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Finalists Announced from Eight Countries throughout Africa for the Seventh CNN African Journalist of the Year Competition

For release: April 8, 2002

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, which received entries from 26 countries throughout the continent, was for the first time open to Francophone Africa.

The finalists, from Cote D'Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe are:

  • Sara Blecher, South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), South Africa
  • Angie Kapelianis, South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), South Africa
  • Patrice Douh-Lessou, Fraternité-Matin, Cote D'Ivoire
  • Khadija Magardie, Mail & Guardian, South Africa
  • Isaac Masingati, Weekend Nation, Malawi
  • John Mwendwa Gitari, Kenya Television Network, Kenya
  • Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, The Daily News, Zimbabwe
  • Carolyne Nakazibwe, The Monitor, Uganda
  • Declan Okpalaeke, Tell, Nigeria
  • Susan Purén, for Carte Blanche, M-Net/DSTV, South Africa
  • Loretta Vanderpuye, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, Ghana

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 May 15, 2002.

Announcing the finalists, Dr Abiola commented: "It was very rewarding and encouraging to see even more nations taking part than before, with the new Francophone category prompting strong entries from French-speaking Africa. The overall standard of work we saw resulted in some very heated debate amongst the judging panel to determine the finalists, who can all be very proud to have won against stiff competition."

The judging panel, chaired by Dr. Abiola, Managing Editor/Editor in Chief, Concord Press Nigeria comprised John Battersby, Group Political Editor of Independent Newspapers; Jerri Eddings, Executive Director 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, Host, Africa Journal, VOA; Mathatha Tsedu, Deputy Chief Executive SABC News.

The Competition, now in its seventh year, is held in partnership with the SABC and in association with South African Airways (SAA) and the Westcliff Hotel, Johannesburg (Part of the Orient Express Group).

Other prestigious companies on board as sponsors include: the Sandton Convention Centre (Arts & Culture Award); TV Africa (Environment Award); IPP Media, Tanzania (Radio General News Award); Merck Sharp Dohme, MSD (Health & Medical Award); TIME Magazine (General Print News Award); Global Media Alliance (Francophone General News Award); The Freedom Forum, USA (Free Press Africa Award) and Camerapix, Kenya (Mohamed Amin Photographic Award).

Additionally, CNN anchor Jim Clancy has donated the prize money awarded to him by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), for his coverage of food and hunger issues and a broader commitment to development in Africa. The award singled out the programme 'Inside Africa' for delivering a balanced look at problems and solutions on the continent. The prize will assist in sending the CNN African Journalist of the Year to participate in training and work experience at the CNN headquarters in Atlanta.

The Foundation for AFRICAN Media Excellence (FAME) will sponsor a workshop organised for the finalists as part of the Awards Programme in Johannesburg, this year. 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.) 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 2001 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

Seema Alibhai
Tel: +44 207 637 0940/Fax: +44 207 637 6910/email: seema.alibhai@turner.com
Cellphone: (44) 7970 77 77 97

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

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