After graduating from university, Patta worked as a political activist teaching literacy in Cape Town's squatter camps until 1990, when she started working as a freelance reporter for the BBC.Debora joined Radio 702 in Johannesburg as a reporter in 1990 and worked her way up to news editor in 1994 and special assignments editor in 1997. The first news story she worked on that was aired on Radio 702 was about the return of ANC leader Oliver Tambo from exile in December 1990.
Patta worked for e.tv, the first privately owned free-to-air television station in South Africa, since its inception in 1998. She started as a senior correspondent in Johannesburg and was subsequently appointed chief anchor of e.tv news.
Since 2000 she has been the executive producer and anchor of the weekly current affairs television programme 3rd Degree, a show conceptualized by her which focuses on hard-hitting interviews.
She played a key role in the launch of South Africa's first 24-hour news channel eNews Channel Africa by e.tv in 2008.
Debora is now a freelance investigative journalist, and has covered high profile court cases, such as the Oscar Pistorius trial.