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Entries open for the 2024 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards

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Anticipation levels in newsrooms across the country will start to rise as the opening date for entries into this year’s Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards (VJOY) has been announced as July 10. Entrants can choose from 12 categories in which to enter their work, from Live Reporting and Breaking News; Investigative; Opinion; Lifestyle; Features; Photography; Sport; Financial & Economics; Politics; Sustainability, Innovation in Journalism and the Young Journalist of the Year Award.

“As we commemorate 30 years of democracy in South Africa, we are reminded of the importance of media as the fourth estate that is crucial to our democracy. Ethical, independent and critical journalism holds those in power accountable and brings transparency to affairs that matter. Coinciding with 30 years of democracy, Vodacom South Africa celebrates 30 years of connecting South Africans and we are proud to be continuing our legacy of honouring excellence in journalism across a range of categories, recognising some of South Africa’s finest reporters and most newsworthy stories. Support for journalism remains paramount as the sustainability of journalism creates well-informed and connected societies,” said Takalani Netshitenzhe, Director for External Affairs at Vodacom South Africa.

The judging panel for this year’s awards will once again be led by convener Mapi Mhlangu, who will guide her fellow judges as they debate the nuances of entries to decide which is the very best of the best. From 3 – 5 July, Mhlangu will host two daily virtual media roadshows to inform interested entrants about the rules of the competition, and entry mechanisms.

“Despite the significant strides made, the journalism sector faces numerous challenges today. These challenges demand a steadfast commitment to upholding ethical standards, reporting with integrity, and navigating the complexities of our time. As we imagine the next decade, there is no room for failure in sound journalistic storytelling. The future of our country relies on the dedication of journalists to uncover the truth, spark conversations, and drive positive change. I encourage all journalists to submit their best works to the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards and be part of celebrating what has been achieved in the past 30 years”, said Mapi Mahlangu.

Journalists must enter their best work produced between 01 August 2023 and 31 July 2024, at www.journalist.vodacom.co.za. Entries open on 10 July and close midnight on 24 July, no late entries will be accepted.

Finalists chosen from the five regions will compete at the national finals that will be held on 31 October: 

•       Region A: Gauteng
•       Region B: Free State, Northern Cape, Northwest and Limpopo
•       Region C: KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga
•       Region D: Western Cape
•       Region E: Eastern Cape

The Vodacom Young Journalist Award offers an educational boost to nurture upcoming newsroom talent.

Regional category winners receive R5 000, national category winners, R10 000, and the overall Vodacom Journalist of the Year winner, R100 000. In the case of joint winners, prize money is shared. 

TERMS & CONDITIONS

Eligibility to enter

The competition is open to entrants over 18 years of age, in entering the competition, you confirm that you are eligible to do so and eligible to claim the winnings.

By entering you are agreeing to the following terms and conditions.

  • There is no fee to enter the awards.
  • All material must have been published or broadcast between 1 August 2023 to 31 July 2024. Any entry not fulfilling the criteria stated herein may be disqualified. Pleas ensure that you provide and stipulate the publication or broadcast date for the body of work you’re entering.
  • All journalists and editors wishing to submit entries must register on the Vodacom Journalist of the Year website before submitting their entry. Editors may enter work on behalf of their journalists but must clearly record the name and contact details of the journalist and/or contributing journalists or producer.
  • Entries close at midnight on Wednesday, 24 July 2024 and no late entries will be accepted.
  • The content of entries must predominantly cover South African issues. Entries must be produced as well as published/broadcast in South Africa.
  • It is the entrant’s responsibility to ensure entries are complete, legible, audible and/or viewable.
  • A maximum of TWO entries per category with THREE for Young Journalist of the Year Award, will be accepted from one individual. Applications containing more than three submissions will be disqualified if it is not for the Young Journalist of the Year Award category. A body of work may be submitted as one entry but must cover only one subject.
  • An entry must be submitted for only one category even if it fulfils the criteria for two or more categories. This means that entrants must choose whether to enter a specific piece or body of work in the Politics or Investigative categories or the Sports, Feature/Lifestyle or Innovation categories, for example.
  • Those entering the Young Journalist of the Year Award category must enter as individuals and must have worked in any newsroom for three years or less. They must submit a portfolio of work (maximum three pieces from within the competition period) together with a strong motivation and a CV.
  • In all the categories, the regional winner will receive a certificate and become a finalist for the National Awards.
  • The judges reserve the right to move any submission to another category should it be deemed appropriate.
  • Only contributors who participated directly in producing the content of the entry, as shown in the piece’s by-line/credits, will be considered eligible entrants of a team entry. The name and contact details of each contributor must then accompany the submission in the credits section of the registration process. Multiple contributors to a winning entry will share any prize equally, whether at regional or national level. This does not apply to the Young Journalist category where entrants must enter in their individual capacities.
  • Any submissions must be entered in the Vodacom region where it was published or broadcast. For example, a piece which was published or broadcast nationally must be entered in the region closest to the journalist’s offices, which may not be the region where the reporting was carried out.
  • An entry may not be submitted in more than one region (view regional map) so if a piece has multiple contributors, it cannot be submitted for Gauteng and the Western Cape, for example. Multiple contributors must nominate a region of entry based on where it was broadcast/published or the office location of the majority.
  • Entrants must accompany each entry with background information and a motivation to the judges as to why they believe the submitted material deserves to win the category entered. Include, for example, a description of circumstances and challenges affecting the story’s development such as volume of research and/or investigation, time, safety and/or financial constraints, as well as an account of any impact the story might have had.

Intellectual Property Rights Notice

  • We respect the Intellectual Property Rights of everyone who visits this website. As a result, we would like to inform you regarding the way we would use your competition entry. By submitting your content to us, you hereby grant Vodacom (Pty) Ltd, FLOOID PTY(LTD) their Suppliers and partners the non-exclusive right and license to:
  • Make, use, reproduce, perform, display, import, broadcast, transmit, install, host, execute, and use your submitted content in any form in Vodacom Journalist of the year Competition Judging, Awards Functions, Website and related marketing activities.
  • Copy and store the content for the purposes of maintaining back-up copies.

The prize

  • The Prize will be awarded to the chosen winner. Vodacom will not be held liable if the named prize becomes unavailable or cannot be fulfilled.
  • Vodacom will not be held liable for any failure of receipt of entries.
  • Vodacom takes no responsibility for any entries which are lost, delayed, illegible, corrupted, damaged, incomplete, or otherwise invalid.
  • Prizes are non-negotiable, non-transferable, and non-refundable. No cash alternative is available. Where a Prize becomes unavailable for any reason, the promoter reserves the right to substitute that prize for a prize of equal or higher value.
  • Winner to make use of own transport to and from the Vodacom Journalist of the Year awards ceremonies.

Data protection and publicity

  • The name, email address and phone number of the winner must be provided to Vodacom.
  • You consent to any personal information you provide in entering the competition being used by Vodacom for the purpose of administering the competition, and for those purposes as defined within our privacy notice.
  • The winner’s name and social media username may be posted on the social media profiles of Vodacom after the winner has been selected.

Winner announcement

  • The  winner will be notified via email
  • Vodacom will attempt to contact the winner by email up to two times to retrieve banking information.
  • If the winner does not respond to the emails notifying them, they will lose their prize money.  Vodacom reserves the right to retract the prize money.
  • In the event of unforeseen circumstances beyond Vodacom’s reasonable control, Vodacom reserves the right to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the competition or these terms and conditions, either in whole or in part, with or without notice.

Limitation of liability

  • Vodacom’s decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into.
  • Vodacom does not accept any liability for any damage, loss, injury or disappointment suffered by any entrants as a result of either participating in the competition or being onsite at the awards functions. Furthermore, Vodacom does not exclude its liability for death or personal injury as a result of its own negligence.

General

  • Vodacom reserves the right to cancel the competition or amend these terms and conditions at any time, without prior notice.

The competition and these terms and conditions will be governed by South Africa law and any dispute will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of South Africa

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