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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


Brave journalists honoured at awards function in Sandton

Legendary broadcaster Derek Watts and journalist from across the globe including the Middle East were acknowledged at the awards.


This year’s Adcock Ingram, sponsors of Brave Media and Journalism Awards paid tribute to legendary broadcaster Derek Watts.

Journalists and media personalities from across the country were once again rewarded for their incredible work in a year fraught with adversity and challenges.

The awards function took place at the Saxon Hotel in Sandhurst on Wednesday night.

Derek Watts

Katy Katopodis, Senior Editor, Newsroom Development Strategist and chair of the South African National Editors Forum’s (SANEF) Journalism wellness and safety committee said Watts was an integral part of the media fraternity.

“There is just a massive gap that Derek filled and we’re so glad that you are here to be able to fill that gap in a small way as we take a moment to honour the amazing Derek Watts.”

Middle East journos

Katopodis also paid tribute to the journalists in Middle East reporting on the Gaza conflict.

As of November 1, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) preliminary investigations showed at least 33 journalists and media workers were killed, since the war began on October 7.

“I think its really important to know the Committee to Protect Journalists has put out numbers daily and it is horrific, it is absolutely unbelievable.

“I was watching a cross on Al Jazeera, where a correspondent was talking and she screamed halfway through because the bombs were so near. And, who can forget those horrific images of the Al Jazeera journalist who lost his wife and three children, very, very gut wrenching?” Katopodis said.

ALSO READ: WATCH: Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh shot dead by Israeli forces

Katopodis said journalists must be honoured and remembered for the strife they go through when reporting.

“We have to remember them because when we are talking about brave journalism and media awards, there is absolutely no way that we can talk about hosting awards like this without mentioning our fallen colleagues, friends and peers in other parts of the world and especially what is happening in the Middle East. We think about them daily.”

SA newsrooms

Katopodis said newsrooms must look after journalists.

“We have to look after our teams… We’ve got a lot of difficulties as a South Africa media, but by and large, we are able to operate freely and independently.”

Journalists and media personalities who were honoured on the night included Yusuf Abramjee, Ashraf Garda, Clement Manyathela, Bongani Bingwa, Govan Whittles, Aki Anastasiou, and many others including The Citizen senior digital journalist Faizel Patel.

Donation

The late Derek Watts wife Belinda and children Kirsten Watts and Tyrone Watts were also in attendance and shared an emotional message to all the journalist and others in attendance.

Adcock Ingram also donated R20 000 to the Kirsty Watts Foundation, which gives children the opportunity to fulfil their potential by improving the facilities available to them in the environments they live and learn in.

ALSO READ: ‘Derek Watts a guiding light in pursuit of truth and transparency’ − Sanef

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