Veteran journalist and executive producer
of investigative journalism programme Special Assignment on SABC3, Jacques
Pauw, has been honoured with the 2007 Nat Nakasa award, writes Bate Felix
The award, a tribute to the prominent South
African journalist who died in exile, recognises any journalist, editor,
publisher or owner who has shown integrity, reported fearlessly and resisted
censorship, among other things.
In presenting the award to Pauw, the judges
said he was the embodiment of courageous journalism and had been consistent
with his work, even when he switched from print to broadcasting.
"Pauw is a shining example of how
journalism as a profession can transform a person's life…lifting them through
journalism to see human rights as something that everyone deserves. It was done
in the face of huge personal danger."
"Pauw went deep and wide into the texture
of society, not merely staying with the more obvious stories of power and
scandal; he explored many of the murky ethical dilemmas we confront in the
course of our work, showing there are no simple answers to them," the judges
Accepting the award, Pauw said: "It is an
incredible honour to receive an award in honour of such a great journalist as
Nat Nakasa." Pauw thanked the editors
who nominated him saying: "I am very much the journalist I am because of you
all who have instilled a sense of excellence in my work."
Pauw began his investigative career as a founder
member of the now defunct anti-apartheid newspaper Vrye Weekblad. He began his
television career in 1994, specialising in documentaries around the African
He has received several national and
international awards, including CNN's African Journalist of the Year and Vodacom's
Journalist of the Year Award. Pauw has written several books, including "Into
the Heart of Darkness: The Story of Apartheid's Killers", published in 1997 and
"Dances with the Devils", published in 2006.
Previous winners of the Nat Nakasa Award
include Prof Guy Berger of Rhodes
Debbie Yazbek and City Press editor Mathatha Tsedu.
In addition to a certificate, Pauw received
a R 20 000 cash prize at the Nat Nakasa Award Dinner hosted by the South
African National Editors' Forum, Print Media South Africa and the Nieman
Society of South Africa at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.