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CNN African Journalist of the Year 2003 Finalists Announced

For release: 13 May 2003

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 top pan-African companies, were announced today by Dr. Doyinsola Abiola, Chairperson of the independent judging panel. The competition received entries from 32 countries throughout the continent.

The 13 finalists, from nine nations, are:

  • Claudine Atahoun, Office de Radiodiffusion et de la Télévision du Bénin (ORTB), Bénin
  • Maggi Barnard, The Namibian, Namibia
  • Ibiba DonPedro, The Guardian, Nigeria
  • Eric Kakore, Radio Simba, Uganda
  • Joseph E. Karimi, for the Sunday Standard/East African Standard, Kenya
  • Anna-Maria Lombard and Alpheus Siebane, South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), South Africa
  • Patrick Maïgua, Kenyan Television Network (KTN), Kenya
  • Walter Marwizi, The Standard, Zimbabwe
  • Betty Mkwasa, ITV-Independent Television Ltd, Tanzania
  • Mpho Moagi, South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), South Africa
  • Ambrose Namoyo, Climax Magazine, Malawi
  • Siphiwe Sibeko, The Star, South Africa

The CNN African Journalist of the Year and other winners in the various categories will be announced at a gala awards ceremony at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, on June 18, 2003. The co-hosts for the evening will be Jeff Koinange, CNN Lagos Bureau Chief and Redi Direko, SABC news anchor.

Announcing the finalists, Dr Abiola commented: "It was very rewarding and encouraging to see an even wider spread of nations taking part in the competition. This year saw entries from Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Guinea, Lesotho Mozambique, Rwanda and Sierra Leone, to name just a few, giving the awards a truly Pan-African feel. 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 stiff competition."

The judging panel, chaired by Dr. Doyinsola Abiola, Managing Editor/Editor in Chief, Concord Press Nigeria, comprised John Battersby, Group Political Editor of Independent Newspapers, South Africa; Jerri Eddings, co-founder for the Foundation for AFRICAN Media Excellence (FAME), South Africa; Joel Kibazo, Director of Communications and Public Affairs Division at the Commonwealth Secretariat; Jeff Koinange, CNN Lagos Bureau Chief; Maimouna Mills, Executive Producer/Host "Up Close with Maimouna Mills"; Jimi Matthews, Head of Television News, SABC.

The Competition, now in its eighth year, is held in partnership with the SABC and in association with Multichoice Africa Foundation, sponsors of the Business Award; South African Airways (SAA), sponsors of the South African Airways Tourism Award; and the Westcliff Hotel, Johannesburg (part of the Orient Express Group) sponsors of the Television - General News - News Bulletin Award.

Other prestigious companies on board as sponsors include: the Sandton Convention Centre (Arts & Culture Award); IPP Media, Tanzania (Television - General News, Features Award); Merck Sharp Dohme, MSD (Health & Medical Award); This Day (M.K.O. Abiola Print Journalist Award); Global Media Alliance (Sport Award); The Freedom Forum, (Free Press - Africa Award); Johnnic Publishing Limited (Environment Award); Camerapix, Kenya (Mohamed Amin Photographic Award) and Reyneke Wines (Radio Award).

The Foundation for AFRICAN Media Excellence (FAME) will sponsor a workshop in June organised for the finalists as part of the Awards Programme in Johannesburg. The non-profit Foundation was established in November 2001 with the overriding goal of promoting media excellence in Africa.

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) 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 working on the African continent for media organisations based on the continent and are locally owned or publish a publication in Africa.

Up to two entries per category published or broadcast in 2002 can be submitted (in print, TV and radio) for the following awards: Television General News; Print General News; Sport; Arts & Culture; Environment; Radio General News; Health & Medical; Business/E-Commerce; and Free Press Africa. For the Mohamed Amin Photographic Award, an individual photograph or a photographic essay (maximum five photographs) may be submitted, both black and white and colour accepted. For the Francophone Award three entries may be submitted (in print, TV and radio) or for the photographic award as above.

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/email: commserv@icon.co.za

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