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Celebrating women journalists – Week 3

Aug 23, 2021

Celebrating women journalists

Spring is (almost) in the air and we have more reasons to celebrate and recognise #WomenInJournalism this Women’s Month with the penultimate digest of advice and comments on the value of journalism and a free press featuring counsel and opinions from Irma Green, Emilie Gambade, Canny Maphanga, Mandy Wiener and Nicki Güleş.

Group Editor of Caxton Local Media, Irma Green points out that “the global pandemic has shown us how vitally important the media’s role has become, whether you report from a hyper local, national or global position. We have to decipher fact from fiction and be the trusted and reliable source for our readers. My advice to our newsrooms in the fast paced environment of sharing news remains: ‘Be right, not first’. Newsrooms need to maintain credibility and trustworthiness in an already challenging media environment.”

Asked what inspired her to choose a career in journalism, Emilie Gambade, Editor at Maverick Life confides that it was “The beauty and power of storytelling – added to the fact that it was a job where it was not only great but necessary to be curious and inquisitive.” And her view on the value of journalism is as per Daily Maverick’s motto: “Defend truth. (relentlessly).”

Journalist at News24, Canny Maphanga, explains that she grew up in a home that was deeply fond of story-telling and reading which contributed to her choosing journalism as a career. “I knew that this would be a career path that I would follow. I didn’t know that it would be journalism – but I knew that I would be writing and telling stories that I am passionate about that would hopefully make an impact on society. As a black woman in this field, it is an honour to be able to share this kind of gift.”

Renowned journalist and author Mandy Wiener believes: “Journalists help shine spotlights in the darkest corners and the responsibility of where to shine that light is enormous. We help people make sense of the world and that means asking the right questions. I take that very seriously.”

Nicki Güleş – Assistant Editor: News and Investigations at the Sunday Times says journalism is her third career. “I was a musician and then a teacher and journalism has been the only career to sustain my attention for these many years – 23 so far. While I fell into journalism more by accident than by design, what keeps me motivated is a desire to tell the real-life stories of regular people, and to shine a light on pressing issues through the people affected by them.”

Her advice to a younger Nicki would be to keep going. “Keep working hard – it will pay off in the end. Fight harder and stand up for yourself – don’t let them tell you no because you’re a woman. Believe in your skills.”

She believes the value of journalism is gathering information for the public good. “Journalists tell people what they need to know so they can make informed decisions about many aspects of their lives, including who to vote for. The exposure of massive corruption by South African journalists has led to a sea change in the country’s politics. We have significant power, but it is imperative that this be used responsibly. The facts must be presented accurately, honestly and fairly. Accuracy and fairness above all.”

Salute to these warriors with words, for taking the time to share their thoughts with us. We look forward to more observations and guidance for the remainder of the month. Follow the PRC’s social channels to keep being inspired and join the #WomenInJournalism conversation.

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Bureaux Contacts

PAMS data is available from the following media software bureaux:

Jennifer Daniel

Nielsen Clear Decisions
Hank Bento

Andrew Fulton

Hilary Crowther

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