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Top health journalists for 2015 honoured at the annual Discovery Health Journalism Awards

Press Release   •   May 26, 2016 06:13 GMT

Top health journalists for 2015 honoured at the annual Discovery Health Journalism Awards

Investing in advancing the calibre of health reporting, the Discovery Health Journalism Awards recognised excellence in the field of health journalism for 2015, and awarded R75 000 to the Discovery Journalist of the Year.

During a gala event held on 25 May 2016, the Discovery Health Journalist of the Year and winners in each category were honoured for their valuable contribution to high-quality health journalism in South Africa.

“It’s an honour to once again recognise excellence in health journalism. Journalists have a critical role in shaping society’s views and knowledge on health, healthy lifestyle and the healthcare industry. By recognising journalists who work with often sensitive or complex information, Discovery Health strives to encourage constant growth and an interest in this field to ensure the public has independent voices that interrogate information to help them make well-informed decisions,” says CEO of Discovery Health, Dr Jonathan Broomberg.

The Discovery Health Journalist of the Year for 2016 was announced as Mia Malan. Judges said her entries demonstrated an exceptional ability to use her medium and to tell a story well. They judged her grasp of science and her skill to communicate complex health issues affecting different social groups in our society as exceptional. Malan also took top honours in two categories of the Awards this year, namely Consumer Reporting and Healthy Lifestyle.

In the category Consumer Reporting, Malan won for her piece on fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Through a well-written narrative and good use of graphics, she dealt with this complex disorder in a sensitive way and raised awareness about the problem.

With numerous strong contenders in the category Healthy Lifestyle, Malan’s thoughtful development of a case study and expert opinion made her entry stand out. Judges found her piece “Binge-beating Banting: Why Tim’s take is hard to stomach” well balanced, well referenced and informative.

Category winners in the Discovery Health Journalism Awards

Consumer Reporting, Healthy Lifestyle and Discovery Journalist of the Year: Mia Malan

Discovery Foundation Nation Builder Award: Estelle Elis

Television: Diana Lucas

Health News Reporting: Nosipho Mngoma

Commentary and Analysis: Chris Bateman

Health Economics: Laura Lopez Gonzalez

Emerging Health Journalist:Kyla Herrmannsen

The panel of judges, Professor Tawana Kupe, Professor Bavesh Kana, Siki Mgabadeli, Nicola Christofides and Anna-Maria Lombard, found this year’s submissions were well researched. “The scientific facts were correct and of a high standard. Accurate health science combined with good visuals meant entries in the television medium also made for good viewing,” says convener of the panel Professor Tawana Kupe, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Judges mentioned the way journalists followed and portrayed real people – not simply relying on case studies – made stories strong and memorable. The diversity of entries was also encouraging to see. Submissions in the radio and investigative reporting categories did not meet the requirements and no awards were made this year. Overall, judges thought entries showed a personal appreciation of the people journalists chose to illustrate stories, which made stories easy to understand and interesting.

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For media related enquiries please contact Khensani Mthombeni on Khensanimth@discovery.co.za or 011 529 0091

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