Debora Patta says goodbye

2013-05-15 11:31
Debora Patta
Cape Town – The indomitable TV news anchor Debora Patta signed off from 3rd Degree for the last time on Tuesday night and brought to a close the long-running current affairs programme on she pioneered.

Patta said she was honoured to have been with 3rd Degree for 13 years and thanked the South African viewing public, warning them – and the press – of the importance of good investigative journalism, encouraging them to keep "shining a light" to change the world.

"After 13 years on air, 3rd Degree is coming to an end. It's been an incredible challenge and an absolute pleasure to have anchored this show," Patta told viewers. "I have worked with some of the finest people in the business and I am honoured to have worked with every single one of you both on and off air.

Repeats suddenly pulled

"Thank you to all the loyal 3rd Degree viewers. You remain our inspiration and we thank you for allowing us to tell your incredible stories. Good investigative journalism is crucial for the fabric of our democracy. I salute everyone who continues to speak truth to power, to shine a light, to get behind the official facade and to change the world, one story at a time. Goodbye."

The final episode of 3rd Degree looked back at the first 3rd Degree broadcast in May 2000 with highlights of the show over the years and a look at the wide range of stories that was covered.

Meanwhile, hours before the final episode broadcast, suddenly pulled all repeats of 3rd Degree from the schedule for the coming week and didn't respond to media enquiries as to why this was done.

Despite multiple enquiries, has not yet announced what would be filling 3rd Degree's primetime timeslot from next Tuesday.

On 7 May, made the shock announcement via its sister news channel eNCA that Patta had quit the show, effectively bringing the show's run on the two channels to and end.

Put on the map

3rd Degree premiered on 11 May 2000 on the then fledgling, South Africa's first commercial free-to-air TV station which was in desperate need of local programming with gravitas, buzz-making programming and some type of current affairs magazine show.

Patta stepped forward and brazenly and boldly led a team charting a new and unique current affairs type investigative magazine show.

From the outset 3rd Degree and Patta knew that they couldn't be Carte Blanche – the premier investigative and current affairs show on M-Net – had neither the budget nor the willingness to support such a bold new venture and the then eNews did not have the experienced in-house journalists and production staff at that time.

So 3rd Degree moulded itself out of its own new mould – a feisty and utterly fearless Patta tackling stories with a team of producers in a take-no-prisoners approach, asking tough questions and demanding satisfying answers.

This approach has not always been popular, with many viewers left startled by Patta's form of no-holds-barred journalism but she earned a grudging respect for her doggedness and advocating the SA public's right to know the truth.

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