VJOY hopes to impact the narrative of South African journalism which in turn impacts the way the audiences live in their world.


VJOY Awards will be presented at regional, national and overall level, with the exception of the Young Journalist Award which is presented at regional and national level. Submit your best work in the past year in general news or features, broadcast or print, online or photography. Whatever your area of excellence, there’s a VJOY Media Reporting Category for you, or enter in-depth reports in our Specialist Reporting Categories. Talented and aspiring young journalists have the opportunity to enter the VJOY Young Journalist Award.


From government and opening of parliament to the #FeesMustFall crises and service delivery protests, television broadcasts big events, everyday realities and the stories behind them with vivid immediacy, making it one of the most influential forces in our country.

In the two categories of TV General News (maximum four minutes’ duration) and TV Features, the judges will identify entries that break South African news with solid and impartial reporting or illuminate current South African issues with exposes and investigative features.


From confrontations to congratulations, from surviving disasters to succeeding against the odds, news and features on radio benefit from being delivered fast in real time on a platform that is unrivalled for its evocative use of sound and silence. Since radio excels in broadcasting breaking news, moving audio portraits and lively debates of issues, it is a popular key source of news and information for many millions of South Africans.

In the two categories of Radio General News (maximum three minutes’ duration) and Radio Features, the judges will unearth entries from South Africa that demonstrate the resourceful, balanced and insightful values of good journalism complemented by excellent use of radio’s strengths in communicating with immediacy and capturing the imagination of listeners.


Political alliances, economic sinkholes, human tragedies and triumphs. For centuries, these have been at the heart of print journalism and they remain so, as this traditional format of publishing news and analysis continues to innovate and reinvent itself like its counterparts in other media platforms, old and new.

Whether it is the succinct and revelatory news story in the Print General News Category or longer, well-researched articles in the Print Features Category, the winning entries which carry forward the values of enterprising, daring and insightful print journalism, which spotlight and elucidate the dark or foggy corners of life in South Africa.


Well-written, balanced, insightful and enterprising – the best entries for the Online Media Category reflect all these values of good journalism. But to excel in this category, journalists must combine reporting flair with the ability to provide material that allows for best, creative use of the multiple platforms and elastic space of online media. This means ensuring elements such as the great graphics and visuals, well-curated links and interactive opportunities of online publishing are integral to their storytelling.

The judges are looking for entries from online and mobile journalists that were published first online in South Africa, whether documenting breaking news, offering analysis and insight or presenting in-depth investigation. Journalists are not required to showcase their own online technical ability but rather to demonstrate that they understand how to combine their enterprising reporting with the publishing possibilities available to them within the online and/or digital medium.


Telling a vital story with a single picture or series of pictures, capturing a specific moment in time that will enlighten, enrich, even enrage the audience, are some of the ways in which the valuable and sometimes life-threatening work of South African photographers illuminates our country’s past, present and future.

Entries allow you to enter a single photograph or a photographic essay published on any or all platforms of South African media. The judges are looking for the South African pictures that really are worth a thousand words.


The VJOY Specialist Reporting Categories focus on four sectors that are deeply engaged in supporting and critiquing the future of our country. In each category, VJOY seeks to identify well-informed, tenaciously researched and credibly presented in-depth reporting that makes a difference and change South African society for the better.


‘Backhanders’, profiteering and dodgy construction deals are among the dubious business practices that have become distressingly familiar to most South Africans. As our nation struggles to deal with the spectre of corruption and the regular buffeting from national, regional and international financial pressures, Financial and Economic journalists in all media can help ensure that both businesses and citizens are well informed, enabling them to make better choices to enhance their present and their future.

The judges are looking for in-depth features and investigations, published or broadcast on any South African media platform, which combine excellent story telling with illuminating insights.



The critical issues of living and working sustainably are particularly a matter of concern in South Africa where many social, economic and political challenges remain unresolved.

The judges are looking for in-depth stories on any South African media platform that report evocatively and with insight on sustainable solutions for South Africa’s future, such as an ingeniously applied old solution to a new environmental problem, a scientific breakthrough on climate change, or a pioneering corporate social responsibility programme or citizens' initiative.



At its best, sport unifies and inspires the nation – but it can also bring division, disaster and dissent. The many moods of our people can be reflected in sports journalism as it celebrates the glory and elegance of great sporting achievements, analyses, questions or even mourns great sporting heroes.

The judges are looking for eloquent and lucid, in-depth sports journalism, published or broadcast on any South African media platform.


Young Journalist

The successor to the popular demand Editor’s Choice category, emphasises VJOY’s commitment to furthering the career of one dynamic young journalist in South Africa. At stake, is the chance of a lifetime for the lucky Young Journalist winner to accelerate his or her professional and personal development through an all-expenses paid trip to follow cutting-edge training overseas, both at the renowned Thomson Foundation and in a newsroom context.

This award recognises the efforts of the rising stars in newsrooms across the regions. Entrants must have worked in journalism for three years or less and already be demonstrating great future potential as a journalist.

Entrants must submit a body of outstanding work (not more than three stories, including proof of publication/broadcast) together with a strong motivation showing commitment to the vocation of news well above the norm – this motivation is a critical component of the judging process.

All shortlisted entrants will be entered in a further round where they will outline their achievements and their aspirations to the judging panel. Regional winners will automatically become finalists for the national Young Journalist award and the career-enhancing prize.