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Grocott's shines at MDDA-Sanlam Media Awards

Date Released: Wed, 4 June 2014 12:34 +0200

by Ettioné Ferreira

On 23 May 2014 the MDDA-Sanlam Local Media Awards 2013 gala evening was held in Boksburg. Grahamstown local newspaper, Grocott’s Mail had been nominated for three awards: Avuyile Mgxitana-Diko (Grocott’s journalist) was nominated for the column award; Upstart was nominated for best front pages and Grocott’s Mail for the small independent established newspaper award. Grocott’s proudly stood up as they won all three of the awards they were nominated for.

The Head of the School of Journalism and Media Studies, Prof. Larry Strelitz congratulated the team, “The School is extremely proud of the permanent Grocott’s staff, the teaching staff and the students who worked on Grocott’s during their second consecutive year winning the small independent establishment newspaper of the year award. Avuyile Mgxitana-Diko and Steven Lang also deserve special commendation for their achievements.” Avuyile won the Best Column award and Steven Lang was the Grocott’s Mail Editor until the end of last year.

The General Manager, Steve Kromberg, wrote a lead in Grocott's Mail:

A winning team – Grocott’s Mail, 30 May 2014, Page 8.

“This week, we celebrate Grocott’s Mail’s winning best community newspaper for the second year running.

The award was for the 2013 editions, so it was perfect that former editor Steven Lang was the one to receive the award. Avuyile Mgxitana-Diko proudly brought home the Best Columnist award, and was also in the top 10 investigative journalists of the year. We want to say thank you to the many people who have made a contribution to Grocott’s Mail.

Starting with you. The reason for our existence. Our readers, fellow citizens, advertisers, critics and friends. What’s the point of the best newspaper if it doesn’t get out on to the streets before the morning rush?

Our committed team of street sellers, most of whom also deliver to subscribers, arrive at 6.30am. After counting and folding they head out, regardless of the weather.

Glynn Crossley prepares the paperwork, meets the delivery truck, counts and sorts. Velile Vacu pilots the trusty Grocott’s bakkie, delivering to scores of outlets across our city. Paarl Coldset in PE prints the papers and Igmi’s has them on the N2 by 4am. It takes a real diehard production team to put their lives aside on Thursday nights, while the city is either snoring or partying up a storm.

Donnay Oosthuizen does design and layout while Sue Maclennan orchestrates the editorial flow, Martha Soteriades subs and designs, Lyn Smerczak subs now that Caroline King’s taken flight, Steve Kromberg writes, proofs and cuts in between managing the whole Grocott’s show. Various kind Journ School lecturers pop in to proofread.

Leading up to the Thursday night, Sue oversees our brave gang of storytellers, who expertly weave the threads of our city’s life. Veteran sports editor, Stephen Penney, runs all over town with camera and pen in hand. Threats and stonewalls haven’t got in the way of Avuyile exposing Makana’s hidden secrets. Anele Mjekula lands the big crime stories and courtroom dramas and Malibongwe Dayimani, Siphelo Dyongman and Thembani Onceya don’t miss a beat.

Multimedia multi-tasker Kayla Roux juggles online editing, studying and teaching. We’re also lucky to have on our team many student photographers, artists, writers, radio and television journalists. And the Journ School’s crack team of lecturers who teach, coax and coach them. Head of School and board member, Larry Strelitz, has been a great champion and supporter.

Many people in the Africa Media Matrix make a big contribution to Grocott’s, including the admin team and the IT boffins. None of the above would exist if it weren’t for our top notch advertising sales and admin team. At the heart of the business is Ronel Bowles, who has her finger on every pulse. Sivuyile Nelo and Sarah Cohen wind their way around town reminding our business of what Grocott’s can do for them. Lucy Mardon works on Grocott’s advertising placement, along with Nettie (Nannette Els) who also holds the admin strings together.

Gladys Vara keeps the building clean while Tippy (Allwina Trompetter) is the friendly face when you walk in the door. Omnia oversee our accounts and the team at Insight our IT.

Keeping their eye on the big picture are our board of directors Lynette Steenveld, Harry Dugmore, Anthea Garman, Desiree Phillipson and until the end of last year, Adrienne Carlisle.”

Photo: Stephen Penney

Source:Ettione Ferreira, Grocott's Mail