Mathatha Tsedu, a convening judge, says, "We have seen Sunday World close and retrenchments at The Sowetan. Ultimately, this will impact on the quality of journalism, but this year's Sikuvile entries show that journalists and sub-editors are still doing a great job."

Despite the disruptions and challenges in the industry, he says, the Sikuvile Awards are still going strong. "The awards recognise journalism and journalists, but they also give the industry the opportunity for introspection. In the normal day-to-day production of a newspaper — and any media form — where journalists move from one story to the next, the ability to reflect on the cumulative body of work does not happen," Tsedu adds. 

The Sikuvile Awards is an avenue that aims to provide the industry with the ability to come and listen to the view of a group of fellow professionals, who spent time looking at a chunk of work put in front of them. "The judges' comments are important to help editors to understand the trends that are happening, which, when you are living the story, you don't have the ability to see,” Tsedu says.

Tsedu has recognised the role of Standard Bank in this regard. He says, "The ability of Standard Bank to stay the course is important, and I pat them on the back for sponsoring this event."

Judging took place in May. The judging panel is made up of industry experts, who are all well-known and respected in the newspaper industry. The panel includes:
  • Dinesh Balliah
  • Henry Jefreys
  • Mike Siluma
  • Tyrone August
  • Phil Mthimkhulu
  • Pippa Green
  • Liesl Louw-Vaundrum
  • Mary Papayya
  • Ryland Fisher
  • Neo Ntsoma
  • Maud Motanyane
  • Lizeka Mda
  • Thabo Leshilo
  • Themba Hadebe
Category winners of the awards will take home R15 000, a trophy and a certificate. The winners will be announced at the awards event on Thursday, 12 September at The Venue, at Melrose Arch.

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