Hopewell Rugoho-Chin'ono, from Zimbabwe, has been awarded the top prize
at this year's CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2008 Awards Ceremony, according to a media release.

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. Hopewell was one of 23 finalists at the Awards ceremony on Saturday evening and was also the category winner in The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Award for Excellence in HIV/AIDS Reporting in Africa.

His Excellency J. A. Kufuor, President of the Republic of Ghana, presented him with the Award at a Gala Ceremony hosted by CNN and MultiChoice at The State Banquet Hall, Osu, Accra, Ghana this evening, Saturday 19th July. Tony Maddox, Managing Director, CNN International and Eben Greyling, Chief Executive Officer, MultiChoice Africa, were also on stage. The 2008 Awards, which rotate location each year in tribute to their pan-African credentials, mark a welcome return to Ghana, West Africa, home to many of the competition's winners over the years, and birthplace of the Awards, first held in Accra in 1995.

Hopewell Rugoho-Chin'ono said: "The recognition this award gives me goes a long way to improving journalistic standards for many colleagues who are working under very difficult conditions. It is a huge honour and commitment and I will do my best to meet the expectations of my peers. I dedicate the award to all those struggling to be recognised, and I salute the ongoing challenge to achieve excellence across the African continent."

Chairperson of the judging panel, Azubuike Ishiekwene, Executive Director, Punch Nigeria Limited said: "Hopewell Rugoho-Chin'ono is the overall winner of the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Award 2008, because in a continent where resources are a great problem in telling the story, he overcame this major difficulty, with a nose and a passion to tell the story. He goes on to tell the story in a compelling and sympathetic manner. A good nose and a passionate heart, that's what makes him the overall winner."

Tony Maddox, Executive Vice-President and Managing Director of CNN International, said: "The awards have become the pre-eminent prize honouring the best of what Africa has to offer, and the benchmark by which many African journalists measure themselves. Once again, this year has unearthed a wealth of voices from around Africa, each demonstrating a quality of journalism, and in some cases a resourcefulness and bravery in pursuing the story which has my deepest admiration."

Eben Greyling, CEO MultiChoice Africa, said: "Congratulations to the winners this year; we hope that the recognition you received in this year's awards will encourage further excellence and success in your careers as we have seen with previous winners of these prestigious awards. To the many journalists who have not been recognised this year, we would like to salute and celebrate the vital role you play in the ongoing development of democracy and diversity on the African continent. Once again the judges were overwhelmed by the high quality of the entries which made the judging a very difficult process. One can see from the entries over the years the dramatic progress African media has made in reporting the African story."

The CNN MultiChoice competition, now in its thirteenth year, is held in collaboration with The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Accra-based accommodation is provided by the official hotel sponsor The Holiday Inn Accra Airport. Other prestigious sponsors include: Coca-Cola Africa; Ecobank; IPP Media; Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD); MIH Print Africa; Safebond Africa Limited (SAL); Zain; Global Media Alliance (GMA) and Camerapix.

The Highlights' Programme of the Awards ceremony will be broadcast as follows:

* M-Net will broadcast the 'Highlights Programme' of the Award Ceremony:
o M-Net Domestic (IS7) Wednesday 13th August 2325 CAT
o M-Net EAST (W4 & IS10) Sunday 3rd August 18.00 CAT / 19.00 EAT
o M-Net WEST (W4 & IS10) Sunday 3rd August 20.00 CAT / 19.00 WAT
o AFRICA MAGIC (7) Saturday 23rd August 21:00 CAT
* Broadcasters in 44 countries on the African continent will be transmitting the 'Highlights Programme' during August and September.
* Internationally, the 'Highlights Programme' will be shown on OBE TV in the UK, The Africa Channel in the United States and on RTP Africa.

CNN International's 'Inside Africa' programme will also report on the African Journalist Award on Saturday 26th July at 1730 BST.

The overall CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2008 wins a substantial cash prize, a visit to CNN Centre, Atlanta to attend the three week CNN Journalism Fellowship, along with the prize awarded to all category winners, which consists of a laptop computer, modem, printer and a cash prize.

Winners in the individual competition categories are:

ARTS & CULTURE AWARD, presented by Zain:
Winner: Barbara Angopa, NTV, Uganda
Title: Teso's Peace Music
Judge's Citation:

The story is about a particular music, instruments and dance in Uganda. This television piece does a great job of bringing to the limelight a beautiful part of African cultural heritage. In this case, music and dance. The journalism here captures and conveys the role and power of culture in building and nurturing hope in societies shattered by conflicts or natural disasters. The journalist tells the story of culture preservation, adaptation and passing the heritage onto the next generation. Culture does bring people together. You can see that the reporter got into the cultural mood. She gets to the point where she has the confidence to join in.

ECONOMICS & BUSINESS AWARD, presented by Coca-Cola Africa:
Winner: John Grobler, Freelance Journalist for the Namibian, Namibia
Title: Mafia linked to Namibian gems
Judge's Citation:

A dramatic recipe that included the founding President Nujoma's son in business with a Mafiosi wanted in Italy. At issue: Namibia's ample diamonds and the competing interests seeking to mine them. After years of dogged work, Grobler revealed that the don Vito Palozzolo and his Namibian-based associates owned a string of companies seeking to cash in on the gem trade. With the history of Sierra Leone in sharp relief, the judges praised Grobler for this watch-dog work in ensuring that diamonds are not bloodied. The resource curse must be turned to a development boom, this piece shows journalists can be part of the quest.

ENVIRONMENT AWARD, presented by Ecobank:
Winner: Emmanuel Mayah, The Sun Newspaper, Nigeria
Title: The Silkworm Genocide
Judge's Citation:

This was the year when African journalists went green. The environmental section which was tightly contested revealed a new field of talent on a beat crucial to our continent and to our planet. Ultimately, Emmanuel Mayah got our nod for his innovative way of showing the impact of deforestation on an ancient craft. In his feature, Emmanuel got into a taxi, and took us into the heart of Oyo state in Iseyin the area once renowned the land over for the quality of its Yoruba silks. In a piece embroidered with characters, he finds that the machines have stopped humming. In the forest he visits, he shows this is because the silk worms no longer have trees in which to breed. The story end with a little good news, the mulberry bush may just come to the rescue, providing a new home for the silkworm

Winner: Nassima Oulebsir, Le Jeune Indépendant, Algeria
Title: Ces enfants interdits…d' école !
Judge's Citation:

Nassima's story unveils the drama of the children of Algerian roots, who were born from parents who fought the civil war on the other side, against the Government. These children are denied access to school because they do not have legal existence, meaning birth certificates. The story unearths memories of the civil war and shows that these children are paying for what their parents have done. It was a very good investigative piece. The journalist has touched on the issue of education of these children in a straightforward and comprehensive way. Knowing the context, it was courageous of the reporter to research and tell this story.

Winner: Koumoureéoua Issa Napon, Radio Burkina, Burkina Faso
Title: Yako : Situation Yako, Situation d'enfants orpailleurs
Judge's Citation:

This radio piece from Burkina Faso sheds light on an under reported social issue, child labour. Specifically, child labour in gold mines. The story tells us about children who should be in school, but are not and instead are faced with dangerous labour. Today, gold mining is a big issue on the continent. You get the economics, the investment stories, the labour struggle issues and other angles. But children who are taken into this gold mining business are a high social cost that remains to be reported and assessed. The journalist covers all aspects of this story, the children, parents who are either unaware of the dangers or helpless, to local authorities, NGOs and UNICEF, who are trying to bring this issue into the national debate.

Winner: Seyoum Tsehaye, Eritrea
Judge's Citation:

Seyoum was arrested and imprisoned for the critical article he wrote in the private weekly, Setit, in which he expressed sympathy for politicians and journalists who had been imprisoned by the Eritrean authorities without trial. He has been imprisoned for nearly eight years now. The work of this veteran photographer/journalist represents the bravery and perseverance that continue to serve the course of press freedom and the right to disseminate information. We want him to know that he is not forgotten.

Winner: Hopewell Rugoho-Chin'ono, Television International, Zimbabwe
Title: Pain in My Heart
Judge's Citation:

This is a compelling and powerful piece of work which shows the human impact of HIV and Aids in Zimbabwe. It follows the lives of two Zimbabweans and their struggle to fight the disease: they are held by poverty against the backdrop of the country's economic and political crisis. But even in the face of this situation they still cling onto hope and their humanity shines through. The film also shows how the medical profession struggles to cope. The journalist showed huge amounts of professional commitment, judgement and compassion in telling this story. It is a story of disease and death but also of life and hope.

MSD HEALTH & MEDICAL AWARD, presented by Merck, Sharp & Dohme (MSD):
Winner: Bamuturaki Musinguzi, The EastAfrican Newspaper, Uganda
Title: Silent Killer
Judge's Citation:

The story is about cervical cancer, a deadly yet treatable disease which affects women worldwide killing 250,000 each year. Eighty percent of fatalities occur in the developing countries where prevention and treatment are not available, making it the most common cause of cancer-related death for women in these countries. This is a positive contribution to raise awareness and save lives, helping to break barriers caused by ignorance and taboos. The male journalist researched thoroughly a subject that most people would think only concerns women. The end result is an insightful, comprehensive and clear piece of journalism.

MIH PRINT AFRICA AWARD – Best Feature in a Consumer Magazine
Winner: Marjorie Copeland, Freelance Journalist for Marie Claire, South Africa
Title: Your Child may still be in Danger
Judge's Citation:

It is a universal issue and fear facing all parents that cuts across religious, geographic and social barriers – the safety of our children. Marjorie's compelling storytelling is a chilling reminder that not even playgrounds are safe. That our children can sometimes be the perpetrator is a tough and sensitive issue to tackle. She tells the story through parents whose children were abused, but also through those parents whose own children are the abusers. To gain access and confidence to tell this story through their experiences takes a high level of confidence of a seasoned journalist. The article raised tough and uncomfortable issues but also goes further by adding advice to the readers on how to respond if ever faced with such an issue.

Winner: Boniface Mwangi, The Standard, Nairobi, Kenya
Title: Under Siege
Judge's Citation:

A wonderful set of photographs which captured a terrible moment when the police in Nairobi used disproportionate force. Some would say it showed the difference between a police force and a police service.

Winner: Fernando Lima, Jornal Savana, Mozambique
Title: Quando o rio zangou (When the River Got Angry) & No epicentre da crise
Judge's Citation:

Fernando Lima's story about the 2007 floods along the Zambezi valley is informative and innovative in its approach. It is a detailed account of a tragedy with a human face, where the victims have names, voices and feelings. The story also addresses the responses the government worked out against natural disasters. His report, based on recent observations, brings a fresh, positive account of institutions and personalities against the background of usual portrayals of incompetence, corruption and greed. It is an insightful, balanced and well written story on yet another tragedy in Mozambique.

THE PRINT GENERAL NEWS AWARD, presented by Safebond Africa Ltd:
Winner: Richard Mgamba, The Sunday Citizen, Tanzania
Title: Buzwagi: The untold story of a controversial mining deal
Judge's Citation:

The story takes us through the rugged road to the goldmine, brings us face to face with the miners and confronts us with their fears and uncertainties. It's not just about a bunch of gold miners who have lost their livelihood by the formidable forces of globalisation, it's about the process and also about what happens to the families and dependants of these miners.

Winner: Israel Laryea, Joy FM, Ghana
Title: Naa Koshie: victim of child abuse
Judge's Citation:

The journalist covered the all too common story of the abuse of children used as domestic workers. It is solid, on-the-scene radio reporting of a social issue. He responds to a call from the community about a ten year old girl being badly maltreated by her employers, he goes to the spot, reports on the condition of the girl, talks to the community and her employer. It also shows how journalists can be agents for change as he brings the story to the authorities' attention and ensure the child's rescue. It is a classic piece of good radio reporting.

SPORT AWARD, presented by Global Media Alliance:
Winner: Mutwiri Mutuota, Kenya Times, Kenya
Title: The art of cheering
Judge's Citation:

It is a rarity in a roomful of serious journalists judging the work of the continent to actually hear laughter. But as the judges came across 'the art of cheering' a slow rumble of chuckles filled the room. Mutuota takes a very different approach to telling a sports story by comparing the enthusiasm – or lack thereof – of both sides supporters, he highlights the role fans – not just those on the field – play in sports. Most impressive is that Mutuota pokes fun at his fellow countrymen and wishes the reader to be in the small group of the opponents' supporters. Mutuota shows how a small group of 100 Nigerians put over 20,000 Kenyans to shame in their love of the game. His ability to portray the singing and chanting of the passionate Nigerians has the reader transported to the stadium where they can almost taste the excitement. A truly remarkable use of language reveals the true beauty of the game.

Winner: Peter Moyo, e.tv, South Africa
Title: The root of all evil
Judge's Citation:

This is a story of trust betrayed. People put their faith in God and believed their pastor who instead led them into a worthless pyramid scheme that collapsed with the loss of thousands of rand. This report is a demonstration of strong investigative reporting covering all aspects of the story.

Winner: Deji Badmus, Channels Television, Nigeria
Title: Third Mainland Bridge
Judge's Citation:

The Third Mainland Bridge is Nigeria's longest bridge and thousands of commuters travel on this bridge every day. The maintenance of infrastructures such as bridges is an issue of concern as it affects the safety of people. The judges praised the ability of the journalist to investigate the rumours about vibration of the bridge, documenting evidence of lack of maintenance and violations of traffic conditions. To get the story he also had to overcome the threat of local gangs, and hire a boat to 'see' under the bridge, to check out the truth about the cracks.

TOURISM AWARD, presented by The Ghana Tourist Board:
Winner: Evaline Ngono, CRTV, Cameroon
Title: Mythes et Realités du Mont Cameroun
Judge's Citation:

This is a compelling piece of tourism journalism. It really makes you feel like getting on the next plane to Cameroon. And in the meantime, listening to the radio piece, you feel like the journalist takes you with her to climb the mountain on a tour of hidden treasures up there. Geology, history, tradition, myths, magic, science, traditional knowledge, ecology and beliefs. It is an entertaining, upbeat, informative and obviously a well prepared piece of journalism

Again this year the Judges highlighted some excellent work and awarded Commendations in six categories. These journalists participated in the extensive finalists' programme in Accra, Ghana and received a cash prize and Certificates of Commendation.

ECONOMICS & BUSINESS sponsored by Coca-Cola Africa:
Lucas Ajanaku, Tell Magazine, Nigeria
Title: Power Paralysis

ENVIRONMENT AWARD sponsored by Ecobank:
Daniel Nkrumah, Daily Graphic, Ghana
Title: Rot at Chorkor

Kennedy Gwonde, Freelance for Hone FM, Zambia
Title: Umoyo Programme on HIV/AIDS

MSD Health & Medical:
Sasha Wales-Smith, SABC, South Africa
Title: Dodgy doctors

PRINT GENERAL NEWS sponsored by Safebond Africa Ltd:
Godwin Nnanna, Business Day, Ghana
Title: Peace for a troubled nation

TOURISM AWARD: sponsored by The Ghana Tourist Board
Mwondoshah Mfanga, The Guardian Newspaper, Tanzania
Title: The 101 wonders of 'khanga' and many more to come.

About the award:

The CNN African Journalist of the Year Award was founded in 1995 by Edward Boateng (formerly African Regional Director for Turner Broadcasting System Inc., CNN's parent company) and the late Mohamed Amin, to recognise and encourage excellence in journalism throughout Africa.

Note to Editors: Competition Criteria

The CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2008 Competition is open to African professional Journalists (including, but not limited to, African freelancers), working on the continent for African owned media organisations that are headquartered on the continent of Africa that produce a printed publication or broadcast through an electronic medium (television broadcaster; radio station or website) primarily targeted at and received by an African audience. All winning entries were broadcast or published during January – December 2007.

Note to Editors:

The independent judging panel, is chaired by Azubuike Ishiekwene, Executive Director, Punch Nigeria Limited and includes: Ferial Haffajee, Editor-in-Chief, Mail & Guardian, South Africa; Joel Kibazo, Journalist and Media Consultant; Arlindo Lopes, Secretary General of SABA – Southern African Broadcasting Association; Sophie Ly Sow, Regional Communications Officer for Oxfam/West Africa; Kim Norgaard, CNN's Johannesburg Bureau Chief, Brahima Ouedraogo, Senior Radio Reporter/Producer, Radio Nationale du Burkina and Anna Umbima, journalist and broadcaster. Filipe Correi de Sá, Senior Producer at BBC World Service was brought in to help judge the Portuguese speaking category.

Turner Broadcasting Corporate Social Responsibility:

Turner Broadcasting, CNN's parent company, is pleased to use its TV brands, correspondents and staff volunteers to help the communities it serves throughout Africa, Europe and the Middle East. This year volunteers raised money and went to the KwaZulu Natal to build two houses with Habitat for Humanity and Turner is now launching a campaign to build a school in Mali with Plan International. The company also works with UNICEF using its channels, its staff and funds for a major project in Kenya providing schooling, food, drugs, transport and a home for children orphaned by HIV and AIDS. Using their paid volunteer time staff have created advertisements and logos for African charities and CNN has donated airtime.

MultiChoice Africa Corporate Social Responsibility:

As an African business MultiChoice Africa believes in the support and development of human capital on the continent. MultiChoice recognizes education is an African priority, and has focused its corporate social investment (CSI) programme on the development of MultiChoice Resource Centres which provide educational material to over 400 schools across the continent. Research has proven that access to audio visual information and education can dramatically enhance the learning experience of teachers and learners. Every year MultiChoice in collaboration with governments roll out over 100 new Resource Centres.

Issued: Saturday 19th July, 2008

For further information please contact:
CNN International: Joel Brown +44 20 7693 0967 joel.brown@turner.com
MultiChoice Africa: Caroline Creasy + 27 11 289 3081 ccreasy@multichoice.co.za
MultiChoice South Africa: Marilyn Watson +27 11 289 3062 mwatson@multichoice.co.za