3rd Degree producer Lindile Mpanza was announced as one of the winners at the prestigious CNN African Journalist of the Year Awards on Saturday 25 June 2011 in Johannesburg.
The CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Competition is highly respected amongst journalists on the Continent. Mpanza won for best TV Feature for her piece entitled “Silence of the Innocents’ that tells the story of young girls who are abducted, raped and forced into marriage in the Lusikisiki area of the Eastern Cape.
Patrick Conroy, Group Head of eNews says: “We are extremely proud of Lindile’s achievement. She told a very important story that needed to be exposed. Thanks to her tenacity the rest of South Africa can never claim it did not know about the plight of these young girls. Lindile handled the piece with great sensitivity and poise, and it touched thousands of viewers. We congratulate her and the rest of the 3rd Degree team for an outstanding piece of investigative journalism.’
Mpanza has been working for 3rd Degree for two years as a junior producer, and studied journalism at Rhodes University where she specialised in TV.
“I’m very excited because it’s a great achievement for me to have won such a prestigious award at the age of 25. I feel honoured for the acknowledgement. I couldn’t have done it without help from the 3rd Degree team,’ says Mpanza.
“When I first started working on the story, I had no idea what I was going to find because I was dealing with a community entrenched in tradition, and mainly with men who do not want to talk about, or be criticised for, a cultural practice that has gone horribly wrong. It was a bit challenging, but I’m grateful to the young girls who were willing to talk about their experiences.’
eNews Channel also congratulates eNews Africa’s Mark Klusener who was a CNN finalist for his news reports from the conflict ravaged Sudan.