Cape Times editor wins big at global media awards
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Cape Town - ARGUABLY the youngest editor in the country’s media history, Cape Times editor Siyavuya Mzantsi’s leadership was recognised by the International News Media Association (Inma) yesterday.
The 27-year-old, who took the reins of the title less than a year ago, was announced as among Inma’s list of 30 young professionals judged to be rising stars in the global news media industry for 2020.
Mzantsi walked away with an award for leadership. Other winners in the category were Zack Korman, lead architect at Aller Media, Norway; Nicholas O’Connor, publisher and chief revenue officer, AméricaEconomía, Chile; Sophia Phan, deputy digital editor, The Sydney Morning Herald, Australia; Taras Prokopyshyn, chief executive, The Ukrainians, Ukraine; and Bente Zerrahn, head of innovation, Axel Springer, Germany.
The judges also selected six young professionals as regional grand prize winners, and Mzantsi won the grand prize for Africa.
Coming from humble beginnings in Tsolo, a small town in the Easterm Cape, Mzantsi started his journalism career as an intern at the Cape Times and quickly worked his way up, becoming the youngest and first black editor in the newspaper’s 143-year history.
Through his career he has shown versatility as a journalist by serving as a multimedia reporter, content producer, news editor, and assistant editor.
His appointment to editor at the age of 26 also makes him the youngest editor in the news media group and possibly in Africa. He was also a recipient of the Vodacom journalist of the year award in the Western Cape in 2016.
Reacting to the award, Mzantsi said: “It is always inspiring to be recognised, let alone for such a prestigious international award. I am completely overwhelmed.
“This was made possible by the group of people I work with. I believe in growth and development, and that is why every staff member in our newsroom is a leader. Great ideas come when all are involved.
“I am thankful for the support from the leadership of Independent Media. I would also like to thank the judges for
the sterling work they have done. This was a tough category.”
Former Cape Times editor and mentor Aneez Salie congratulated Mzantsi, saying: “Being recognised as among the very best in Africa and the world – it reflects Siya’s hard work, talent and keen social conscience. It is also the fruits of the change in ownership, leadership and ethos at Independent Media, brought on by Dr Iqbal Survé.”
Survé said the ethos at Independent Media had always been to bridge the race, gender and economic gaps and build bridges between and within the country’s diverse communities.
“At the heart of this transformation process is a deliberate strategy to create a diverse workforce at all levels of the organisation, to develop and nurture young talent and to up-skill existing staff members. Siyavuya has proved his mettle and under Aneez Salie’s tutelage he has excelled in all aspects of the editorial and management process. He is a rising star in South Africa and Africa’s media environment. His success is our success,” Survé said
Other Independent Media nominees included MaryAnne Isaac of Studio Independent, Tara Isaacs of Cape Community Newspapers, Lubabalo Grant Poswa of African News Agency and Londiwe Gumede of Studio Independent.