Fluent in English and Italian, Debora Patta is one of the most respected broadcasters in South Africa. She is Africa correspondent for the American news program ‘The CBS Evening News’.
Debora Patta is one of the most respected broadcasters in South Africa.
Her 25 year career spans radio and television as both an on-air newswoman and a senior editorial manager.
She began working in radio freelancing for the BBC and in 1990 started at the well-known Johannesburg based talk radio station 702. She is particularly well-known for her coverage of Nelson Mandela from his release to his election as South Africa’s first black president. He used to call her “his favourite journalist.”
Patta moved to independent free-to-air television station e.tv in 1998 where she was Editor-in-Chief of e.news launching the country’s first 24hr TV channel and mentoring a generation of reporters.
Patta was also the host and Executive Producer of Third Degree for 13 years – a no-holds barred investigative current affairs programme and terror to the corrupt and powerful. This is where she honed her tough interviewing skills.
Patta has now taken her skills internationally – and has broken into the tough world of international broadcasting having been hired as one of only six foreign correspondents for CBS News – a highly covered position for the prestigious US network covering stories around the globe with a focus on Africa. During her five years there she has covered Nelson Mandela’s death, the Oscar Pistorius trial, the Ebola crisis, the Syrian war, terror attacks in France, Belgium and Spain, and spent time in conflict zones such as South Sudan, Somalia, DRC, northern parts of Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon.
Patta is a multi-award winning journalist – these include the Vodacom Media Woman of the Year, South Africa’s Most Influential Woman in Media, MTN’s Outstanding Women in Media, Italy’s Woman of the World, the prestigious US Edward R Murrow award, an NABJ Salute To Excellence Award and the Scripps Howard award. She was also nominated for an Emmy for her coverage of Ebola. Patta has co-authored two books Baby Micaela and One Step Behind Mandela.
She is a sought after public speaker and a keen exercise enthusiast with a summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro and a New York Marathon under her belt. But her greatest achievement is being a mother to two gorgeous, talented young girls.