From informative dashboards to stigma-breaking podcasts and top-of-the-line UX and engagement strategies, each of these entries showcases the importance and impact of understanding and addressing the needs and habits of audiences and the broad range of tools to do so.

The presentation of the Digital Media Awards Africa winners follows the introduction of the European Digital Media Awards winners on 11 April. We sincerely thank all the publishers who submitted their projects this year and are grateful to our expert jury panel (see full list below).

The winners of the eight categories are automatically entered into the next level to compete head-to-head with the winners from our other regional awards for the prestigious title of Digital Media World Award Winner 2023 celebrated at the World News Media Congress​​​​​​​ in Taipei on June 28-31, 2023.

And the winners are:

Best Data Visualisation

Project Name: Die Kragkrisis Regstreeks (The Electricity Crisis Live)
Company: Netwerk24
Country: South Africa

Netwerk24 shows the power of harnessing data through interactive and concise dashboards to help their readers better understand and plan for the rolling blackouts and power crisis that affect them and their communities. Judge’s comments: “These graphics give the reader insight into troubled national utility Eskom’s power margins in an easily understandable way and – even better – are continually updated, which means readers can almost ‘monitor’ the crisis themselves from day to day and gain a better understanding of why the country is at a specific stage of load-shedding.”

Best in Audience Engagement

Project Name: Live journalism webinars
Company: Daily Maverick
Country: South Africa

What started as a “lockdown pivot”, live webinars have turned into a twice weekly platform for the Daily Maverick to connect and engage with their audiences, as well as introduce new audiences to their editorial content in a different way. Topics are selected based on reader feedback and data and cover everything from book launches, breaking news, climate change, behind the scenes investigations, and much more. The Daily Maverick utilises the webinars as part of their funnel journey, promoting their newsletters, editorial offerings, and subscriptions and set goals that align with the larger objectives of the company. Judge’s comments: “Well thought-out and well developed. Strikes code with audience engagement and customer-first mantra that has become so critical for news innovation. It also speaks to developing news trust through user interaction.”

Best News Website

Project Name: News24: South Africa’s Most Trusted News Website
Company: News24, Media24
Country: South Africa

A website that embraces their readers’ habits and preferences, News24 utilises video, audio, comment sections and an easy subscription flow in their mobile-first site. They also feature games, special projects, documentaries, podcasts and give audiences the opportunity to listen to their articles with a genuine South African voice. With over 1.4 million users and over 75,000 subscribers, News24’s website proves the importance of good UX and understanding how your readers are interacting with your site. Judge’s comments: “I loved this bit, which should be a mantra for all news sites: ‘The goal is to design user journeys that are as efficient, delightful, and user-friendly as possible.’ ”

Best Use of Video

Project Name: WATCH | DOCUMENTARY: Killed For Being Queer
Company: News24, Media24
Country: South Africa

After a large number of LGBTQIA+ individuals were murdered in 2021, and with little response from the government, News24 developed this documentary along with a special site and accompanying articles to shine more light on the reality facing the LGBTQIA+ community in South Africa. The documentary has been viewed more than 47,000 times, and the site and articles have accumulated over 125,000 page views, clearly demonstrating the importance of this topic within their community. Judge’s comments: “This is a very topical issue and the storytelling was top-notch, with direct sources and responders in a subject that has always been dangerous for reporters and responders.”

Best Digital Subscription Initiative

Project Name: Maverick Insider Marketing
Company: Daily Maverick
Country: South Africa

In order to continue growing their membership community, the Daily Maverick championed the culture of continuous experimentation in order to increase acquisition and decrease churn, testing everything from mailing time and text length to colour psychology and automation. Their desire to better understand their members allowed them to serve their existing community in a more impactful way, while also attracting new members more effectively, proven by a remarkable 20% growth in 2022.  Judge’s comments: “The Maverick’s spirit of experimenting and testing, but more critically, learning from their mistakes and adapting continues to pay off.”

Best Newsletter

Project Name: Your Questions Answered (YQA)
Company: Daily Maverick
Country: South Africa

Seeing an audience interested in participation and engagement, the Daily Maverick created a reader response system in which readers would be asked to submit questions or feedback and, once a trend was discovered among them, the team would identify relevant experts to address them. With a subscriber list of over 49,000 and an open rate above 60%, the YQA newsletter is a tremendous step towards the Daily Maverick’s goal of becoming more audience-centric and will certainly continue to provide them with immensely beneficial audience engagement and data. Judge’s comments: “Based on interactivity, this newsletter is very specific and original. People ask questions and the newsletter gives answers. Great!”

Best Podcast

Project Name: Health For Mzansi podcast
Company: Food For Mzansi
Country: South Africa

In an effort to address and remove the cultural stigmas and shame around discussions of health and wellness in South Africa, Health for Mzansi launched Sisters Talking Without Shame. The podcast shares real life stories, talks with health professionals and seeks to create a community that empowers South African women to be open and engaged in their health journeys. Judge’s comments: “This is a great listen: important and often taboo topics covered in a reassuring, thoughtful and professional way. The tone and pacing are pitch perfect, and the shorter duration works really well. The branding is also excellent. Lively, compelling, and vital.”

Best Trust Initiative

Project Name: Media Literacy Campaign
Company: GMEM
Country: Nigeria

Ahead of the 2023 elections, set out to help Nigerian readers, and particularly younger audiences, improve their media literacy and be better equipped to identify and dismiss fake news. Through this outstanding multimedia approach, which includes a microsite, webinars, gamification, short-form videos and partnerships with influencers and celebrities, they have reached over 30 million people in their quest to give Nigerians access to and understanding of quality, ethical reporting.  Judge’s comments: “Great way to make fact-checking appealing to people, and to train them to do their own sense-check of information. The number of people reached is impressive. The fact that you can sign up for a webinar makes it particularly impactful.”

2023 Jurors

Olivier Bot, Deputy editor-in-chief; Tribune de Genève, Switzerland.

Camilla Brække, Head of Video Innovation; VG, Norway.

Khalil A. Cassimally, Head of Audience Insights; The Conversation, Mauritius.

Yvette Dimiri, Head of Growth; Stears Insights, Nigeria.

Jane Godia, Director for Africa; Women in News, Kenya.

Valérie Arnould, Deputy Director, Digital Revenue Network; WAN-IFRA, France.

Mamadou Goundiam, Deputy CEO; Jeune Afrique, France.

Grainne Harrington, Journalist, Uganda.

Martin Fröhlich, Director Digital Revenue Network; WAN-IFRA, Germany.

Sarah Hartley, Program Manager; Google News Initiative, UK.

Cherilyn Ireton, Executive Director World Editors Forum; WAN-IFRA, UK.

Lyndsey Jones, Strategic advisor and author, UK.

Frenny Jowi, Journalist, Nairobi.

Caroline J. Kimutai, Digital Editor; The Standard Group, Kenya.

Ruona Meyer, Manager, Africa Initiative; Solutions Journalism Network, UK.

Churchill Otieno, Chairman; Eastern Africa Editors Society, Kenya.

Chris Roper, Deputy CEO; Code For Africa, South Africa.

Dean Roper, Director of Insights & Editor-in-Chief; WAN-IFRA, Germany.

Donavine Smith, Membership Communication & Co-ordination Manager; WAN-IFRA, South Africa.

Denis Vannier, Journalist (data+maps+motion) / Cartographer; Le Plan, France.

Riaan Wolmarans, Insights content manager; NTT, South Africa.

Contact and Inquiries

Martin Fröhlich
Director Digital Revenue Network

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