M&G receives top journalism award

The Mail&Guardian’s own Khadija Magardie scooped an award at the CNN Journalist of the Year awards at a ceremony in Sandton on Wednesday night.

Magardie was awarded for an article she wrote in November 2001, entitled “Things Fall Apart”, a tragic story about a seven-month-old rape victim.

For the article, Magardie interviewed residents of a small, impoverished town in the Northern Cape called Louisvale, where the rape allegedly took place. The article exposed the deep poverty, unemployment and drug dependency affecting the town’s residents.

Five hundred journalists from 26 African nations took part in the competition.
Eleven journalists apart from the overall winner were honoured for their work in various categories.

Susan Puren, from M-Net’s actuality television programme Carte Blanche, was the overall winner for her documentary on a Ugandan child girl-soldier known as “China”.

CNN chief executive and news gathering president Eason Jordan said this, the seventh award, was “the biggest and best ever”, and the first to include the Francophone countries of Africa.

“Today’s Africa is more exciting, more vibrant than ever before,” Jordan said. “...being a superb journalist anyway, especially in Africa, is very challenging.”

Zimbabwean photographer Tsvangirai Mukwazhi of the independent Daily News captured the hearts of the audience at the Sandton Convention Centre and received loud applause when he accepted the prize for his photographs of arrested Zimbabwean farmers.

The other South Africans that won prizes were Sara Blecher of the SABC for her Special Assignment documentary on racial tensions at Vryburg High School and Angie Kapelianis, also of the SABC, for her radio documentary on the Apartheid Museum.

The finalists came from eight different countries: South Africa, the Cote d’Ivoire, Malawi, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Nigeria and Ghana.

Jordan said: “African journalists should strive to be accurate, fair and responsible, but also not to be aloof when confronted by wrongdoing. Be bold, be courageous and make yourself and all of us proud.” - Sapa

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