CNN African Journalist finalists

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Twenty-five finalists from 12 countries will compete for the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2009 Awards, which takes place at the International Convention Centre, Durban, on Saturday, 18 July.

Now in its 14th year, the competition attracted entries from 836 journalists from 38 countries throughout the continent, including French and Portuguese speaking Africa.
The finalists are:

    · Ayodeji Adeyemi, TELLMagazine, Nigeria
    · Biaou Daniel Valérien Adje, ORTB – Parakou, Benin
    · Anas Aremeyaw Anas, The Crusading Guide, Ghana
    · Rajen Bablee, Samedi Plus, Mauritius
    · Ernesto Bartolomeu, TPA, Angola
    · Nicola De Chaud, Backyard Productions for Carte Blanche, South Africa
    · Ethar El-Katatney, Business TodayEgypt
    · Hazel Friedman, Special Assignment, SABC, South Africa
    · Halden Krog, The Times, South Africa
    · Anna-Maria Lombard, Health-e News Service for 3rd Degree e.tv, South Africa
    · Paul McNally, Men’s Health Magazine, South Africa
    · James Moturi Mogaka, KTN, Kenya
    · Fredrick Mugira, Freelance for Mail & Guardian online www.mg.co.za, Uganda
    · Sammy Muraya, Metro FM, Kenya
    · Boniface Mwangi, Expression Today, Kenya
    · John Benson Mwangi, KTN, Kenya
    · John-Allan Namu, KTN, Kenya
    · Elshadai Negash, Freelancefor Fortune Newspaper, Ethiopia
    · Luís Nhachote, Zambeze, Mozambique
    · Tolu Ogunlesi, Contributing Editor for Glide Magazine, Nigeria
    · Violet Otindo, K24 Television, Kenya
    · Odette Schwegler, Backyard Productions for Carte Blanche, South Africa
    · Viviane Tiendrébéogo, Radiodiffusion Télévision du Burkina Faso
    · Beauregard Tromp, The Star, South Africa
    · Alain Zongo, L’Observateur Paalga, Burkina Faso

This year the recipient of the Free Press Africa Award is Nicaise Kibel’bel Oka, of Les Coulisses in the Democratic Republic of Congo.He is awarded this prize, for his work in the DRC, and also in recognition of all the journalists in the DRC who have put their lives at risk in telling the story.There are three journalists in particular that CNN would like to mention who were murdered fulfilling their professional duties:

Pascal Kabungulu (killed 31 July 2005)

Serge Maheshe (killed 13 June, 2007)

Didace Namujimbo (killed 23 November 2008)

Announcing the finalists, chair of the independent judging panel Azubuike Ishiekwene said: “2009 saw a steady, remarkable improvement in the overall quality of the entries.A number of journalists who entered the competition over the last few years took the opportunity to improve their skills,enter again and raise the bar on their previous entries.Many first time entrants also delivered inspiring work that raised the overall quality. The competition was particularlystrongin the Health,Sport,Tourism, Environment, TV 60,Radio and Print General News categories.Across the continent -including countrieslike Rwanda, Ethiopia, Angola and Egypt – we saw entries from young journalists who are determined to make a difference. That is really gratifying."

“Once again the calibre of entries is outstanding. Their thirst for top class storytelling continues to raise the bar year-on-year;” said Tony Maddox, Executive Vice-President and Managing Director of CNN International. “Now in its 14th year the African Journalist Awards 2009 maintains its position as the most prestigious pan-African accolade for journalism and CNN is proud to continue its commitment to fostering inspired journalistic excellence in African reporting”

Nolo Letele, Group CEO, MultiChoice South Africa added, “We are very proud to partner with CNN to host the African Journalist of the Year Awards in South Africa, in the beautiful city of Durban. It is an annual event we look forward to, to celebrate and recognise true excellence in African journalism. Congratulations to all the finalists. Your journey commenced with an individual thought, which has the potential to stitch together communities, nations and the African continent”.

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