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CNN and SABC Announce the Launch of the 2004 African Journalist of the Year Competiton

The Ninth competition further expands Francophone category to include two awards

For release: 9 December 2003

The launch of the ninth CNN African Journalist of the Year Competition, held in partnership with the SABC, was announced today, 9 December 2003.

The 2004 competition sees the Francophone category expanding further to include two awards -- general news -- print and/or photographic and television and/or radio. There are now 14 categories covering General news -- radio and television, M.K.O Abiola print journalism awards, sport, arts & culture, heath & medical, environment, business, tourism, Francophone general news -- print and /or photographic and television and/or radio and the Free Press Africa category.

"The CNN African Journalist of the Year Award now in its ninth year, is representative of the best in African Journalism. The expansion of the Francophone category to include electronic and print award, is indicative of the impact that these awards have had in Francophone Africa," said Chris Cramer, Managing Director of CNN International.

Entrants have until 14 February 2004 to send in their work. Judging of the entries will take place in April 2004, by an independent judging panel. The winners will be recognised at a gala awards ceremony to be held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa on the 19 June 2004.

The competition is held in association with South African Airways, the official airline sponsor; The Westcliff Hotel, Johannesburg (part of the Orient-Express collection of luxury hotels) the official hotel sponsor, and Multichoice Africa Foundation. Other prestigious sponsors include The Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg (the gala dinner venue); IPP Media Group, Tanzania; Merck, Sharp & Dohme (MSD); Global Media Alliance, Johnnic Publishing Limited, This Day, Nederburg and Camerapix.

"The SABC has been co-hosting this initiative since 1998 and is committed to working with our partners to strengthen and increase the recognition and rewards for excellence in the profession of Journalism. This joint initiative aims to reinforce the importance of the journalist's role in Africa, and to recognise and nurture journalistic talent across all disciplines. We believe that it makes a significant contribution towards the development and understanding of the continent", said Peter Matlare, Group Chief Executive, South African Broadcasting Corporation.

"As a long standing and active broadcaster in Africa, CNN is committed to cataloguing the continent's vast and often complex story through our four African bureaux. The CNN African Journalist of the Year Competition is an integral part of our commitment to the region and underlines our support of the indigenous journalistic profession. Through this platform and with the increased output of our own on-air programming and newsgathering efforts, we hope to bring the unfolding events of the continent to greater prominence for our global audience," added Cramer.

During the last year, CNN has demonstrated its continued commitment to and investment in the African continent with its half-hour weekly window on all things African, 'Inside Africa'. Programming from Africa in 2003 has included live coverage of The Nelson Mandela Aids concert in November from Cape Town, a look at Kenya after President Arab Moi, Rwandan election coverage, an in-depth look at Liberia and the departure of former President Charles Taylor; U.S. President George W Bush's five-day visit to Africa; South Africa legendary leader Sisulu's funeral, as well as numerous interviews with African heads of state, including Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, John A Kufuor of Ghana, General Obasanjo of Nigeria and leading African statesmen, Nelson Mandela, Wole Soyinka, Graca Machel and General A.A. Abubuakar of Nigeria.

Winner of the 2003 overall CNN African Journalist of the Year Award was Ibiba DonPedro writing for Guardian Newspaper, Nigeria. DonPedro was chosen among entrants from 32 nations across the African continent for her story, 'The Travails of the Swamp in a Bleak Landscape'. Other countries fielding winning entries this year were Benin, , Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania Uganda and Zimbabwe.

CNN has a strong newsgathering presence throughout the continent. CNN International's service for Africa/Middle East/Europe is available to 15 million households in Africa and features over 50 hours of new programming specifically produced for the region.

More information about the CNN African Journalist of the Year Competition can be found at www.cnn.com/africa/africanawards


Seema Alibhai
+44 207 693 0940 / Fax: +44 207 693 0949/email: seema.alibhai@turner.com
Cellphone: (44) 7970 77 77 97

Contact in South Africa:
Communications Services, Barbara Bester
Tel: +27 11 463 1011/ Fax: +27 11 463 1323/email: commserv@icon.co.za

Entry forms are available from Kevin Talbot on +44 207 693 0846/fax: +44 207 693 0847/email: kevin.talbot@turner.com

Note to Editors: Competition Criteria
The CNN African Journalist of the Year competition is open to professional journalists/technicians (including freelancers), born in Africa, working on the African continent for media organisations that are African-owned or principally based in the region, or publish a publication in Africa which is targeted at an African audience for reception within Africa.

Up to two entries per category published or broadcast in 2003 can be submitted (in print, TV and radio) for the following awards: Television and Radio-General News; Francophone General News -- Print and/or Photographic and Television and/or Radio; Sport; Arts & Culture; Environment; Tourism; M.K.O Abiola Print Journalist; Business; Health & Medical; and FreePress Africa Award. The Mohamed Amin Photographic Award requirements include, an individual photograph or a photographic essay (maximum 5 photographs) to be submitted, both black and white and colour accepted.

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