The night of September 2 at the Highway Africa 2013 conference in Grahamstown, South Africa belonged to Zimbabwe.
Three Zimbabwean platforms- NewsDay, Techzim and @263Chat were among the six nominees for the three various Telkom New Media awards at the conference.
It was a moment of anxiety as the he announcement of winners drew closer and Zimbabweans took to social networks to wish the three platforms all the best.
When the moment came, the anxiety turned into jubilation as NewsDay was announced the 2013 Telkom Most Innovative Newsroom shaking off competition from another nominee, Africa Check, an organisation that does fact-checking on claims made in the public arena and publishes the results.
263Chat, a twitter discussion platform won “The Innovative Use of Technology for Community Engagement award while a Zimbabwean technology website Techzim.com was a runner up in the best ICT Blog Category.
Immediately after the announcement of the awards, social media networks were awash with congratulatory messages to NewsDay, 263Chat and Techzim for raising the Zimbabwean flag in the tightly contested awards.
— Trevor Ncube (@TrevorNcube) September 2, 2013
— Ranga Mberi (@rangamberi) September 2, 2013
— Vusumuzi Sifile (@VusumuziS) September 2, 2013
— Bethel Goka (@DigitallyGenius) September 3, 2013
Speaking immediately after the awards, AMH Group Editor-in-Chief Vincent Kahiya said:
“This recognition is ample evidence of our commitment to embrace the fast-changing technology in gathering, processing and presentation of our content. The media industry is on an irreversible path towards change hence AMH’s adoption of the Digital First Strategy.”
Listen to AMH online Editor John Mokwetsi speaking about the award
VMCZ, ZUJ congratulate NewsDay
THE Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) and the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) also congratulated NewsDay for winning the prestigious Telkom Most Innovative Newsroom Award.
VMCZ board chairperson Alec Muchadehama said:
“The winning of the award by NewsDay sets a precedence that all newsrooms in the country and in Africa in general should emulate for the benefit of their readers. This award brings honour not only to NewsDay, but to the entire media industry of which NewsDay is an illustrious representative. VMCZ commends the NewsDay team for embracing new media technology in the gathering, processing and presentation of news content.”
Muchadehama said VMCZ recognized that information communication technologies were the future of journalism and NewsDay had done well to embrace it.
“VMCZ recognises that information communication technologies are the new frontier in journalism and that all media are well advised to embrace in the manner that NewsDay has done: both in order to extend their ability to reach as many news consumers as possible as well as to continue in promoting the highest possible standards of ethics and professionalism in local and international journalism,” he said.
ZUJ also commended Alpha Media Holdings (AMH), publishers of NewsDay, The Independent, Standard and Southern Eye for scooping the prestigious award.
“ZUJ, today congratulated its member, John Mokwetsi and AMH, for winning the Telkom Most Innovative Newsroom Award at the Highway Africa 2013 Conference in South Africa this week, through their flagship, NewsDay title. ZUJ is ecstatic and proud that after many years of training journalists on new media technology both in the country and outside, our efforts are beginning to produce positive results. AMH Online Editor, John Mokwetsi is a beneficiary of ZUJ support in receiving online journalism training in Germany and the United Kingdom.”