The versatile broadcast and print media journalist Bruce Whitfield was
named the Sanlam Financial Journalist of the Year for 2007 in
Johannesburg this evening, according to a media release.


At the same occasion the founder editor of noseweek, Martin Welz, was recognised with an honorary award for his endeavours to promote corporate governance by unrelenting investigative financial journalism.

Whitfield has become a household name on Talk Radio 702 and 567 CapeTalk, Summit TV and as contributor to Finweek and some non-financial publications. Apart from being crowned the overall winner, Whitfield also won the Broadcast Media section for the second year running and was on the shortlists of three sections for the print media. In 2005 he won a special award for general all-round performance.

Prof. Anton Harber, convener of the adjudicators, said that radio had become an important and hotly contested medium for financial journalism. "In this, Bruce has shown consistent quality of reporting, with well-informed and probing questioning of a range of business figures. He always keeps up-to-date, knows his subject and is a pleasure to listen to. We particularly note examples where he has not just reacted to news but with research and preparation has defined an important story."

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

The competition attracted 101 entries from 52 journalists representing 26 different publications, Internet news services and radio and television stations.

The other section winners are:

    * Hilary Joffe of Business Day(Economy and Industry: Daily newspapers and Internet);
    * Claire Bisseker of Financial Mail in Cape Town and Simpiwe Piliso of the Sunday Times/Business Times (joint winners Economy and Industry: Magazines and weekly newspapers);
    * Ann Crotty of Business Report (Markets and Companies: Daily newspapers and Internet);
    * Marc Hasenfuss of Finweek (Markets and Companies: Magazines and weekly newspapers);
    * Bruce Cameron of Personal Finance (Personal Finance: Newspapers, financial magazines and Internet);
    * Helen Ueckermann (Sake-Rapport) freelancing for Manwees (Personal Finance: Non-financial publications);
    * Stephan Hofstätter, contributing editor toFinancial Mail and Farmer's Weekly (the special section Development Economics); and
    * Caroline Lambert of The Economist in the new section for members of the Foreign Correspondents' Association in South Africa.

The merit award for the best entry by a journalist with less than three years' experience and entering for the first time went to Tshepo Mongoai of SAfm.

The adjudicators were

    * Prof Anton Harber (former journalist/editor and currently Director: Wits School of Journalism and Media Studies),
    * Robert Brand (former journalist and currently teaching at the Pearson Chair of Economics Journalism, Rhodes School of Journalism and Media Studies),
    * Ulrich Joubert (economist at Kruger International),
    * Reg Rumney (former financial journalist/editor and currently Director: Centre for Economics Journalism in Africa, Rhodes School of Journalism and Media Studies),
    * Caroline Southey (former journalist/financial editor and currently director of Community Banking Strategy and Reporting at Standard Bank),
    * Hein Swart (former business editor and parliamentary representative of Die Burger in Cape Town),
    * Peter Vundla (deputy executive chairperson: AMB Holdings), and
    * Réjane Woodroffe (chief economist and head of international investments at Metropolitan Asset Managers).

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. A section for columns are being considered.

Most of the winning entries will feature on Wits's shortly.

Enquiries: Frans van Rensburg (021 947 4893/082 805 9245)

Released by Sanlam Group Communication (021 947 2567)