Publication celebrates 11 international awards in 3 years

Food For Mzansi continues to shine on the international media stage having won 11 awards in the last 2 years and 9 months of its existence. The awards are testimony to the publication’s high-quality journalistic work and innovation, believes its co-founders

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South Africa’s biggest digital agricultural news and lifestyle publication, Food For Mzansi, has won a further three awards in the African Digital Media Awards, the most prestigious digital news awards on the continent.

WAN-IFRA, the global organisation for the world’s press, has announced that Food For Mzansi and VKB’s documentary series For the love of the land won the best use of online video category.

Also, Food For Mzansi’s AgriSETA Learner Connect campaign was placed second in the best native advertising category, while the farmers’ podcast and newsletter channel Farmer’s Inside Track was the third runner-up in the category for best paid content.

Since the publication was launched in November 2018, the publication has won no less than eight African Digital Media Awards. Also, earlier this year the publication scooped three Global Media Awards for its high-quality journalistic work and innovative social and advertising campaigns.

This year, the judges of the African Digital Media Awards included media experts from across the globe. This included Jane Godia from Kenya, Serene Luo from Singapore, Karim Mahjoub from Switzerland, Stéphane Mayoux from France and Cristina Tardáguila from the United States.

At a time when trust in the media is at a low, the awards underscore Food For Mzansi’s credibility as a news publication, said the publication’s co-founder and editor-in-chief Ivor Price.

“We have to be consistent in practising responsible and credible journalism while also offering a unique view on the world of agriculture and farming. That is why we also don’t hesitate to speak truth to power, having published a number of exposés and other articles that have ruffled some feathers.”

African Digital Media Awards: Piet Potgieter, VKB's manager: developing agriculture, co-hosts "For the love of the land" with award-winning television presenter Ivor Price. Photo: Food For Mzansi
Piet Potgieter, VKB’s manager: developing agriculture, co-hosts “For the love of the land” with award-winning television presenter Ivor Price. Photo: Food For Mzansi

It’s not just a slogan…

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Commenting on the award for For the love of the land, VKB managing director Koos Janse van Rensburg said it was a great honour to work on this project in partnership with Food For Mzansi.

African Digital Media Awards: Koos van Rensburg, VKB’s managing director.
Koos Janse van Rensburg, VKB’s managing director. Photo: Supplied/VKB

For the love of the land aimed to provide a platform for lesser-told farmer stories, said Janse van Rensburg. It also highlighted the agricultural sector’s contribution to social cohesion.

“Of the close to 50 million citizens living in South Africa, most strive towards peace, happiness and prosperity,” he said.

“Unfortunately, people hear very little from these citizens. Instead, the small group of radical elements on the fringes of the spectrum make so much noise; they are all those ordinary citizens hear. This creates the risk that those fringe elements can influence more moderate perspectives.”

He says for VKB, For the love of the land was more than just a video series or a slogan, but a way of life. “It begins with our agriculture producers who have an intense love of nature, of the earth, and of the land they tend to. They are totally dependent on what the land brings forth.”

Empowering our audience

Kobus Louwrens, co-founder of Food For Mzansi. Photo: Food For Mzansi
Kobus Louwrens, co-founder of Food For Mzansi. Photo: Food For Mzansi

Food For Mzansi co-founder Kobus Louwrens added that the awards are also testimony to the publication’s innovation amid tough economic times.

“We also love the feedback we get from farmers about how Farmer’s Inside Track helps them improve their farming businesses.

“We’re always working on new ways to connect clients to our readers in ways that add value for both parties. Most recently, we’ve started the weekly Food For Mzansi #FarmSpaces interactive, live audio events on Twitter.”

Besides Food For Mzansi, the South African Media Innovation Program (SAMIP) also celebrated a number of other winners from its cohort. This included the Daily Maverick who bagged three awards, and Explain.co.za, Volume and Scrolla who each won an award.

ALSO READ: Food For Mzansi Sinelizwi Citizen Journalism awards presented

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