South African journalists shortlisted in global awards

Investigative journalists risk their own safety when exposing corruption and crime. The Global Investigative Journalism Network honours those fearless reporters with the Global Shining Light Award. A South African team has been shortlisted for the award this year, following the win by another South African team in 2013.

Image description A team of South African journalists has been shortlisted for the Global Shining Light Award, to be handed out on 10 October in Norway. (Image: Pixabay)


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Priya Pitamber

A South African investigative journalism story, “Goldfinger”, which aired on television current affairs show Carte Blanche, has been shortlisted in the Global Shining Light Awards.

The story, which explores the manner in which tons of illegal gold is laundered into the legal market, made the cut alongside 12 other stories from around the world. The illegal gold, the story explains, is masked as second-hand jewellery. “So lucrative is this VAT scam that it has drawn sophisticated and dangerous organised crime gangs into the trade,” reads the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) website.

The finalists were chosen after the GIJN received 76 submissions from 34 countries. The awards will take place on 10 October in Lillehammer, Norway, during the Global Investigative Journalism Conference (GIJC).

The team behind the “Goldfinger” story is producer Graham Coetzer; journalist Susan Comrie; and Devi Sankaree Govender as presenter.

Watch more on the story here:

What is the Global Shining Light Award?

The award “honours investigative journalism in a developing or transitioning country, done under threat, duress, or in the direst of conditions”, states the GIJC website. It takes place every two years.

The winner walks away with an honorary plaque, $1 000 (about R13 700 today), and a trip to the conference to accept the award.

“More and more journalists are being killed, and media outlets attacked, because they are carrying out important efforts in investigative journalism – exposing uncomfortable truths, shining light on systematic corruption, and providing accountability in societies yearning for democracy and development,” informs the conference’s website.

The awards recognise and celebrate the brave work conducted by the investigative press around the world.

Image description The majority of the press in sub-Saharan Africa is partially free. Click on the image for a larger view. (Image: US News)

Previous South African winners

In 2013, a team of South African journalists from the Sunday Times shared the top award with reporters from Azerbaijan and the Czech Republic.

The South African team, Stephan Hofstatter, Mzilikazi wa Afrika, and Rob Rose; worked on what became known as “Cato Manor: Inside a South African Police Death Squad.” It exposed police corruption.

Find out more about that story from Afrika, and the threats he faced: