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Today saw the launch of the KZN Newsmaker of the Year 2012 which includes a finalist listing of news personalities and sporting heroes.

Initiated and driven by the Durban University of Technology (DUT) as well as members of industry through the DUT Journalism Advisory Board, the event identifies KZN-linked individuals or events that made headlines and shaped the news between June 2011 and June 2012.

Launched last year, Newsmaker of the Year is an annual event for KZN to take centre stage in the media. Members of the public are invited to vote for their favourite newsmaker via SMS.

This year, DUT joins forces with the eThekwini Municipality in hosting an even more spectacular gala event where the KZN Newsmaker 2012 will be announced. Hashim Amla, South African cricket hero and sporting sensation who recently became the first South African cricketer to score over 300 runs in an international test was last year’s Newsmaker of the Year.

KZN Newsmaker 2012 Convener, Mary Papayya, DUT Journalism Advisory Board Chairperson and well-respected news and media leader said this year’s event is set to attract major attention from the media and the public at large.

“The event is a legitimate and credible tool to showcase the success of the KZN media which is among the world’s best. It is also an opportunity to place the province and its people on the map. The primary role of the Newsmaker event is to bring to focus the events and personalities that have attracted the lion’s share of the news spotlight. It also offers a platform for the public – the consumers of news – to share in the crowning of a news related story or event that most affected their lives and shaped their thinking,” said Papayya.

This year’s nominees range from sporting to major news events that cast the spotlight on KZN, its personalities and events as showcased in the local news media.
Papayya said this year’s Newsmaker independent judging panel included SA National Editor’s Forum KZN Convenor Judy Sandison, Independent Newspapers Training Editor David Canning and DUT Journalism Department Senior Lecturer Dr. Mikhail Peppas.

DUT’s Senior Director: Corporate Affairs Alan Khan said the event will include a news speaker and a top international celebrity.

“The Newsmaker Organising Committee (NOC) can confirm that the negotiations for an international celebrity are in their final stages. An announcement will be made shortly. The gala banquet will be a red carpet affair. It will be held at the Durban City Hall in September to coincide with the Celebrate Durban campaign,” said Khan.

The date for the gala event will be confirmed shortly.

eThekwini International and Governance Relations Head Eric Apelgren said the city agreed to support the awards in pursuance of celebrating local innovation, achievements of local citizens, and excellence in literature and media.

“In pursuance of celebrating local innovation, achievements of local citizens and excellence in literature and media, the city has agreed to support the awards. During the month of celebrating our heritage – we recognise those events and people that have made us proud to be living in this wonderful city and province,” he said.

To vote, SMS the name of your Newsmaker of the Year to 34382. Each SMS is charged at R2.00.

The candidates for the for the KZN Newsmaker of the Year 2012 are:

1. COP17 (The climate change conference hosted in Durban)
2. Vera Hecht (Durban based Hecht negotiated for over 20 months with Somali hostage takers for the release of Durban sailors – her brother Bruno Pelizzari and partner Deborah Calitz).
3. Save the Rhino KZN campaigns.
4. AmaZulu Football Club.

SMS lines are now open.

For media interviews contact:

KZN Newsmaker of the Year Convenor: Mary B. Papayya: 082 379 4957

DUT’s Senior Director: Corporate Affairs, Alan Khan: 082 559 4957

eThekwini Municipality’s Head: International and Governance Relations Eric Apelgren: 083 414 2165

Issued by:

Sinegugu Ndlovu
Media Officer
Durban University of Technology
031 373 2845
078 615 2662