The Mail & Guardian’s health editor, Mia Malan, was named the Discovery Health
Journalist of the Year on Wednesday. Malan, who heads up the newspaper’s health
unit, Bhekisisa, also won this award in 2013.
Malan won for a long-form feature on the Banting diet and a story
on fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. These articles won the health lifestyle and
consumer/feature writing categories respectively. Malan was also a finalist in
the comment and analysis category for a piece on HIV-related stigma.
The judges described Malan’s work as a “perfect example of excellence in
journalism, of good writing, rich information, and of making analytical
reporting accessible to audiences”. “Her grasp of science and her ability to communicate complex issues
are simply superb,” they said.
Bhekisisa health writer Amy Green was a finalist in the Discovery
Foundation National Building category for a feature on antiretroviral clubs in
Cape Town that encourage people with HIV to take their medicine correctly.
Bhekisisa’s journalists have won more than twenty journalism
awards since its launch in February 2013. The unit expanded its activities to
the rest of Africa this year.
exceptionally proud of this unit and its vision for health reporting in
Africa,” said M&G editor-in-chief Verashni Pillay. “Bhekisisa has shown us
that health stories can be mainstream stories, have impact and improve the
quality of a newspaper in general.”
Bhekisisa is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and
the German government.
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