Newsmaker's photo finish...

2009-12-21 09:44

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Aggregating the meatiest news headlines of the year, South Africa’s leading digital breaking news destination, News24, today announced who its 2 million readers thought made the biggest front page splash in 2009.

Chosen from a line-up of some controversial individuals – Joost van der Westhuizen, Jacob Zuma, and Caster Semenya among others – it was the King of Pop who outran the competition, beating Caster in a voter’s photo finish.

Jannie Momberg, News24 editor says: “After what has undoubtedly been one of the most challenging years financially, 2009 has also had its fair share of interesting newsmakers. From a new President, the death of a pop icon to an athletics gender debate that captured international media attention, the News24 Newsmaker of the Year showcases who South Africans think best deserves the title.

"Semenya only lost out with a handful of votes to Jackson indicating the depth of emotion stirred during the aftermath of her triumph as 800m World Champion."

A shortlist of 11 newsmaker finalists, chosen each month from a panel of three, were put forward for the public’s vote during the first half of December 2009.

“The winning Newsmaker of the Year not only made the homepage time and time again, he also generated the most commentary in our user-generated section MyNews24 and on the comment forums,” explains Momberg.

“So, whether you were a Michael Jackson fan or not, his sudden death – which was clouded in controversy and suspicion – sparked a flurry of heated discussions on our open and interactive platforms.”

In third place was President Jacob Zuma followed closely by Joost van der Westhuizen.

The final results were:
1st Michael Jackson
2nd Caster Semenya
3rd Jacob Zuma
4th Joost van der Westhuizen
5th Jonathan Jansen
6th Leonard Chuene
7th Graeme Smith
8th Dalai Lama
9th Sasha-Lee Davids and Jason Hartman
10th Carl Niehaus

How News24's Newsmaker worked:


During each month, News24’s Editorial team selects a shortlist of people we think have made the biggest splash in the news. Three candidates are selected from this shortlist and are added to the Newsmaker system. You as our valued News24 users then get to vote for your preferred choice. At the end of the month-long voting cycle, we crown our monthly vote winner. These winners are saved in the Newsmaker system for the final Newsmaker 2009 vote at the end of the year.
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