Herald reporters shine at awards

THE Herald scooped three coveted awards at the regional leg of the Vodacom Journalist of the Year event in Port Elizabeth last night.

Regional winners for the Eastern Cape region were announced at a function at the Protea Marine Hotel last night.

Reporters Michael Kimberley, 30, and Zandile Mbabela, 28, took the honours in the print news category for "Rotten to the core", their investigation into the province's Education Department.

Sports editor Alvin Reeves, 42, won the sports category for "The tale of two cricket clubs", an in- depth look into Nelson Mandela Bay's cricket facilities in the northern areas.

Senior politics reporter Rochelle de Kock, 27, received the Editor's Choice award and was nominated by editor Heather Robertson.

The Herald's sister publication, the Daily Dispatch, received the print feature award, which went to Msindisi Fengu, and the financial and economic category award, which went to Siya Miti.

"We are really delighted with the response to the awards this year – and the calibre," Vodacom corporate affairs chief officer Maya Makanjee said.

"The independent panel of judges were presented with a great challenge to find the best of the best in South African journalism, and went through a rigorous process to do so.

"This year's judging panel comprised experts in their fields, and we thank Elna Rossouw, Mary Papayya, Colin Nxumalo, Arthur Goldstuck, Johann de Wet, Joe Thloloe, Ryland Fisher and Patricia McCracken, who made their time and expertise available to us."

Papayya and Thloloe were co-conveners of this year's awards. The regional winners each receive R5000 and travel to Johannesburg for the national finals on November 1.

The Herald deputy editor Samantha Smith said: "I am immensely proud of our winning journalists, who all work so hard to ensure The Herald can offer its readers quality in-depth journalism.

"They are part of a bigger, dedicated group of staff members who show tremendous commitment to their work and richly deserve this recognition."