Former staffers pay tribute to Sapa

2015-03-31 22:47
(Via web)

(Via web)

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Johannesburg - Shortly after the announcement that the SA Press Association will close its doors on Tuesday, March 31, messages of condolence and tributes poured in.

Many of the country's reporters started their careers at Sapa.

Some of those former staffers took to Facebook to express their feelings about Sapa.

Eleanor Momberg was saddened by the news.

"The news and truth are going to be poorer without Sapa - the place that formed me as a journalist and where some of my most wonderful memories were made and friendships built," she wrote on Facebook.

Schalk Mouton described Sapa as a "humble and crazy institution" which would always have a special place.

"Who else will inform the world of that NB [important] breaking news story?" he asked.

"Sapa, for all its imperfections, will be missed."

Mouton described life as a journalist at the news wire.

"Life as a Sapa journo is unthankful, you are invisible... and you don't really get appreciated by your peers who use your copy as their own. But then, your work is invaluable to them."

Hilka Birns, who worked under editor Ed Linington, was angry that Sapa was allowed to "disappear".

"It was a great learning school for young journalists, particularly because the story always came first and egos second! Its format allowed us to cover headline stories daily and record the unfolding history of South Africa's bloody road to democracy in the early 90s. I salute those I worked with in those heady days," she wrote on Facebook.

Charmaine Pretorius said: "I noted with sadness today that the South African Press Association, the news agency I worked for several years, will be closing its doors at the end of March.

"I will always fondly remember my time there; the laughs, the friends, the sad days, the happy days, the crazy days, the slow days, the special Christmas lunches, the midnight shifts, the opportunities, the disappointments - it helped me grow! Goodbye!"

Sisa Majola said the news of Sapa's closure was sad.

"Very proud to have been a part of this team. Great people," he said.

Maryke Vermaak said only once Sapa was gone would other news organisations realise how much they relied on the wire.

"Sapa was where I learnt how to actually be a journalist, where I met some of my best friends, and where I confirmed for myself that I really love covering violent protests," Vermaak said.

"All the best to my Sapa family..."

Melody McCabe said that although she spent a short time at Sapa, she depended on it throughout her career.

"Sapa taught me how to write... [it] will always have a very special place in my heart on many levels."

Neo Semono said she was proud to have worked at Sapa.

"... [I] will remain grateful for all that I learnt in the 'blueroom'. I dare not forget all the wonderful people that made Sapa what it is," she said.

Penelope K Munday said she was speechless and remembered all the "greats that showed us beginners the ropes with compassion and understanding".

"Such an institution will never be replicated and that's a sad thought," Munday wrote.

Ray Faure had worked at Sapa three times over the past 40 years.

"I worked for Sapa three times and came to regard it as a home from home and its many staffers I worked with over the years as something akin to family.

"I can attribute much of what I learned in this field to Sapa."

The National Press Club on Tuesday night issued a statement saying it was a sad day in the media history of South Africa.

"This is always the case when any media channel closes down, but more so when it is a channel like Sapa that has played such a crucial role in the development of the media in our country.

"Being in business for 77 years is no mean feat, more so in such a cut-throat business where accuracy and speed is the order of the day.

"The National Press Club salutes you and while the Sapa that we all know might not be anymore, rest assured, the Sapa legacy will be everlasting."

Read more on:    sapa  |  johannesburg  |  media

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