Investigative Writer Scoops Top Award
By Petronella Sibeene
Veteran journalist John Grobler walked away with the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)’s prestigious award as Namibia’s Journalist of the Year over the weekend.
The N$10 000 prize, sponsored by different corporate entities, was bestowed upon him for his investigative piece headlined, “Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) Fuel Deal Rakes in Millions – for Some”. The article appeared in a local English daily in April 2006.
The shy soft-spoken man was lost for words but expressed his gratitude for winning such an award for his hard work.
Hundreds of guests representing various media houses and the corporate world witnessed the glamorous event at the Safari Hotel on Saturday night.
Winners were those who demonstrated independence of mind, accuracy and excellence in their work.
Awards were presented in categories such as Journalist of the Year, Business/Finance, Economics, Political, Investigative, Tourism/Environmental, Education/Youth Development, Heath/Medical, Arts & Culture, Feature Writer, Best Community Reporter, Best Columnist, Journalism Photographer of the Year, Best News Photo, Best Feature Photo, and Best Sports Photo.
Over 200 entries were submitted for the awards this year, and during the four-hour long ceremony journalists were awarded prizes in the different categories.
The Best Columnist award, which had the requirements of a regular by-line, a unique style and an ability to investigate, was given to Graham Hopwood, a local researcher.
The Community Reporter award went to Jeremiah Ndjoze, with Buffy Rucker as second and Dirk Heinrich coming third.
Grobler may have collected the Best Reporter award for investigative journalism but the people who kept his work at par were fellow contestants Tangeni Amupadhi who came second and Max Hamata at third.
Best Feature Writer award went to Eberhard Hofmann, second to Daniel Booysen and in third Alexia Lewnes.
The Business Journalist award winner was Robin Sherbourne, followed by Frederico Links in second place and Tabby Moyo in third place.
In the Arts & Culture category, David Lush scooped the first prize while Danielle Baptist got second and Gerry Hill third.
In covering health related issues, Ronelle Rademeyer won first prize, David Lush second and Frederico Links was third.
Frederico Links was awarded the top winner in the Education category, Daniel Booysen second and Tangeni Amupadhi third.
Des Erasmus was awarded Best Reporter for general news.
The Tourism/Environmental Journalism Award went to Frederico Links in first place, Jo Rogge in second place and Des Erasmus in third place.
The Best Feature Photo went to Tanya Bause and the Best News Photo award was presented to Francois Poolman. The Best Sports Photo award was given to Helge Schutz.
Project Director of the MISA Namibia Media Awards 2007, Ferdinand Tjombe, described the quality of articles and photos received this year as overwhelming.
The golden rule remains that journalists select their best articles and photos early for the 2008 contest.
“The categories will largely stay the same but we do hope to add more categories, especially in the print categories, in fields such as Agriculture, Crime and Court reporting, Public Safety, etc,” he said.