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Finweek editor scoops Citadel award

Published: 20 May 2011

Finweek editor, Marc Hasenfuss, was selected as the overall winner of the Citadel Words on Money Journalism Award 2011. This is the second win for Hasenfuss, who previously won the main prize in 2003.

“The judging was particularly tough this year as the entries for the 2011 award were of an exceptional standard. The country’s top investment and personal finance journalists delivered reports of high quality, providing consumers and investors with valuable information,” Citadel CEO, Neil Brown, said at the award presentation hosted in Johannesburg on Thursday, 19 May.

“Some 55 journalists from a wide range of media submitted more than 100 entries for the different categories which created a challenging task for the judging panel,” Brown said.

Hasenfuss’ entries covered different topics, ranging from investments in penny stocks to investment in Rupert controlled companies and what this delivered for investors – which secured him a win in the category ‘best feature’. His entries also included thought provoking columns about a range of investment topics.

The 2009 overall winner, Bruce Whitfield, bagged another award in the category, ‘Breaking news: electronic’, for his coverage on 702 Talk Radio and Cape Talk of the Kumba Iron Ore / ArcelorMittal saga.

Respected property journalist, Elma Kloppers of Sake24, was selected as the winner of the category, 'Breaking news: print’, for reports about unscrupulous property investors costing home owners dearly. Kloppers was a finalist on more than one occasion in previous years but this is her first award.

The category, ‘Consumer education’, again attracted a significant number of entries and proved to be a particularly difficult category to judge as the entries covered a variety of topics by vastly different media. For this reason the judges awarded two prizes – one to Huisgenoot’s Pieter van Zyl for well-written features about the new consumer act and property syndication swindles. The second award was won by Carte Blanche producers Sophia Phirippides and Jonathan Pienaar for programmes about Eskom price hikes and home owners’ insurance.

‘Newcomer of the year’ was awarded to Finweek’s Andile Makholwa for articles about Wallmart’s proposed purchase of Massmart and what this would mean for investors and a series about Woolworths’ decision to buy back franchises.

For many years the ‘Consumer education’ category attracted the most entries. This
year the ‘analysis and opinion’ category was most popular with many of the country’s most experienced journalists entering columns, blogs, features and newsletters covering an array of topics. As with many other categories the scoring was very close but after some deliberation Brendan Ryan of Finweek won the category for his insights into mining investment and alternative asset classes, ahead of former overall winner Bruce Cameron of Personal Finance, 2010 category winner Erika van der Merwe and Financial Mail’s Charlotte Mathews.

The coveted ‘Chairman’s Award for investigative Journalism’, for some years dominated by 2010 overall winner, Rob Rose of Sunday Times Business Times, was awarded to Moneyweb’s Lindo Xulu. His investigation into businessman Mandla Lamba and issues related to Kumba, ArcelorMittal and Sishen showed that Moneyweb’s established tradition of investigative work is as strong as ever.

The Finweek team also won the ‘Peregrine Award for reporting on alternative Investment’ with entries by seasoned journalist Shaun Harris. His reports and educational pieces about asset classes not well understood by many investors, including hedge funds and derivatives, secured him the award ahead of regular previous winner of the category, Financial Mail’s Stephen Cranston and previous finalist Larry Claasen, also of Financial Mail.

The judges for the 2011 award were Godfrey Nti, CEO of the Financial Planning Institute (FPI) and a long serving member of the judging panel; FPI board member Advocate Sankie Morata; respected journalist Michael Coulson; and Professor Pippa Green, head of the journalism department at the University of Pretoria.
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