The best of African digital media were honoured with WAN-IFRA African Digital Media Awards 2018 during our conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, in late November, where the spotlight was shone on forward-looking digital innovations likely to be drivers of disruptive media excellence.
WAN-IFRA Vice President Lisa MacLeod said this year’s instalment showed good growth in the number of entries.
“We had a range of organisations, from startups to mainstream media. It is great to see the number of entries here tonight from the smaller startups, especially those with support from the Media Development Innovation Fund,” MacLeod said.
Reuters Africa sponsored the Reuters Best Digital News Startup award. Supporting the awards coincides with the company's search for strategies to support media entrepreneurs and startups, said Zione Akule, Senior Account Manager at Reuters.
“This year we have been working a lot with startups, something we have not been doing in the last few years. We came up with a very big initiative to start looking at the growth that is happening in the African continent,” --Zione Akule, Reuters
Nick Tjaardstra, Director Europe & Africa, WAN-IFRA, said "We've been very excited to see how the African Digital Media Awards have developed over the last three years.”
“We had a really good mix of grassroots startups as well as big players in the various categories and we are confident that the continent will once again do well when competing in the global awards,” Tjaardstra said.
“It’s particularly good to see the high quality of projects on Branded Content and Reader Revenue. Digital news needs a sustainable business model – and everyone can learn from the winners! We extend our congratulations to the winners and huge thanks to all the judges,” --Nick Tjaardstra, Director Europe & Africa, WAN-IFRA
The panel of judges was composed of media experts Astrid Ascar, Barbara Kaija, Catherine Gicheru, Chris Roper, Jude Mathurine, Koketso Moeti, Lene Pettersen, Toyosi Ogunseye and Herman Manson, who brought with them a wide range of institutional knowledge and industry expertise.
Speaking from the viewpoint of the panelists Amandla.mobi founding director Koketso Moeti, said the value of digital cannot be overstated, particularly when the next wave of a billion users will go online.
“Digital media offers an important opportunity for media to engage with all audiences in very new ways and in real time. It is exciting to have noted just how many people are thinking deeply about the quality of their content, new ways of engaging new audiences and bringing people online,” --Koketso Moeti, Founding Director, Amandla.mobi
Media24 came out big winners of the night in three out of 10 the categories. Theirs was a slim margin -- Kenya’s Nation Media Group and the BBC got two awards each, and Independent Media, WhatsApp Integration Project and Morocco News Agency received one award apiece.
MacLeod said the next leg of the wards, the World Digital Media Awards, would be held on 1 June next year in Glasgow, Scotland, during WAN-IFRA's World News Media Congress, and will be an exciting opportunity for the winners to be further honoured for their work.
All of the winners from Africa will be automatically entered for the Global Awards.
The winners for the 2018 African Digital Media Awards are:
Best News Website or Mobile Service - Maparchives.ma, Moroccan News Agency - Morocco | Runners-up: Daily Kick - Soccer. News. Live Scoring, 24.com - South Africa | The Daily Maverick, Daily Maverick - South Africa
Best in Lifestyle, Sports, Entertainment Website or Mobile Service - NairobiNews Website, Nation Media Group - Kenya |Runner-up: Daily Nation Sports Section, Nation Media Group – Kenya
Best Use of Online Video (including VR) - Ethiopian priest's journey, BBC - Ethiopia | Runners-up: Mapping the Murder of Hannah Cornelius, Tiso Blackstar Group (Pty) Ltd - South Africa | Hashtag Our Stories, Hashtag Our SA - South Africa
Best Data Visualisation - Rahat Mustafa, Osun Elections in Nigeria, BBC, Nigeria | Runner-up: Abiodun Alade, Kids in toxic stress, Media Trust (Daily Trust) - Nigeria
Best Reader Revenue Initiative - Netwerk24's Lifestyle migration, 24.com - South Africa | Runner-up: Maverick Insider, The Daily Maverick - South Africa
Best Branded Content Project - News24 Mzansi, through her eyes, 24.com and Michael de Beer, South Africa, Just Delicious, Media24 - South Africa | Runner-up: BRICS Media Forum South Africa, Independent Media - South Africa
Best Digital News Start-up supported by Reuters for digital innovation in Africa -Daily Kick - Soccer. News. Live Scoring, 24.com - South Africa | Runner-up: Business Insider South Africa, 24.com - South Africa
Best in Social Media Engagement - Tracey Gander, Women's Month #WeRemember, Independent Media - South Africa | Runner-up: LIT360, Nation Media Group - Kenya
Best Digital Marketing Campaign - Airtel Case Study, Nation Media Group - Kenya | Runner-up: Lisa Coates, Connecting South Africans, Independent Media
Best Innovation to Engage Youth Audiences - Children's Radio Foundation, WhatsApp Integration Project – South Africa | Runner-up: Hekayat Gameela (Gameela stories), medinaportal – Egypt
Click here to see images from the awards ceremony.