The AVBOB FCJ Excellence Awards, hosted by the Forum of Community Journalists NPC (FCJ), has become a well-known event in the media industry with the number of individual entries almost doubling from last year.
The 2022 competition attracted 527 individual entries. Winners were announced at a prizegiving dinner at the Cape Sun in Cape Town on 4 August 2023, with top honours going to Estella Naicker from Northern Natal News and Newcastle Advertiser (Journalist of the Year), Emily Bain from Northcliff Melville Times (Alet Roux Award for Upcoming Journalist of the Year) and Wayne van der Walt from Highvelder (Photographer of the Year).
Hermanus Times received the AVBOB Best Community Involvement Award for its Nomzamo Educare Centre project.
AVBOB, through its financial investment in the Forum and industry and the ongoing support from Caxton and Media24 allowed the FCJ to further enrich its offering and support to members – community journalists. Without this support, especially from AVBOB, the Forum will not be able to do this.
“This support enabled the Forum to re-introduce the industry to the No Guts, No Glory regional seminars kicking off with the Limpopo, Gauteng, and Mpumalanga seminar to be held on August 17 and 18. The Western Cape will also host its seminar soon. We thank AVBOB, Media24, and Caxton for their support.
The Forum has been able to contribute significantly to the upliftment of community journalism simply because of the trust in the work done by the Forum and community journalists,” said FCJ executive director Marietta Lombard.
In his address, AVBOB CEO, Carl van der Riet, said “As a business, AVBOB is deeply rooted in, and connected to the communities in which we operate. This is reflected in our support for community journalism. We applaud the work you to keep our communities informed and empowered with information.
According to the United Nations, without freedom of the press, there can be no “real democratic societies”. Your work is an essential contribution to the building of a transparent and free society.”
“Similarly, the relationship between the media and broader society is critical on many levels in giving marginalised communities a voice on issues that affect them and in empowering them with information and an understanding of the evolving social and political dynamic around them.
The absence of media in marginalised communities, leads to a divergence between expectations and experience,” added van der Riet.
The Forum also hosted its national seminar prior to the gala dinner with guest speakers Max du Preez and Press Council executive director Latiefa Mobara.
The FCJ commends and thanks the judges’ panel and convener Andre Gouws for the phenomenal work in judging this year’s entries. “We commend and congratulate all the finalists and winners of the AVBOB FCJ Excellence Awards 2022,” says Lombard.
Announcing the winners: