The CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2015 announced the shortlisted finalists in the various categories, with the continent's most prestigious competition for journalism on the African continent, now in its landmark 20th year, set to be held in Nairobi, Kenya in October this year.
After downsizing the number of categories in 2014 from 14 to 11, the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2015 once again expanded, keeping all 11 categories and adding a best features award as well as a technology and innovation reporting award to bring the award categories to 13.
Ferial Haffajee, editor of South Africa's City Press newspaper and the chairperson of the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2015 independent judging panel, announced the 31 finalists coming from 39 countries this year.
The CNN MultiChoice African Journalists Awards 2015 once again has some South African journalists on the finalist list this year.
South African journalists nominated this year for their work include Julie Laurenz and Jacqueline Jayamaha working freelance for e.tv; Herman Verwey of Beeld newspaper and Sarah Wild for The Mail & Guardian.
Finalists will again converge for a four day media forum set for early October and the gala award ceremony, which this year will be held in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi in East Africa. With the landmark 20th year of the awards, winners from previous years will join this year's finalists.
In the past the CNN MultiChoice African Journalists Awards also handed out a Press Freedom Award - ironically, but poignantly - often to a journalist who can attend due to imprisonment or death suffered in the line of simply bringing people the truth and reporting the news.
This award could very likely be awarded this October in Nairobi to the Al Jazeera journalists Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed imprisoned in Egypt and who were sentenced last month, together with journalist Peter Greste in absentia, to an even longer prison sentence.
"MultiChoice is delighted to once again be associated with these prestigious awards that give respect to the work done by journalists across the African continent," says Imtiaz Patel, MultiChoice group CEO.
"We congratulate all the finalists on their achievements and look forward to celebrating with the winners in Nairobi in October."
"We continue to be amazed by the resourcefulness and growth of journalists in the complexity and immediacy of the digital and online age of news and information," says Tim Jacobs, MultiChoice Africa CEO.
"That is why we remain committed to nurturing and growing African journalists who have a huge responsibility and role to play and where tech-savvy readers have the ability to follow breaking stories and are not shy to engage in dialogue on a number of different platforms."
"The CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year Awards have for the past 20 years provided a voice for credible journalism. As we celebrate this remarkable milestone, we can only commend the journalists for leaving no stone unturned in telling the important stories."
"The quality and breadth of entries in this, its 20th year, is testament to the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards' position as the most prestigious recognition for journalism across the continent," says Tony Maddox, the executive vice president and managing director of CNN International (DStv 401).
"CNN is privileged to be involved in this important initiative to honour the outstanding work across multiple platforms, topics and journalistic principles."
Here is the full list of finalists in the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2015:
Fiifi Essilfie Anaman, Freelance for zonalsports.com, Ghana
Benedicta Asiimwe, Freelance for Daily Monitor, Uganda
Femi Asu, Punch, Nigeria
Domingos Bento, redeangola.info, Angola
Thomas Naadi Bitlegma, Viasat1, Ghana
Sheriff Bojang Jnr, Freelance for West Africa Democracy Radio, Senegal
Ruth Butaumocho, The Herald, Zimbabwe
Ibrahima Diallo, Radiodiffusion Télévision Sénégalaise (RTS), Senegal
Adewale Olugbenga Emosu, tribuneonlineng.com, Nigeria
Chahinaz Samir Gheith, Freelance for Al-Ahram Hebdo, Egypt
Carla Gonçalves, A Nação, Cape Verde
Boldwill Hungwe, Zimbabwe Independent, Zimbabwe
Ibanga Isine, Premium Times, Nigeria
Paul Kelemba, Freelance for The Standard on Saturday, Kenya
Deo Gratias Tchédé Kindoho, Radio Bénin, Benin
Julie Laurenz & Jacqueline Jayamaha, Freelance for e.tv, South Africa
Petride Mudoola, Freelance for Sunday Vision, Uganda
Abubakari Akida Mussa, Mtanzania, Tanzania
Pedro Paxi Pereira Ndoma, TV Zimbo, Angola
George Oduor Otieno, Baraka FM, Kenya
Hyacinthe Boowurosigue Sanou, L'Observateur Paalga, Burkina Faso
Enock Sikolia & Charles Kariuki, NTV, Kenya
Arison Tamfu, Cameroon Journal, Cameroon
Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún, Blogger at ktravula.com, Nigeria
Arukaino Umukoro, Punch, Nigeria
Bento Venâncio, Jornal Domingo, Mozambique
Herman Verwey, Beeld, South Africa
Kiundu Waweru, The Standard on Saturday, Kenya
Sarah Wild, Mail & Guardian, South Africa