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Barney Mthombothi, former editor of the Financial Mail, received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Among other comments in their citation, the judging panel commented that Mthombothi’s “interest in, and grasp, of politics on the African continent as well as Europe and the US meant that he had lifted his readers’ eyes beyond the narrow confines of preoccupation with domestic affairs”. They also pointed out that “the quality of his writing was matched by the depth of analysis and his unfailing ability to lay bare home truths that many journalists failed to see or chose to ignore”.

As well as being named Financial Journalist of the Year, Bisseker took top honours in the Economy (platform neutral) category, and was second runner-up in the Print Financial Journalist of the Year (platform specific) category. “Claire’s entries impressed the judging panel for her technical proficiency in the subject of economics – and for her lucid writing,” says Peter Vundla, convenor of the judging panel and chairperson of AMB Capital Ltd. Among her winning entries were lead stories for the Financial Mail such as the review of the 2013 budget which suggested that South Africa could descend into marginalisation if it did not accelerate growth.

The full list of the 2013 winners is as follows:

  • Sanlam Financial Journalist of the Year - Claire Bisseker, Financial Mail;
  • Best Newcomer - Mamello Masote, City Press;
  • Lifetime Achievement - Barney Mthombothi, Former editor of Financial Mail
  • Platform neutral section - Economy category: Claire Bisseker, Financial Mail;
  • Platform neutral section - Business/Companies category: Tie between Jan de Lange, SAKE24 and Joy Summers, Susan Comrie & Godfrey Makomene, MNet Carte Blanche;
  • Platform neutral section - Financial Markets category: Malcolm Rees, Moneyweb & Sunday Times Business Times.
  • Platform neutral section - Consumer Financial Education: Maya Fisher-French, City Press;
  • Platform neutral section - Africa Growth Story: Diana Lucas, M-Net Carte Blanche;
  • Platform specific section - Radio Financial Journalist of the Year, Hilton Tarrant, Moneyweb;
  • Platform specific section - Print Financial Journalist of the Year, Andile Makholwa, Financial Mail;
  • Platform specific section - Online Financial Journalist of the Year, Malcolm Rees, Moneyweb;
  • Platform specific section - Multi-media Financial Journalist of the Year, Darren Taylor, Voice of America News: SA Service.


Sanlam Group Chief Executive Dr Johan van Zyl says in an era of unprecedented and far-reaching change, the role of financial journalists has never been more important. “We are proud to honour their indispensable role in modern business life through these awards and were extremely impressed with the quality of the entries.”

He says that this year’s awards were given a substantial refresh to bring them in line with the changing media landscape and ensure their ongoing relevance. “The most significant change was the introduction of two new core categories: platform neutral and platform specific awards. Platform neutral awards celebrate content generated on a range of subjects independent of the platform the work was produced for. Platform specific awards recognise the deep skills needed for each platform.”

An independent panel of judges – which includes media experts, an academic and an economist – judged the 2013 entries according to the following criteria: news value, impact, rigour in reporting, analytical value, originality, integrity, specialist knowledge and storytelling.

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