After winning 11 global media awards in the last three years, a South African digital news start-up, Food For Mzansi, has also received three nominations in this year’s African Digital Media Awards.
WAN-IFRA, the global organisation of the world’s press, says a record-breaking number of entries were received for considered the most prestigious awards for digital news publishers on the African continent. Twenty-five judges from across the world reviewed competition entries with a number of news start-ups shortlisted against publications owned by mass media entities.
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Food For Mzansi, a niche vertical focused on agriculture and farming news, was nominated in the categories for best use of online video, best Gen Z initiative and best digital advertising. Among the start-up’s earlier accolades include a 2019 award as Africa’s best digital news start-up.
“This year we had a record number of entries submitted. Amidst another challenging year, it was inspiring to see so many incredible projects,” said the WAN-IFRA Digital Revenue Network in a release issued earlier today.
Ivor Price, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Food For Mzansi Group, says the finalist announcement left some team members more than a little overwhelmed.
“This year has truly been a rollercoaster ride for our team. Besides Food For Mzansi as our flagship publication, we also gave birth to Health For Mzansi and FoodForAfrika.com. When the nominations list came out this morning, we were a little emotional because everyone has worked so incredibly hard.”
Food For Mzansi strives for ‘meaningful social impact’
Despite being less than a year old, it is humbling to see both new “publishing babies” already performing on an international scale, says Price. FoodForAfrika.com, with a stronghold in parts of east and southern Africa, was nominated for its Pan-African Summit on Youth in Sustainable Agriculture while the township health news publication Health For Mzansi was shortlisted in the Gen Z category.
“We’re especially pleased with the recognition the editorial excellence of our new publications is receiving. Our mission is to create a stable of niche products that develop new audiences and make a meaningful social impact,” adds Kobus Louwrens, Food For Mzansi Group co-founder and strategy director.
Twenty-five judges reviewed entries from across the continent for this year’s African Digital Media Awards. This included Joan Mwai from The Standard Group in Kenya, Nic Newman from the United Kingdom-based Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Danyelle White from The Salt Lake Tribune in the United States, Fanny Bonjean from Le Parisien in France, and Katarzyna Ostrowska from Puls Biznesu in Poland.
Zimbabwe’s Open Parly ZW is the only other digital news start-up also nominated.
Winners will be announced live at WAN-IFRA’s virtual Digital Media Africa Conference on Tuesday, 12 July.