This evening, the Afrikaans radio news team from RSG will be attending the annual ATKV (Afrikaanse Taal en Kultuur Vereniging) media awards, with a whopping 13 nominations.
“Our current affairs team is without doubt one of the most productive and multi-skilled news teams in the SABC. I’m extremely proud on the fact that like last year, 13 of our team members were nominated. In 2016 we walked away with six winners in four categories. Hopefully we can do the same on Friday night,’ said executive producer of RSG Current Affairs, Foeta Krige.
The ATKV has a long standing relationship with the language and culture of all Afrikaans speaking South Africans with the Veertjie of Feather Award being a highly-rated accolade in the news and entertainment industry.
In 2016, the RSG team won Best News Programme for an in-depth analysis on President Jacob Zuma’s 2015 State of the Nation Address.
One of the dual winners who worked on the analysis, Melissa Tighy, says that every morning the team sources various news stories from around the country or through stories they monitor from the different news bulletins.
“We follow up on stories; we get expert analysis and strive to obtain the story-behind-the-story. I love the immediacy of radio and the fact that with sound, you can picture your own story in your mind, so for everyone the story looks different but the facts are all the same.’
This year, Tighy alongside current news affairs producer, Izak du Plessis have been nominated for their coverage on the voices from a small fishing town, Lambert’s Bay in the Western Cape. Here the marginalised community were given a platform to voice their concerns ahead of the 2016 Local Government Elections.
“It was important for us to cover Lambert’s Bay as their voices don’t necessarily get heard in parliament or government, be it local or national level. We were able to portray how difficult their daily lives are in regards to fishing rights, how challenging it is to get fishing permits and the struggles they have with an influx of fishers from other provinces.’
This is the 4th row in a year that du Plessis has been nominated for various awards and in 2015 he won the ATKV awards with his story on farm attacks.
Combining social media and radio strengthens community participation and is a big focus for the teams who go out on air every day. Listeners are encouraged to participate and du Plessis helps facilitate the conversation. He explains that you must be positive and love telling stories to be successful at it.
“Radio taught me to see and listen to life differently. I don’t just see anymore, I hear and for me that makes the story so much richer. You experience the story in such a different way, in a more intense way.’
Suzanne Paxton is the presenter of the Midday Current Affairs show on RSG which airs between 13h00 and 14h00. She is up for Best News and Current Affairs programme on a news piece she did on Alzheimer’s. Paxton explains that she loves working in news because every day is different,
“We cover everything from economics, environments to protests… On Monday we were speaking to SABC News journalist Horisani Sithole as he was covering the Eldorado Park protest. At first, he was talking like a normal journalist, then all of a sudden protesters were throwing rocks and you could hear the rocks pelting down on the cars around him as he explained what was happening live on air.’
Paxton initially started working for SABC TV News in Mahikeng but explains that she has always had an interest in radio. For her, her favourite part of the day is working with her colleagues who form a tight nit team of talented producers.
“If the radio bug bites you, you never shake it. It’s exciting, it’s immediate.’
Radio news producer, Hanri Wondergem, is nominated for her story on honouring the fallen South African soldiers in the battle of Delville Wood in France.
“Not many people know this but more than 3000 South Africans went over to France during the First World War to fight and less than 1000 returned. In 2016, President Zuma unveiled a wall of remembrance in France for the fallen soldiers.’
“I found and spoke to the descendants in South Africa, a historian explained what happened in the battle itself and I worked together with the amazing sound archives of the SABC, where I sourced the first hand stories of the people who survived the battle.’
With radio you don’t have the luxury of using visuals which allows listeners to create the images for themselves. People tell their stories and radio producers give voice to stories by the use of their voices. The ATKV awards will take place at the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City tonight.