, Janvier Nshimiyumukiza from Izuba Rirashe, a sister outlet of The New Times emerged winner for the best Investigative Journalist Award.
Upon being announced, Mbabazi told The New Times that winning such a prestigious award was "beyond expectations."
"I am really excited. It's hard to believe. I somehow expected to win but I didn't expect to be the overall winner. This is a big night for me and definitely a big step forward for my career," she said.
Elsewhere, RBA's Bienvenue Redemptus (RBA) pocketed Rwf 800,000 as best TV news anchor while his colleague Evelyne Umurerwa emerged Best Female Journalist, scooping Rwf1,000,000.
There was a remarkable increase in submissiona after a total of 846 entries were submitted from 43 media houses in 33 categories, a significant departure from only 35 entries received in 2012 during the inaugural awards.
Unfortunately, the number of submissions from female journalists is still low as only 19.2 per cent of the total submissions were from women journalists.
Another critical observation was that no entry met the requirements in the innovation category while some submissions were rejected due to failure to meet entry requirements.
Development Journalism Awards is an annual event organised by Rwanda Journalists Association, Rwanda Governance Board, Media High Council, UNDP, among other partners that was initiated to celebrate journalism excellence in the country.
List of awardees:
Feature, documentary/ Magazine: TV: Didier Ndicunguye RBA RC Rusizi
Popular TV Talk show: Ntugasaze Muzehe Quiz (TV One)
Business, Finance and Economics: Marie-Anne Dushimimana (The New Times)
Investigative Journalism award: Janvier Nhimiyumukiza (Izuba Rirashe)
News reporting award: Latifah Akimana (RBA)
Photographer of the Year: Plaisir Muzogeye (Kigali Today)
The best TV drama: Seburikoko (Afrifame)
Best Radio Drama: Ikinamico of Radio Rwanda
Best radio news anchor: Xavera Nyirarukundo and Jean Daniel Sindayigaya (RBA)
Service Deleivery Reporting Award: Latifah Akimana (RBA)
Scoop of the Year: Constantin Tuyishimire (TV One)
Sports Journalist of the Year: Fidele Bugingo (Imvaho Nshya)
Talk show of the year: Uruhare rw' Itangazamakuru (Isango Star)
Video Journalism Award: Fidele Sindayigaya (TV One)
Media Sector Development Award: Kellya Uwiragiye (Media for Deaf Rwanda)
Community Radio of the Year: Radio Huguka
Most Popular Radio: Radio Rwanda
Most Popular Online Publication: Igihe.com
Most popular TV Station: Rwanda Television
Best Radio Talk Show: 10 Sports (Radio 10)
Unity and Reconciliation Reporting Award: Prudence Kwizera (Igihe.com), runner-up: Eric Muvara (KT Radio).
Gender and Children Rights Reporting Award: Winner: Donah Mbabazi (The New Times), runner-up: Fidele Twiringiyimana (TV One)
Anti-Corruption Reporting Award: Paluku Rene Pedro TV1, Runner-up: Donah Mbabazi
Rwanda Green Growth Reporting Award: Alfred Ntakirutimana, first runner-up: Michel Nkurunziza & Frederic Byumvuhore, second runner-up: Alexia Bizumuremyi (Rwanda Inspirer)
ICT and Telecommunication Reporting Winner: Steven Muvunyi CNBC AFRICA
Health Reporting Award: Lydia Atieno (The New Times)
Grassroots Reporting Award: Winner: Kelly Rwamapera (The New Times), runner-up: Jean Paul Turatsinze (RBA)
Ikinyarwanda Kinoze Award: Prudence Kwizera (Igihe.com), runner-up: Jean Claude Ndayishimiye (Igihe.com)
Culture promotion Award: Winner: Maniraguha Ferdinand (Igihe.com)
Best TV news anchor: Bienvenue Redemptus (RBA)
Best Female Journalist of the year: Evelyne Umurerwa (RBA)
Journalist of the year: Donah Mbabazi (The New Times)