Overall in a career spanning 33 years to date and counting, Clay has indeed contributed positively to the development and improvement of South African media practices in print and radio. She still firmly believes that the “responsibility of media workers to the public is to plug the knowledge gap; be more assertive in interactions with courts and be more accurate in their reporting.” For the future we can expect a book and produce more, well trained editors, to put it in her words exactly,” I want my trainees to take over the media world”. Such enthusiasm after so many years is highly admirable and deserves recognition.
Paddi Clay, a veteren journalist was born in Oranjezicht, Cape Town. She attended high school at St Cyprians School for Girls and went on to matriculate at Cape Town High School. She persued her tertiary education at UCT - doing a Performers Diploma in Drama and a BA majoring in Drama and English. She completed the BA (not the Diploma) in 1975 and then spent a gap year in 1976 as an Outspan girl and in Paris. Her first job was as a copy editor at the Readers' DIgest.
Her father was a journalist - George Clay - who began work on local South African papers then went on to work for publications such as the Observer and for the broadcasting company NBC. He was killed while on assignment in the Congo in 1964. Her mother was Phyllis Clay, formerly Edmeades nee Hasset who was a swimming teacher.
Career informationLed the project and contributed to the SANEF/Mappp Seta handbook for court reporter. she says, "the responsibilty of the media worker to the public, is to plug the knowledge gap; be more assertive in interactions with courts and be more accurate in their reporting."
Current position: Director of Times LIVE news and of Editorial Development for Avusa.
Paddi Clay has been in the media for 30 years she started training journalists in 1991 and is now an established media industry trainer and a SANEF councillor.
She heads the Avusa Pearson Journalism training programme of Avusa and BDFM.
She has held positions of foreign correspondent (CBC, ABC, IRN, VOA), acting programme manager (Kaya FM), director of programming and news (702), editor (Ulwazi Educational Radio Project), radio producer (Capital Radio); news consultant (to a variet of commercial stations and PBS stations of SABC) and general reporter ( Sunday Express, Cape Times).
Since she started training journalists in 1991 these are her views on how the media industry has grown and the advantages of new young people entering the media industry. “That was before we had a whole range of independent radio stations, alternates to SABC TV news and news websites so the media industry has both expanded in the number of editorial operations and shrunk in the number of staff each operation now employs. New people entering the industry can move between media more easily and progress in a zig zag fashion between different media. Such variety should satisfy any good journalist and provide them with a welter of story telling and career building opportunties.”
Recognitions and awards
Paddiclay is recognised as ne of the most established media workers thus she's called a veteren. Apart from her other activities she writes for The herald.
She won the Vodacom Columnist of the Year award in 2007 for your humorous and witty writing style in the Upfront and Personal columns published in The Herald
Other professional activities
Contributed to Writing for the Media by Francois Nel.
Wrote Hillbrow with photographer Glyn Griffiths while covering Hillbrow as a beat.
She is the chairperson of the People Development Committee of Print Media SA