After three and half years as the Editor in Chief of the Mail & Guardian, Khadija Patel on Friday announced her resignation to pursue other opportunities. This has been followed by the announcement that Beauregard Tromp, has also tendered his resignation as Deputy Editor of the Mail & Guardian.
During their time at the Mail & Guardian, they have both played an important role in bringing stability to the newsroom and in the process assembled one of the best newsrooms in South Africa.
Tromp has been with the M&G slightly longer and has been an anchor in the newsroom, both in his support for Khadija, as well as for the rest of the editorial team.
Under her editorship, the Mail & Guardian produced agenda setting, exceptional and people driven journalism, and was the recipient of numerous awards and accolades in a multitude of categories.
As a digital native, Patel also oversaw exceptional growth online and most recently drove a highly successful subscription drive to mitigate against the devastating effects of Covid-19 on the M&G’s sustainability. Critically, she helped turn the legacy institution towards a better forward-focused, digitally driven publication with a greater chance of navigating these uncertain times.
Besides being the vice-chairperson of the Vienna-based International Press Institute she has lent her considerable knowledge and expertise to not only optimise processes at the M&G but has also contributed to the advocacy for press freedom and media sustainability in the global south.
Patel said the decision to resign was an especially difficult and emotional decision.
She paid tribute to her team saying they continue to prove the transformative potential of quality journalism. “I am so proud of this team, so proud of what we have done together and I will miss them all deeply.”
The M&G’s CEO, Hoosain Karjieker, said: “Khadija brought an energy that had revitalised the newsroom with her pragmatic hands-on management style and approach, and we value her contribution immensely. We are sad to see her leave but at the same time wish her all the best with her future.”
The M&G’s editorial staff will meet next week to decide on the best way to run the newsroom when the resignations come into effect. Staff have also been given expanded roles on decision-making bodies at the M&G. As 10% shareholders in the company, staff will also be involved in the process of appointing a full-time editor-in-chief.