#FeesMustFall has been named as the Newsmaker of the Year for 2015. By Wim Pretorius, NewsAgency
The announcement was made by the National Press Club on Wednesday. The award is allocated based on the amount of media coverage a topic receives, as well as its impact.
“The decision to name #FeesMustFall as the newsmaker for 2015 was unanimous,” said club chairperson Jos Charle.
“This was a major game-changer in our country. There is no doubt that tertiary education in South Africa will never be the same again.”
Charle said the support for #FeesMustFall came not only from South Africa, but from students across the globe.
“What the #FeesMustFall movement has brought to the fore is the plight of many poor South Africans whose ambitions of studying at our universities remain far-fetched due to the rising cost of higher education,” he said.
He added that social media, complemented by widespread reports in traditional news media, had been instrumental in the success of the campaign.
“The fact that it led to President Jacob Zuma announcing that there would be no increase in tertiary education fees for 2016 illustrates the success and impact of the campaign.”
The annual award was started in 1980, with previous Newsmakers of the Year listed as, among others, President Jacob Zuma; former presidents Nelson Mandela, FW de Klerk and Thabo Mbeki; Hollywood star Charlize Theron and Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.
The Oscar Pistorius trial was the 2014 winner. – News24