Rex Gibson, who was the last editor of respected South African newspaper, The Rand Daily Mail and who was at the coalface of the Apartheid era's most vicious censorship laws has died.
Image source: Rex Gibson's Facebook.
Gibson's daughter Kerry shared the news on Facebook yesterday morning
Our beloved father died peacefully last night with all his daughters and his partner, Pat, by his side. What a grand life he lived.
Professor Anton Harber, an adjunct professor of journalism at the University of the Witwatersrand, described Gibson as a “solid, brave and principled journalist who stood firm under difficult circumstances”.
“He did all he could to save the Rand Daily Mail. He fought a great fight against the establishment. He did what he had to do, and, in a sense, it was unfortunate that the newspaper was dying, and mainstream media was in a low place.”
“I respected him. He always asked for more from journalists in the newsroom,” said Harber who worked with Gibson.
The Financial Mail reported in 2010 that Gibson remained “one of the few editors to face charges under the infamous Official Secrets Act, and also defended himself and his paper against the much rarer charge of criminal defamation”.
After retiring from journalism in 1992, Gibson moved to Hermanus and published a memoir, which provided his perspective of The RDM spanning the late 1950s to the closure of the newspaper in 1985.
He was also the founder-editor of Mining News, the editor of the Sunday Express and deputy editor of The Star.
Gibson was the recipient of the Joint International Editor of Year award Atlas World Review and the Pringle award South Africa in 1979. He was also a respected member of the International Rand and Wanderers Press Institute Clubs, since 1967.
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