GIA NICOLAIDES

Gia Nicolaides became a household name for listeners of EWN in 2012 as she was the reporter on the scene throughout the Marikana tragedy. In addition to the breaking news, Gia found a wide variety of sources in the community to paint a picture of the broader circumstances in which the massacre took place. Her sensitive approach and ability to sift through the emotion and get to the facts, saw her go on to win the National Press Club's Journalist of the Year award for 2013 as well as Vodacom Journalist of the Year in the radio category.
In 2014, Gia has become familiar to a new audience of viewers as she featured prominently on the 24-hour Oscar Channel that aired throughout the Oscar Pistorius trial.
Gia's broadcast career started at The Voice of Wits where she was a founding member and news editor. On completing her Honours degree in Journalism, she interned at Primedia and an interview with Winnie Madikizela Mandela on her third day convinced her that radio was in her blood.
In addition to covering Marikana, Gia counts her working travels as highlights of her career. She visited Ireland in 2012 to cover the centenary of the Titanic and was in Zurich for the One Young World Summit in 2011.

Academic qualifications? I have a Bachelor of Arts degree and I completed my Honours degree in Journalism at Wits University in 2005.

How you got into media/journalism? Initially I applied to do my honours in English literature but I missed the deadline. I applied for the course in Journalism at Wits. By the end of the year I was part of launching the Voice of Wits campus radio station. I was the editor of the newsroom at the station and from there I was offered an internship at Primedia broadcasting. As they say, the rest is history.

How and when you got to EWN I started interning at EWN on weekends while I was still running the Voice of Wits campus radio station. On my third day at Primedia I interviewed Winnie Madikizela Mandela. I knew from then, that journalism and particularly radio was for me.

Any awards - I have the Press club and the Vodacom ones from last year I won the overall Eyewitness News Journalist of the Year competition for 2012 for my coverage of Marikana. I then won the National Press club award in the radio category in 2013 for the same story. I won the Vodacom regional category for radio for Marikana and made it to the finals where I won the Vodacom Journalist of the year competition in the radio category.

Career highlights.  One of the biggest and most challenging stories I have covered was the violent protests in Marikana in 2012 when 44 people were killed. The story made international headlines on the 16th of August 2012 when police gunned down 34 protesters. It was the most severe use of lethal force by police in South Africa since the Sharpeville massacre in 1960. The shooting lead to a lengthy, government inquiry into whether or not the SAPS was justified in its actions, and broad debate within the country about the treatment of mine workers. I was based in the North West province for more than 9 months covering the story.

I have also had the opportunity to travel. I was sent to Ireland in April 2012 to cover the centenary of the Titanic. I was also sent to Zurich in 2011 to cover the One Young World conference. I was able to interact with international journalists and interview high profile people from across the globe.