Mail & Guardian Chief Editor and Deputy announce resignation

Mail & Guardian Editor-in-Chief, Khadija Patel and Deputy Editor, Beauregard Tromp have announced their resignation from the South African weekly Newspaper.

Patel and Tromp broke the news on their social media accounts.

“So, I have some news. After three and a half years as Editor in Chief of @mailandguardian I will be stepping down from the position at the end of May. The decision was especially difficult. And emotionally fraught,” Patel tweeted.

Over an hour later, Tromp also tweeted, “Today I formally announced my resignation as deputy editor of the @mailandguardian. This has been the paper I’ve poured my heart and soul into, more than any other place I’ve worked at. Throughout, I’ve tried to always place the journalists and their work first.”

Patel has worked at the publication for three and a half years, since October 2016, while Tromp, a veteran investigative journalist became Deputy Editor in September the same year.

Patel said the decision to resign was a difficult and emotional one.

“The M&G has been a lot more than a job to me. It’s been my whole life. And I am so proud of my team. And I am so proud of what we have done together. And I am so grateful to all of them for their unflinching support,” she said.

On the other hand, Tromp said he will miss his job, but will continue to try and tell the stories that need telling.

“Throughout, I’ve tried to always place the journalists and their work first. The greatest privilege we have in this world is to tell other people’s stories. It’s always been the best part of this job- crafting the stories of this country and our continent.”

In an article on Mail & Guardian website, the Chief Executive Officer, 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 article reveals that Mail & Guardian editorial staff will meet next week to map out ways in which to operate once the resignations come into effect.

Patel and Tromp resign at a time when the newspaper is struggling financially, due to the effects of the global coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking at a Wits Journalism webinar on April 22, 2020, Patel revealed that the pandemic had greatly affected the newspaper’s operations.

“At the beginning of March, it looked positive. But very quickly it became the stuff of nightmares. The M&G response was to show our vulnerability to the public and our audience. I was heartened by the supportive response we received,” she said.

Patel said as a result, staff had to take pay cuts to keep the company afloat.

Mail & Guardian, in a website article about their resignation states that Patel oversaw its 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,” the article states.

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