Former Pretoria News editor Val Boje.
Former Pretoria News editor Val Boje.

More tributes flow in for former Pretoria News editor Val Boje

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Oct 6, 2021

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Pretoria - Alan Dunn, former Daily News editor and erstwhile Independent Media senior regional executive editor in KZN:

Val Boje, the former editor of the Pretoria News, was a veteran journalist of more than 40 years who started her career in the golden age of newspapers.

She exuded competence and a complete understanding of journalism, embracing dramatic modernisation in the industry, and the revolutionary operating changes this meant over the years.

From her early days as a Rhodes University journalism graduate of the '70s, and a tireless municipal reporter, she excelled. In her shift from news generation to editorial production, where she became chief sub-editor of the Pretoria News, she identified herself as a prospective editor of the title – or any other, for that matter, in the group for which she worked.

With her years of experience, Val understood newspapers in their entirety – from the first news tip-off to the newsdesk, to the arduous checking and verification processes, placing the news on a page, printing the edition, and physically transporting the news to readers. Years later, her dedication to the Pretoria News paid dividends, and she was rightfully acknowledged as the editor. Decades of talent and contribution finally paid off.

To the recent conclusion of her editorship at a title she served and loved throughout her career, Val remained highly capable and passionate about the role of newspapers in society. She was a stickler for the abiding maxim of competitive journalism: get it right, get it first.

The nation's capital has lost a treasure in Val Boje. She ably and diligently kept the community informed for more than 40 years.

Her upbeat note days ago from hospital was typically Val: factual and frank. She had been admitted for other conditions, and Covid was diagnosed in the tests.

"I am feeling positive. After weeks of feeling so run-down, I am now having multiple tests and receiving excellent medical care.

"I appreciate the encouraging support of so many: family, friends, colleagues and the medical team. Thank you all."

Former colleague Gasant Abarder said:

“In the last decade or so you couldn’t speak about the Pretoria News without mentioning Val Bojé.

“Of course, her journey with the paper spanned so many more years before she was editor of the paper. Val truly breathed life and purpose into the title and was a giant for its fortunes when things became tough in the media industry and especially for print.

“I was shocked to learn of Val’s passing but this was so typical of her not to burden others with her problems but as always work in the service of others. Pretoria and the Pretoria News have lost a giant. I will remember her as a caring colleague and fellow editor and a great friend.”

Former colleague Orielle Berry:

“It is going to take a very long time to absorb the fact that Val is no longer with us.

“Val and I worked together when I moved from The Star to the Pretoria News in 1991. She was the chief sub-editor of the entertainment section when I joined as reporter/sub editor there and in those early days with lesser technology and the move to different editorial production systems, Val always demonstrated her utter dedication and complete professionalism.

“She moved up the ranks quickly to become chief sub-editor and then

editor, and her strong sense of news and what was right and what was wrong, as well as an incredible eye for detail, will always be remembered.

Former colleague Peter Sullivan said:

“Devastated to hear the sad news. Val and I worked together on The Evening Post and we were good friends there. I was delighted to welcome her to The Pretoria News in 1980 as a colleague.

“It was wonderful to see her climb up the rungs in editorial yet never change from the warm human being who had time and kindness for everyone.

“She will indeed be missed.”

Time Square remembers Val Bojé

I Met Val 11 years ago while starting my PR career, and I am so thankful that I did.

Val was one of South Africa’s top journalists and played a massive role in my career in public relations and how to work with media on building relationships.

Val was always someone who you could rely on and trust, always a pleasure to work with, and she always had a high level of professionalism when it came to her work.

She was the gold standard of journalism and was always passionate about the community of Pretoria and the Pretoria News.

She was a great friend and great influence wherever she went. We will dearly miss you, Val.

* Henri-Basil Hearne, PR and communications manager, Time Square Casino

Embassy of the Argentine Republic pays tribute:

“The Embassy of the Argentine Republic in the Republic of South Africa presents its compliments to the

Pretoria News newspaper and would like to convey a message of condolences and sympathies by Chargé d’Affaires Counsellor María Florencia Segura on the sad passing of Mrs Val Bojé.

“On behalf of the Embassy of the Argentine Republic in South Africa, I would like to express my sincere and deepest condolences and sympathies to the Pretoria News newspaper, the work team and particularly to the family of Mrs Val Boje, for her very sad passing. Mrs Boje was an excellent professional as well as a great friend to this Embassy.

“She will certainly be missed. May she rest in peace.”

Pretoria News

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