Environment: 3 KZN journos win awards

2009-11-11 00:00

JOURNALISTS from KwaZulu-Natal have featured prominently in a prestigious environmental journalism competition.

Three KZN journalists were recognised at the award ceremony of the SAB (South African Breweries) Environmental Journalist of the Year competition held in Johannesburg on Monday.

Well-known film-maker and former Pietermaritzburg resident Don Guy was named SAB Environmental Journalist of the Year in the broadcast category for Pondo People, a documentary aired on the SABC2 programme, 50/50.

The people-centred story focused on the impact that mining in the area of Xolobeni has had on the Amampondo people and on the environment.

The judges praised the piece for being accessible to a wide audience. Guy and his family emigrated to Auckland, New Zealand, last year.

Guy’s father, well-known birder Robin Guy, died in an attempted robbery in Johannesburg early last year.

The inaugural Magqubu Ntombela and Ian Player Cub Award for budding environmental journalists went to Tanya dos Santos of The Newcastle Advertiser for a series of stories on the need to protect water resources that also exposed local municipality incompetence. The award is named after conservationist Dr Ian Player of Karkloof, and his colleague and friend, the late game ranger Magqubu Ntombela.

Makhosi Maphumulo of Radio Khwezi won a merit award for her weekly environmental magazine programme that broadcasts to a rural community in the KZN midlands.

Mail & Guardian journalist Leoni Joubert won the print and Internet category. Anglican Bishop Geoff Davies was named Environmentalist of the Year and received the Nick Steele Memorial Award named in honour of the late legendary game ranger.

Merit awards in the broadcast category went to Liz Fish of M-Net’s Carte Blanche and Ian Hooper of the SABC’s religion desk.

Print and Internet merit winners were Tasmin Cupido of The People’s Post, Antoine de Ras of the Star — the first time a photographer has been honoured in these awards — and Yolandie Groenewald of the Mail & Guardian.

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