With four nominations in this year’s African Digital Media Awards, Food For Mzansi is fast becoming one of the most influential digital news brands in South Africa and the greater continent.
This is the view of Food For Mzansi co-founder and editor-in-chief Ivor Price after the 2021 nominations list was announced by WAN-IFRA, the global organisation for the world’s press.
With judges from across the globe, the African Digital Media Awards is billed as the most prestigious media competition on the continent.
Food For Mzansi was nominated in the categories for best use of online video, best paid content strategy, best native advertising and best project for news literacy.
The other shining stars are Media24 who bagged 11 nominations, Daily Maverick with 3 nominations and the Standard Group in Kenya with 2 nominations.
“This is a huge deal for us,” exclaimed Price following the announcement.
“Win or lose, this is testimony to the innovation and excellence we strive for as a small team. It is also a win for all independent news publishers who are often overlooked despite the mass audiences they reach.”
A global star in the making
In the last three years, Food For Mzansi has won five African Digital Media Awards, including the coveted prize as the best digital news start-up on the continent.
In 2020, the internet giant Google also hand-picked Food For Mzansi for its Google News Initiative Challenge in Africa and the Middle East.
This year, the publication also placed third in the INMA Global Media Awards for an advertising campaign with Standard Bank. Its Farmer’s Inside Track podcast – now listened to in more than 90 countries – also received honourable recognition in this competition that garnered 650 entries from 37 countries.
Food For Mzansi co-founder Kobus Louwrens thanked the judges for WAN-IFRA for its role in developing media in 120 countries.
“Journalists in the digital age must operate in a world where the news cycle moves faster. As a result, striking a balance between timely and in-depth reporting is often more difficult – even more so in an agricultural niche. At Food For Mzansi, we strive to be a trusted news source for all South Africans at a time of great public distrust in the media.”
“It is great that every round goes higher and higher,” adds Dawn Noemdoe, Food For Mzansi’s editor for audience and engagement.
“I am just in awe that we place in so many categories all the time. We don’t have to win but getting this type of recognition from the world and Africa’s best media experts is meaningful. It’s a win for our entire team because in some way or another we are all involved in every project.”
In the company of greatness
- In the video category, Food For Mzansi was nominated for For the love of the land, its series presented in partnership with the VKB Group. The show was presented by Price and Piet Potgieter, VKB’s manager: developing agriculture. The other nominees are News24 for “Uncovering a cult in KwaZulu-Natal” and Arena Holdings for “Table Mountain killer.”
- In the category for best paid content, Food For Mzansi was nominated for its Farmer’s Inside Track podcast, newsletter and website offering. The other nominees are “Everything in one place” from Netwerk24, Maverick Insider by the Daily Maverick, Nation.Africa by the Nation Media Group and News24 for subscribers by News24.
- In the best native advertising category, Food For Mzansi caught the attention of the global panel of judges with its AgriSETA Learner Connect campaign. The other nominees are “See the bigger picture” and “The next generation of brave” by News24.
- AgriSETA Learner Connect was also nominated in the best project for news literacy category. The only other nominee is The Wrap by explain.co.za.
The winners will be announced on Thursday, 22 July 2021.