The Mail & Guardian’s environment reporter, Sipho Kings, was named the Discovery Health journalist of the year on Wednesday night. Kings also won the “best health news reporting” category for a story on the impact of Eskom’s use and handling of coal on the health of nearby communities and the “best investigative reporting” category for an article that investigated the link between the drastic increase of respiratory illnesses in the south of Durban and the activities of petrochemical firms.
The judges described King’s work as demonstrating “mastery of facts and evidence, and use of multiple credible sources to produce in-depth analysis in ways that allow readers to gain full understanding of some of the negative effects of economic activities”.
In total, the M&G won five categories at the Discovery Health Journalism Awards and had eleven nominations.
Lynley Donnelly won the “best health economic reporting” category, for a story on impact of the ebola virus on West Africa’s economy.
Amy Green won the “best features” category for an article on organ transplants.
Ina Skosana and Mia Malan were finalists in the “best commentary and analysis”, “best features” and “nation builder” categories. Amy Green was a finalist in the “emerging health journalist of the year” category and Phillip de Wet in the “best investigative journalism” category.
M&G journalists also won the overall Discovery journalist of the year in 2013 and 2014. In 2013, the M&G launched a health journalism centre, Bhekisisa, that significantly expanded the newspaper’s focus on health reporting. In addition to publishing in-depth health articles, Bhekisisa supports health journalists at other publications through three month-long fellowships at the M&G, public discussion forums and media trainings.