For editor Valerie Boje, her link with the Pretoria News goes back more than three decades, although she describes it more as a “love affair”.
She remembers as a student and later young reporter in the newsroom feeling the intensification of the Struggle against the National Party government in the 1980s, as colleagues rushed out to cover revolts in the townships, school boycotts and bombings which clearly indicated that the old apartheid order could not last, and we witnessed history being made.
That history is to be found in the bound volumes of the Pretoria News, and in the old cuttings files of the newspaper. These recall the unforgettable moments, such as the release of Nelson Mandela and the first democratic election on April 27, 1994 - a day now marked as Freedom Day.
“We’d been following Madiba’s inauguration on May 10, and were standing on the roof of the Pretoria News building, where we watched the fly-past, happiness in our hearts,” she recalls.
“It was from this building right in the centre of the city - a site the Pretoria News has called home for more than a century, that we have witnessed so many news- breaking stories.
“The Union Buildings, which features on our masthead, is key to us and our news-telling. It is here where we celebrate and here where we mourn; it was here where we welcomed Mandela as our first democratically-elected president in 1994, and here where the public poured out its grief at news of his passing in December 2013.”
One of the most memorable events of recent years was the cortege which carried Madiba’s body driving past the Pretoria News.
“Thousands of people lined the street - now Madiba Street - and we handed out flags for them to wave; international journalists took award-winning photos leaning out of our windows and 702 did an outside broadcast there.”
We are close to all the government departments and the City of Tshwane - which moved into its new headquarters at Tshwane House last year, after the old building burned down.
“I recall covering city council meetings in the old Munitoria, and that fire which spread through a large part of the building in 1997,” said Boje.
“I was a sub-editor at the time, and we were at work when we heard sirens like never before. We walked down to see what was happening and I’ve never seen a fire like that.
“In 2013, my family and I sat on the terraces of the Union Buildings to watch the implosion of the building to make way for Tshwane House, a fine addition to the inner city redevelopment.”
Development of the city has been tracked by the Pretoria News over the years, most recently the changes to the city centre, the Wonderboom Airport and the Menlyn Maine project.
Politics is key to our content mix, and we have reported on corruption and change, reflecting the work of the institutions in our city such as the public protector and StatsSA, and the magistrate’s and high courts.
Pretoria News was the place to follow the Oscar Pistorius trial, with our seasoned high court reporter Zelda Venter appearing on analytical panels.
Sport matters to our readers, and we take the line of supporting our local teams, including soccer champions Mamelodi Sundowns, Supersport, the Bulls, and the Titans.
Pretoria was a host city for the 2010 Fifa World Cup and we enjoyed games at Loftus.
The arts are not forgotten and long-time arts writer Diane de Beer ensured readers were kept abreast of shows, films, books, art and food for many years.