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2004 CNN African Journalist of the Year Competition Launched

For release: 10 May 2004

Finalists of the CNN African Journalist of the Year Competition, held in partnership with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and sponsored by a number of leading African companies, were announced today by Dr. Doyinsola Abiola, Chairperson of the independent judging panel. The competition received entries from 30 countries throughout the continent.

The 17 finalists, from seven nations, are:

  • Alakagni Hala, Fraternité Matin, Côte d'Ivoire
  • Lokumu Kabamba, Le Journal, Gabon
  • Simon Peter Kasyate, 93.3 Monitor FM, Uganda
  • Sarah Kimani and Orto Sori, Nation TV, Kenya
  • Matuma Letsoalo and Wisani Ngobeni, Mail & Guardian, South Africa
  • Peter Murimi, Camerapix for Citizen TV, Kenya
  • Dumisani Ndlela, The Financial Gazette, Zimbabwe
  • Thuli Nhlapo, The Star, South Africa
  • Mwenda Njoka, Sunday Nation/Daily Nation, Kenya
  • Neo Ntsoma, The Star, South Africa
  • Oscar Obonyo, Freelance for the Daily Nation, Kenya
  • Cliffderrick Richard Otieno, Freelance for Kenyan Television Network (KTN), Kenya
  • Ouézen Louis Oulon, Radiodiffusion -- Télévision du Burkina, Burkina Faso
  • Sophia Phirippides and Jonathan Pienaar, Modern Times CC for Carte Blanche, South Africa

The winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, on June 19, 2004. The co-hosts for the evening will be Jeff Koinange, CNN Lagos Bureau Chief and Redi Direko, SABC presenter.

Announcing the finalists, Dr Abiola commented: "It was very encouraging to see finalists for this year's competition from three Francophone countries. This yet again confirms the far-reaching talent emerging from throughout the continent and the truly pan African nature of the competition. The overall standard of work resulted in some very heated debate amongst the judging panel. The finalists can all be very proud to have been chosen against strong competition."

The independent judging panel, chaired by Dr. Doyinsola Abiola, Managing Editor/Editor-in-Chief, Concord Press, Nigeria, comprises John Battersby, UK Country Manager of the International Marketing Council of South Africa; Jeff Koinange, CNN Lagos Bureau Chief; Joel Kibazo, Director of Communications and Public Affairs Division at the Commonwealth Secretariat; Jimi Matthews, Head of Television News, SABC; Maimouna Mills, Special Adviser to the former Prime Minister, Senegal; and Rich Mkhondo, Executive Manager: Corporate Communications South African Airways.

The Competition, now in its ninth year, is held in partnership with the SABC and in association with Multichoice Africa Foundation, South African Airways and The Westcliff Hotel, Johannesburg (part of the Orient-Express collection of luxury hotels). Other prestigious sponsors include The Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg; IPP Media Group, Tanzania; Merck, Sharp & Dohme (MSD); Global Media Alliance; Johnnic Communications; This Day; Nederburg Wine Farm and Camerapix.

The CNN African Journalist of the Year Award was founded by Edward Boateng (formerly African Regional Director for Turner Broadcasting System Inc., CNN's parent company) and the late Mohamed Amin, in 1995, to recognise and encourage excellence in journalism throughout Africa.

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.

Entries were published or broadcast in 2003 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; South African Airways Tourism; M.K.O Abiola Print Journalist; Business; MSD Health & Medical; Free Press Africa and The Mohamed Amin Photographic.

Further information: http://www.cnn.com/world/africa/africanawards

ISSUED BY CNN INTERNATIONAL PRESS OFFICE -- London
Contact: Seema Alibhai
+ 44 207 693 0940
seema.alibhai@turner.com

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

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