FOCUS editor is Commercial Vehicle Journalist of the Year
Editor of FOCUS on Transport, Charleen Clarke, has been recognised as South Africa’s top commercial vehicle journalist at the recent SA Guild of Motoring Journalists’ (SAGMJ) Motoring Journalist of the Year awards.
Judges remarked that Clarke’s deep knowledge of the industry allowed her to find unique and interesting stories, while proving insightful and accurate commentary on the industry and the diverse commercial vehicle sector.
She is a past winner of the overall SAGMJ Motoring Journalist of the Year Award and has also won the Commercial Vehicle category on a previous occasion.
“Charleen is a worthy winner of this award,” says Ernie Trautmann, vice president of Hino South Africa, who sponsored the category award for the second consecutive year.
“As a seasoned journalist, she is perhaps the only writer who has consistently covered both the passenger and commercial vehicle markets. Her depth of knowledge of the industry is exceptional, as is her work ethic.”
A commercial vehicle writer since 1988, Clarke become editor of FOCUS in 1997. She is an associate member of the International Truck of the Year jury and remains the only commercial vehicle journalist from the African continent to serve on this coveted panel of judges.
Clarke is also the only African judge on the Women’s World Car of the Year panel, and is a member of the jury of the South African Car of the Year competition.
“I think everyone appreciates recognition – and I most certainly do. This award, which came as a big surprise to me, has certainly touched my heart! It is so wonderful to know that my efforts are being noticed. It will inspire me to try even harder in the future,” says an elated Clarke.
However, she says that the award is not hers alone. “I am extremely fortunate to work with a talented team of individuals. These people inspire, motivate and support me on a daily basis. The team has made FOCUS the leading magazine in the South African commercial vehicle industry; I have certainly not achieved this singlehandedly.
“The transport industry is at the forefront of developments in technology; we are seeing innovations being announced monthly – such as the launch of electric trucks, for instance. I am very proud of our industry, which is evolving faster than ever before. This level of innovation certainly makes my job a lot easier,” she adds.
“I am enormously grateful to Hino for sponsoring this award, which will certainly uplift the standards of transport journalism in South Africa. I hope that it will also encourage more young people to become transport journalists; we really need more young talent in our industry.”
The SAGMJ Motoring Journalist of the Year Awards programme was made possible by Toyota Financial Services.