Bruce Cameron, editor of Personal Finance, was named the Sanlam
Financial Journalist of the Year for 2006 in Johannesburg last night, according to a media release.
This caps a decade of committed participation during which he was rewarded eight times for his entries in the Personal Finance section and also won the special Demutualisation Prize in 1998.

Apart from being crowned the overall winner, Cameron was also the winner in the section Economy and Industry for magazines and weekly newspapers.

Prof Anton Harber, convener of the adjudicating panel, said Cameron's tenacity in exposing undesired practices in the financial services industry and generally promoting consumer education, has set new standards for personal finance and investigative journalism in the country.

"In his entries, he exposed how Alexander Forbes skimmed off millions of "secret profits" at the expense of retirement funds and their members – arguably the most telling financial story break of 2006 with wide-ranging consequences for the financial services industry. The exposé resulted, amongst other things, in an industry-wide FSB investigation, proposed legislative amendments and a repayment of some R500 million to retirement funds."

The Sanlam Awards were introduced in 1974 to acknowledge the indispensable role of financial journalism in society and the high standards required of financial journalism.

The competition attracted 106 entries from 62 journalists representing 28 different publications, Internet news services and radio and television stations.

The other section winners are:

    * Renée Bonorchis of Business Day(Economy and Industries: Daily newspapers and Internet);
    * Rob Rose of Business Day(Markets and Companies: Daily newspapers and Internet);
    * Stephen Cranston of Financial Mail and Marc Hasenfuss of Finweek (Markets and Companies: Magazines and weekly newspapers);
    * Stafford Thomas of Financial Mail (Personal Finance: Newspapers, financial magazines and Internet);
    * Patricia McCracken of Bona (Personal Finance: Non-financial publications);
    * Bruce Whitfield of Talk Radio 702 / 567 Cape Talk (Broadcast media); and
    * Hilary Joffe of Business Day (the special section Development Economics).

The award for the best entry by a journalist with less than three years' experience and entering for the first time went to Lloyd Gedye of Mail&Guardian.

The adjudicators were Prof Anton Harber (former journalist/financial editor and currently director of Wits's School of Journalism and Media Studies), Ulrich Joubert (economist at Kruger International and Solidarity), Reg Rumney (former financial journalist/editor and currently an independent consultant), Hein Swart (former business editor of Die Burger in Cape Town and parliamentary representative) and Peter Vundla (deputy executive chairperson: AMB Holdings).

Sanlam announced that the special section Development Economics would be retained for the next competition, as an incentive for journalists and their publications to explore the divergent views and perspectives in this regard.