Finalists in the prestigious CNN MultiChoice African Journalist awards for 2011 have been announced by Joel Kibazo, Chair of the independent judging panel. The competition is now in its 16th year and this year, Ghana has two journalists vying for laurels in the prestigious competition.
They are Kofi Akpabli, Freelance for the Daily Graphic and Portia Solomon for TV3 News. Â Kofi Akpabli won the prize for Art and Culture in 2010 for his beautiful piece on soups.
Announcing the finalists, Joel Kibazo said:
â€œAfrican journalists are becoming noticeably more challenging, showing greater courage and strength which would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. Entries this year have demonstrated this â€“ bolder, more determined on their home patch and with a new found zeal to cover countries beyond their own borders.â€
This year the competition received entries from 42 countries across the continent, including French and Portuguese speaking Africa. There are 27 finalists from 13 countries:
- Kofi Akpabli, Freelance forÂ Daily Graphic, Ghana
- Claudine Efoa Atohoun, ORTB, Benin
- Rabin Bhujun, Lâ€™Express Dimanche, Mauritius
- JosÃ© BouÃ§as de Oliveira, TelevisÃ£o Santomense, SÃ£o TomÃ©
- Sylvia Chebet, Citizen TV, Kenya
- DispatchOnline Team, Daily Dispatch, South Africa
- Kimani Githae, Citizen TV, Kenya
- Lamia Hassan, Business Today, Egypt
- Virgil Augustin Pascal Houesson, Lâ€™Ã©vÃ©nement PrÃ©cis, Benin
- Mahamud Abdi Jama, Waaheen, Somalia
- Norman Katende, Freelance for The New Vision, Uganda
- Farouk Kayondo, UBC, Uganda
- Mark Klusener, eNews Africa, South Africa
- Selma Marivate, Record, Mozambique
- Melini Moses, SABC, South Africa
- Lindile Mpanza, e.tv, South Africa
- Kamau Mutunga, DN2 Magazine, Daily Nation, Kenya
- Nigel M. Nassar, The New Vision, Uganda
- Fatuma Noor, The Star, Kenya
- Oluwatoyos Ogunseye, Sunday Punch, Nigeria
- Nnamdi Okosieme, Next Newspaper, Nigeria
- Benon Herbert Oluka, Sunday Life Magazine, Sunday Monitor, Uganda
- Beryl Ooro, K24 TV, Kenya
- Sonny Serite, Freelance for The Sunday Standard, Botswana
- Portia Solomon, TV3 News, Ghana
- Kipchumba Some,Â The Standard, Kenya
- Nkula Zau, TelevisÃ£o PÃºblica de Angola
This year the recipient of the Free Press Africa Award is MahamudÂ Abdi Jama, Editor of Waaheen, an independent private newspaper published in Somaliland.Â Waaheen, part of the Waaheen Media Group, is known for its critical coverage of the Government. Mahamud was sentenced to three years in prison and fined in connection with a story alleging public corruption.Â After pressure on the Government Mahamud was granted a Presidential pardon and released after spending over a month in prison.
He is awarded this prize for working under stressful conditions, and in the face of opposition and providing the public with important information, regardless of the consequences to himself.
The winners of the competition will be announced at an Award Ceremony and Gala Evening in Johannesburg, South Africa on Saturday 25 June 2011. The hosts for the evening will be Isha Sesay, presenter of CNN Internationalâ€™s weekly programme â€˜Inside Africaâ€™ and Robert Marawa, the face of one of DStvâ€™s SuperSports channel and regular host of Metro FMâ€™s Discovery Sports Centre.
- CNN.com hangs Ghanaian youth on bad reporting by motherboard.tv (hollatainment.wordpress.com)
- CNN’s distortions about Ghana continues the neocolonial agenda (grahamghana.wordpress.com)
- Ghana: Bloggers React to Demeaning and Misleading Article (globalvoicesonline.org)