Never a dull moment with Zuma, media

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pretoria - Resilience, lifestyle, popularity and commitment to change the lives of the poor earned President Jacob Zuma the 2009 News Maker of the Year award.

The National Press Club bestowed Zuma with the News Maker of the Year award for the second time last Friday. Zuma first received the award in 2005.

Receiving the award, a delighted Zuma said: "there is a never a dull moment in my relationship with journalists, whether in South Africa or abroad. I seem to attract your attention no matter how hard I try to stay out of the spotlight."

"Not all the reports were good ones and if these reports were to be weighed on a scale, the good ones will weigh heavily." he said with a smile.

National Press Club chairperson Yusuf Abramjee said Zuma deserved the award for making headlines in different formations of the media.

"There is no doubt that 2009 was the year of President Jacob Zuma. He made headlines when corruption charges against him were dropped, when leading the elections campaign of his organisation, when he was inaugurated as President, when he appointed his Cabinet as well as when he launched the Presidential hotline and visited service delivery protest settlements," he said.

Abramjee encouraged journalists to continue reporting independently, but accurately, without fear or favour.

With the 2010 FIFA World Cup around the corner, Abramjee urged local journalists to refrain from promoting gloom and doom about their own country like what the international media is currently doing.

According to Monitoring SA, Zuma was mentioned no less than 22 300 times in the South African print media, nearly 33 000 times in the broadcast media and over 12 500 times in online media in 2009.