The competition is open to African nationals who are professional journalists including freelancers across print, television, internet, photographic and radio. Full details on how to enter can be found by logging on at www.cnn.com/africanawards. The closing date for entries is 16th February, 2009 and the judging will take place in April. All entries should be broadcast or published during January – December 2008.
This year, the competition will recognize excellence in the following categories:
- Tourism Award
- Arts and Culture Award
- Economics & Business Award
- Environment Award sponsored by Ecobank
- Free Press Africa Award
- MSD Health & Medical Award
- HIV/AIDS Reporting in Africa
- Mohamed Amin Photographic Award sponsored by A24 Media
- Print General News Award sponsored by Safebond Africa Ltd.
- Radio General News Award
- Sport Award sponsored by Global Media Alliance
- Television – Features Award sponsored by IPP Media Tanzania
- Television – News Bulletin Award
- Francophone General News Awards (Print and TV/Radio)
- Portuguese Language General News Award
The overall winner - The CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2009, will be selected from among the category winners, while finalists will participate in a four day finalists' programme that will include a media forum and networking opportunities with senior journalists, editors, business leaders and media owners from across the continent, culminating in a gala awards ceremony in July, 2009. Each category winner receives a cash prize, plus a laptop and printer.
The CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2009 will receive an additional cash prize and a trip to CNN Center in Atlanta.
Hopewell Rugoho-Chin'ono, from Zimbabwe, was awarded the top prize at the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2008 Awards ceremony. Hopewell, founder and film director for Television International, Zimbabwe, won for his story 'Pain in My Heart', which was chosen from among 1912 entries from a record 44 nations across the African continent.
Over the past fourteen years, the competition has grown in size and status to become Africa's most prestigious media event. In 2008, it attracted a record-number of entries from 44 African countries and a 'Highlights Programme' of the ceremony, held in Accra, Ghana, where Joy FM's Israel Laryea, picked the Radio General News Award.