Of the first order

From left are NMP Custom GM Andrew Nunneley, award winner Irna van Zyl, NMP’s MD Bridget McCarney, and Media24’s CFO Manie Mayman.

Our own media icon, Irna van Zyl, has won the Order of Tafelberg from the Naspers group, on top of two more of Media24’s most sought-after awards.

The Order of Tafelberg goes to an outstanding business partner each year, and for 2015, Naspers chair Koos Bekker presented it to Irna van Zyl, an icon in the South African publishing industry and one of the founders of New Media Publishing.

IMG_5229[1]This honour comes on top of two more industry awards for our company. Media24, which holds a majority share of New Media, honours its business units and affiliates with annual awards – and recently New Media won two of the most prestigious.

Media24 also honoured Irna, this time with the Piet Cillié Award for journalistic excellence. It’s one of Media24’s highest accolades, with criteria including exceptional editorial talent, flair, leadership, vision and initiative.

Presenting the award this year, Media24’s CEO Esmaré Weideman said: ‘This year’s winner is an icon in the South African publishing industry who has trailblazed many firsts in a career spanning 25 years, is an exceptional journalist, editor, publisher and entrepreneur – and was the driving force behind New Media’s success.

‘As editor and publisher Irna has over the years mentored many people – she believes in servant-leadership, loves nothing more than to create opportunities for others to thrive, and takes huge pride in celebrating the successes of her colleagues.

‘New Media’s first chairperson, Salie de Swardt, has hailed Irna’s editorial expertise and intuition to surround herself with the best, while clients have often remarked on Irna’s unique style, loyalty, dedication and editorial flair.’Irna was delighted to receive this commendation in the year she steps down as editorial director at New Media.

I believe that sustainable products will find a place if they are produced using the right teams, with quality, relevance and for a big enough audience.

‘It’s the biggest honour a single journalist can get for your career and I am extremely honoured and humbled,’ she said. ‘I’ve worked on such small circulation titles for such a long time that I never expected my work to be recognised. Thank you Media24 and Esmaré Weideman for this acknowledgement. It means a lot.

‘I have always fought for quality, not only in words but also in design. And I continue to believe that sustainable products will find a place if they are produced using the right teams, with quality, relevance and for a big enough audience. No matter what the platform.’

The second award from Media24 was the Salie de Swardt Award, which recognises best financial performance in a business with outside shareholders. Media24 commended New Media for outperforming operating profit targets. ‘All [New Media’s] business units improved their performances against the previous year, and a loss-making unit it inherited was made profitable in a short time. These people simply know how to grow their business from existing clients, while securing new clients and broadening their expertise from print to multi-platforms.’

Written by Adelle Horler

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