Following Food For Mzansi’s recent recognition in the African Digital Media Awards, the agricultural news publication has now also bagged two nominations in the 2021 Global Media Awards.
INMA, the International News Media Association, announced yesterday that Food For Mzansi was a finalist in both the Best Use of Audio and Best Idea to Grow Advertising Sales categories. The winners will be announced on 3 June during a virtual ceremony.
These nominations place Food For Mzansi on a world stage alongside publications such as The New York Times in the US, South China Morning Post in Hong Kong, The Times of India in India and El Colombiano in Colombia.
“We honestly didn’t see it coming,” said Ivor Price, Food For Mzansi’s co-founder and Editor-in-Chief.
“As a digital news start-up, we often encounter people who dismiss us because we aren’t part of legacy media titles. So, we’ve long decided to strive for global excellence in everything we do. That way, our work speaks for itself.”
In its new release, INMA says this year’s competition garnered 644 entries from 212 news brands in 37 countries. Judging for the Global Media Awards was held in February with 44 media experts from 22 countries focusing on breakthrough results, unique concepts, strong creativity, innovative thinking, and winner synergies across platforms.
‘Tremendous growth for digital news brand’
In the Best Use of Audio category, Food For Mzansi was nominated for its Farmer’s Inside Track podcast, which is not only South Africa’s most-downloaded farmers’ podcast, but also has listeners in 85 different countries.
“It still feels unreal to be nominated,” says Dawn Noemdoe, Food For Mzansi’s editor: audience and engagement and co-host of the podcast.
“When we started our Farmer’s Inside Track podcast just over a year ago, it was solely to showcase the dynamic and resilient agricultural sector. We could highlight its tremendous growth and offer a voice to farmers.
“The Covid-19 pandemic pushed us to become more creative in our approach and producing style. It changed our podcasting game for the better. Our weekly podcast productions are a team effort – so a big shout-out to #TeamFoodForMzansi for making it great!”
Noemdoe’s Farmer’s Inside Track co-host, Food For Mzansi journalist Duncan Masiwa, says, “What people don’t understand, is that we literally produce this show from our remote bedrooms using WhatsApp.
“So, for the podcast to be merely mentioned alongside already award-winning names is truly an honour.
‘From our bedrooms to global stage‘
“The international recognition is humbling, but it’s just a sign that South Africa is capable of producing content that could outshine international players anytime,” Masiwa concludes.
In the audio category, the other finalists are Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in Germany, The Irish Times in Ireland, Navbharat Times in India, Stuff in New Zealand and News24 in South Africa.
In the Best Idea to Grow Advertising Sales category, Food For Mzansi’s 13-week campaign with Standard Bank impressed the global judges. In this category, the other finalists are The Daily Prothom Alo in Bangladesh, Dainik Bhaskar in India, Hindustan Times in India, Independent News and Media in Ireland and Stuff in New Zealand.
SA’s new kid on the agri-media block
According to Food For Mzansi co-founder Kobus Louwrens this nomination comes as wonderful recognition for the publication’s newly-created business development team.
“We’re the new kid on the agri-media block, but we’ve grown into a major national player very quickly. The trust of major brands, like Standard Bank, who partner with us to produce useful, informative content for the farmers and agripreneurs in our audience is highly appreciated.”
In South Africa, the only other media who made the global nominations list are the Independent Media Group, African News Agency, Daily Maverick and News24. The only other finalists from the African continent are Kenya’s Nation Media Group.
In 2019, Food For Mzansi was announced as Africa’s best digital news start-up in the African Digital Media Awards hosted by WAN-IFRA, the global organisation for the world’s press.
Last year, the Paris-based WAN-IFRA specifically commended Food For Mzansi for an “incredible performance” after it was tied with News24 for the most nominations. Food For Mzansi were the winners in the categories for audience engagement and news literacy, and also walked away with the editor’s choice award for the continent’s top Covid-19 special project.