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Rob Rose scoops the 2018 Sanlam Financial Journalist of the Year Award

20 June 2019

Financial Mail editor, Mr Rob Rose has once again won the Sanlam Financial Journalist of the Year award presented at a gala event on 20 June in Johannesburg.

Rose has previously won the Sanlam Financial Journalist of the Year award twice and various category awards in the Sanlam Awards for Excellence in Financial Journalism competition over the years.

For the 2018 competition, he won the Business and Companies and Financial Markets category awards. For the Business and Companies category, he won for his submission of a series articles about the Steinhoff financial scandal. The articles he submitted for the Financial Markets category focused on the issue of trust in the South Africa financial markets.

Presenting the coveted Sanlam Financial Journalist of the Year award to Rose, the judging panel said they were impressed by his ability to see through the fog of corporate miscreants and illuminate the objective facts. The panel also commented that he wrote in an accessible and compelling narrative style, which has made him a fine storyteller as well as journalist.

Mr Isaac Anyaogu of the Nigerian newspaper Business Day won The African Growth Story and Best Newcomer categories. His work reflects a growing body of high quality financial journalism chronicling the continent’s economic awakening, development, and progress. Anyaogu was the first runner-up in the African Growth story category in last year’s awards.

Launched in 2013, the African Growth Story category is open to all journalists who practise in Africa and whose work is published and/or broadcast on the continent. The category recognises stories covering the significance of business and investment on the continent. Entries should focus on the growth of the continent in terms of investments, infrastructure development, economic progress and related topics.

Veteran journalist Mr Allan Greenblo received the Lifetime Achievement award. The panel said his extensive contribution over the last four decades reflected a diversity of accomplishments, which have made a meaningful impact to financial journalism in South Africa.

Winners in the other categories were:

  • Ms Pauli van Wyk (Daily Maverick): Economy
  • Ms Maya Fischer-French (Maya on Money): Consumer Financial Education

Commenting on the 2018 entries, interim convenor of the panel, Mr. Charles Naude, said: In general, the quality of the submissions was very high. In some categories, the competition was so fierce leading to intense debates. That was a necessary part of the process. We eventually arrived at a good consensus on selecting the deserving winners. Once again the entries showed the mettle and value of determined investigative journalists to expose power abuse and mismanagement in the public and private sectors.”

Naude further commented: “What was quite positive was how the African Growth Story category has been a successful growth story itself. The interest in this category has been growing over the years and this year it attracted the highest number of entries of high quality.”

Speaking at the awards presentation, Sanlam Group CEO Ian Kirk said, “The media is working in a space where digital has changed the business model significantly and journalists have to work and deliver on multiple platforms. In this context, what journalists have been able to achieve proves their mettle in exposing systems that facilitate wrongdoing in civil society. This is very good for the public discourse. The exemplary ethos and quality of financial journalism is critical and has never been more important than it was in the last couple of years.”

Sanlam Chief Executive of Brand, Sydney Mbhele, said: “This is the 44th year that Sanlam is hosting the awards. Our commitment financial journalism is long standing and reflects our desire to contribute constructively to the profession. We are committed to these awards because we believe good journalism is vital to an informed society and encouraging good governance in business, and even across civil society.”

The runners-up in the various categories were:

Business and Companies

  • Craig Mckune, amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism – First runner up
  • Susan Comrie, amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism – Second runner up


  • Claire Bisseker, Financial Mail – First runner up
  • Giulietta Talevi, Financial Mail – Second runner up

Financial Markets

  • Lisa Steyn, Business Day/Financial Mail – Runner up

Consumer Financial Education

  • Kate Ferreira, Financial Mail – First Runner up
  • Sam Beckbessinger, Women’s Health, You Magazine, Manage your Money like a F*cking Grown-up (Blog) – Second Runner up

African Growth Story

  • Karen Mwendera, Forbes Africa and Forbes Woman Africa – First runner up
  • Neville Otuki, Energy Siren News, Kenya – Second runner up
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