The team of journalists from Daily Maverick’s Scorpio, amaBhungane and News24 – who made up the #Guptaleaks team – were also awarded Nat Nakasa certificates by the panel of four judges.
Branko Brkic, editor of Daily Maverick, is the overall winner of the 2018 Nat Nakasa Award. The announcement was made at a ceremony in Braamfontein on Saturday 23 June, hosted by the South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF). Chair of the judging panel, Joe Thloloe, told the audience that the highest number of nominations ever were received this year.
The Nat Nakasa Award is recognised as one of South African media’s top honours and is given to a media practitioner who has followed the example of the late journalist Nat Nakasa in displaying exceptional courage and integrity.
Thloloe said that the competition this year was characterised by “outstanding”
Among those shortlisted for the award were The President’s Keepers author
Jacques Pauw, City Press journalist Poloko Tau and Business Day deputy editor Carol Paton.
Announcing the winner of the award, Thloloe gave a special commendation to the Scorpio investigative team from Daily Maverick, amaBhungane and News24 who worked on the #Guptaleaks emails. Thloloe described their contribution as “committed and groundbreaking”.
But Brkic, said Thloloe, had “set a precedent that the judges can’t ignore” in his editorial handling of the #GuptaLeaks story.
“A cache of emails – a cache that defined the South African story in the last year – landed on his lap,” said Thloloe.
“If [Brkic] were just another ordinary journalist, he would have heard the words
scoop! and exclusive! dancing in his head. But he was extraordinary and thus did two remarkable things: one, he realised this was not a story his publication could hoard – it belonged to South Africa; and two, he had to protect his sources.” Read the full Citation for Nat Nakasa Award winner 2018.