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CNN AFRICAN JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR COMPETITION IN PARTNERSHIP WITH SABC

CALLING ALL AFRICAN JOURNALISTS!!


Entries are now being accepted for the CNN African Journalist of the Year Competition, now in its fifth year. Africa's journalists have until January 14th to make sure their entries are in the running!

Last year's competition attracted over 180 entrants from 15 different nations. The overall CNN African Journalist of the Year Award was won by Declan Opkalaeke from 'The Guardian', Nigeria. The winning prize was a cheque, a laptop and a trip to the United States to spend time at CNN in Atlanta and the United Nations in New York, as well as having some fun sightseeing. The other winners won cash prizes and laptops. All were invited to Johannesburg to participate in a three day finalists' programme which included workshops and sightseeing.

This time entrants have a chance of winning one of thirteen prestigious awards to be presented at a Gala Awards ceremony in Johannesburg in March 2000, including the overall CNN African Journalist of the Year Award.

The pan-African competition's search for journalistic excellence includes a range of categories: General News, Business, Sport, Health/Medical, Environment, and, new this year, the Free Press-Africa category, sponsored by the Freedom Forum for the journalist whose work does most to support the cause of press freedom on the continent. Journalists can find out more about this category from their website at www.freedomforum.org. The competition also offers a photographic category, the Mohamed Amin Award, sponsored by Salim Amin of Camerapix Nairobi in memory of his father.

Open to all professional journalists based in Africa, the competition allows up to three English-language entries per medium - print, TV radio and photographic - published or broadcast within the last twelve months, with entries assessed by a panel of judges from across Africa on choice of subject, originality, style and clarity, the structure of the story, balance and level of research.

The competition is being held in partnership with the SABC and in association with South African Airways and The Westcliff Hotel, Johannesburg, which is accommodating the finalists and judges. Pan-African sponsors already on board include Multichoice Africa, MSD, APTV and KTN, with others still to be announced.

This year, CNN has established an Advisory Board as a steering committee to ensure that the aims and implementation of the competition are in accordance with the continent's needs and practices. Board members include: Salim Amin, Camerapix; Edward Boateng, Vice President, Global Media Alliance; Maggie Eales, Managing Director, Africa, Turner Broadcasting System; Jerelyn Eddings, Director, The Freedom Forum; Joel Kibazo, of the Financial Times of London; Nolo Letele, CEO, Multichoice Africa; Victor Nosi, Vice President Corporate Relations, South African Airways; and Enoch Sithole, Chief Executive, News, SABC.

Each year there are seven judges, from Africa or who have worked closely with African organisations over the past years. The judging will take place in early February.

Working from an extended database, CNN has already sent out over 1400 entry forms to news organisations across the continent. For those journalists who would like to enter and don't yet have an entry form, additional forms are still available, either from Communications Services in South Africa Tel: +27 11 463 1011/ Fax: +27 11 463 1323/email: commserv@icon.co.za or from CNN in London through Bal Thind on +44 171 637 6742/fax: +44 171 637 6769/email: bal.thind@turner.com.


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