Young reporters score awards

Health-e is proud to announce that our television reporter, Fathima Simjee was announced as the “loveLife Young Health Journalist of the Year” at the Discovery Health Journalism awards in Johannesburg last night (7 May).

Sipho Stuurman, a former radio intern with Health-e, won the overall radio journalism award for his story ‘€˜Stretching arthritis away’€™.

Judges’€™ Citation

In a feat of radio production excellence, Siphosethu Stuurman takes listeners into the exercise arena of the Mofolo Village gogos who suffer from various types of arthritis. Siphosethu’€™s treatment of the story is a true reflection of the best of use of a medium, and in particular, using sounds and voice to paint a picture for the audience. The story is also an example of using the medium of radio to give a voice to the elderly, who are often ignored by the media, or at worst, are spoken about and not given a chance to speak for themselves. Siphosethu is able to give a unique view on arthritis and how older people can manage its effects with dignity. This is the true art of using the medium of radio ‘€“ taking advantage of its ability to tug at the heart-strings, while at the same time, conveying important information to the audience.

Fathima’s winning entry was a documentary, “Behind her smile“, which followed a woman’s struggle with breast cancer until her death.

Judges’€™ Citation

Fathima Simjee’€™s television piece ‘€œBehind her smile’€ is a sensitively, well told story of a woman’€™s battle with cancer, which she loses. Fathima skilfully uses the personal narrative to explore and inform viewers of the nature of the disease and its devastating effects. She demonstrates how the medical system robbed the woman of her life through poor early diagnosis and poor management of her treatment. Fathima takes advantage of the power of television as a visual medium to produce powerful visuals that include close-up shots which capture the excruciating pain the woman feels in ways that are moving and touching. At the same time Fathima does not lose the broader social effects on the woman’€™s family and her young daughter, who she increasingly cannot look after. Despite the death of the subject of her programme, Fathima manages to ensure that viewers get to know that it can be different with proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment. The ultimate product, while saddening, is also informative, educative and empowering. Fathima demonstrates that she is indeed a young upcoming journalist who, even at this stage without years of experience, has mastered excellent storytelling capabilities and an ability to tell a health story like many of the more experienced and veteran journalists who win awards in the Discovery Health Journalism Awards. Fathima will go far in her career.

Professor Tawana Kupe, chair of the judges’ panel, said almost 200 entries had been received for the awards and the judges had been impressed with the standard of the entries.

Grace Matlhape, CEO of loveLife said:

‘€œHealth reporting targeting youth requires young people themselves to drive that reporting process to capture and retain the attention of youth. Journalism remains a critical tool to promote active citizenship and the health of our nation.

‘€œloveLife’€™s involvement in the Discovery Health Journalism Awards encourages the participation of young journalists in providing excellent and creative health reporting.’€

Health-e’s Ayanda Mkhwanazi,  Anso Thom and Sasha Wales-Smith were all finalists.


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    Health-e News is South Africa's dedicated health news service and home to OurHealth citizen journalism. Follow us on Twitter @HealtheNews

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