Sanef makes two awards each year. The Nat Nakasa Award is made to individuals working in the broadcast, online or print media who show exceptional integrity and courage in their work. And the Sanef-Wrottesley Award is given to a Sanef member for excellent service to the organisation.
The Nat Nakasa Award
Nat Nakasa was a South African journalist who died in exile in 1965 at the age of 28, after a brief but dynamic career characterised by his journalistic courage and integrity. In the South Africa of the 1960s, the press was not free. Angry black voices were heard in the townships and in shebeens, but never in print. Today, the written word has a platform without restriction. The Nat Nakasa Award is awarded annually by Print Media SA, the SA National Editors’ Forum and the Nieman Society in recognition of any media practitioner – journalist, editor, manager or owner – who has:
- Shown integrity and reported fearlessly
- Displayed a commitment to serve the people of South Africa
- Tenaciously striven to maintain a publication or other medium despite insurmountable obstacles
- Resisted any censorship
- Shown courage in making information available to the South African public
- Any combination of the above
The Sanef-Wrottesley Award
The Sanef-Wrottesley Award is given in recognition of excellent service to the organisation. It is presented to a Sanef member for extraordinary commitment to work towards the achievement of the association’s goals.
Stephen Wrottesley, chief of staff for Independent Newspapers, was the former news editor of the Cape Argus and had achieved renown as a top crime reporter with that newspaper. He was a recipient of the Stellenbosch Farmers’ Winery Journalism Award for his reporting on illegal whaling. He was instrumental in the formation of the SA National Editors’ Forum and was a member of its executive committee for a number of years. He died in hospital after a car accident in Cape Town in 2003 at the age of 47.
Previous winners have been Joe Thloloe, Raymond Louw, Mary Papayya and Mathatha Tsedu. Raymond Louw has the distinction of having twice been a recipient. The award is given to nominated candidates who fulfil all the following criteria:
- A Sanef member in good standing
- Active in Sanef for at least five years
- Shown both practical and leadership commitment, often behind the scenes
- Stepped in when Sanef has had difficulties
- Worked towards the achievement of Sanef’s strategic goals
- Contributed significantly towards the achievement of Sanef’s project objectives over a number of years
- Shown initiative in helping to solve problems