THE Wits Journalism & Media Studies Department has partnered with personal computing company, Toshiba, in honouring their 2009 Journalism Student of the Year, according to a media release.

Zaheer Cassim, from Johannesburg, was chosen for his flair, professionalism and leadership in print and multi-media journalism. Toshiba donated a L300D series laptop to reward professionalism among budding journalists.

The winner was announced last week at their end-of-year event at Sophiatown in Newtown.  Awards were presented to Honours students who produced outstanding work throughout the year.

"I am so happy to be the journalist student of the year. I feel so proud to be part of this elite group of students and lecturers. Wits Journalism has taught me how to be a professional and I hope that I live up to those expectations," Cassim said.

"I can't wait to use my new laptop. It's so slick, I feel like a pro reporter already."

Head of the programme, Professor Anton Harber, said it was important recognise young people who were bringing new ideas and energy to journalism at a challenging time.

For the first time this year, Student Journalist of the Year has become a Dean’s Award, and Cassim will be honoured by the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at a Wits event next year.

Veteran journalist, Brian Streak, first thought of creating an award of this kind. A former co-ordinator on the Wits Journalism Programme, he hoped to encourage a professional approach to the production of campus student newspaper Vuvuzela, both print and online. In so doing, he hoped to instil a life-long respect for deadlines and a professional attitude.

The weekly newspaper is used as a tool for students to get hands-on training in journalism skills. It is produced entirely by journalism students and supported by publishing group Media 24. Independent of Wits management and the Students' Representative Council, it covers news of interest to youth and the Wits community and is distributed over the entire Wits campus.

Other student winners were Zaida Gangat, Student Radio Journalist, Petro-Anne Morkel, Student TV Journalist, Jerusha Amelia Sukhdeo, Student Photojournalist and Katharine Child, Student Print and Online Journalist.
Contact:  Anton Harber   083-3039497
  Jo-Anne Richards  082-4532591