What is your background?
align=justifyI started my career about 15 years as a sports reporter at the (Daily) Dispatch in 1990, before I moved into hard news. I had a brief spell as a radio producer at the CKI FM (which was then known as Radio Ciskei). I moved to Joburg in 1995 as a local government reporter and a year later I was sent to London as bureau chief for the Sunday Times.
align=justifyWhen I returned I had a brief spell as diplomatic correspondent for the Sunday Times in Pretoria before moving onto the Sunday Times news desk in Johannesburg. I was then appointed Cape Bureau Chief and later to Durban as Bureau Chief of the Sunday Times. I later returned to the Eastern Cape as the deputy-editor of the (Daily) Dispatch and the editor of the DispatchOnline.
align=justifyWhen is your position as editor effective?
align=justifyDecember 1, 2008.
align=justifyWhy did you accept the position of editor?
align=justifyWho wouldn’t? To be the editor of this paper has been a dream of mine since I started here 18 years ago. I am passionate about this paper and its heritage. For the past 18 years I have done everything in my power to return to this paper and to the Eastern Cape. It is absolutely thrilling.
align=justifyWhat challenges do you anticipate in your new role?
align=justifyI anticipate the same challenges that all editors face, which includes producing a paper with a loyal, enthusiastic audience. Another challenge would be to keep my finger on the pulse of the dynamics of news and to position the paper to be a multi-platform publisher to produce content online within the traditional context of the paper.
align=justifyHow do you plan to overcome these challenges?
align=justifyAs a paper we need to listen to our readers, interrogate the numbers and conduct good research. That way we can learn what it is that our readers really want. Readers are king and we need to service their needs. In order to do this we need to swallow all arrogance and ego.
align=justifyWhat activity has best prepared you for your new role?
align=justifyBeing a news editor is the best possible preparation, whether you get to sit on the news desk of a bureau or a newsroom. As a news editor you have to make dozens of decisions everyday which should serve the interests of the readers. I would say sitting at the news desk at the Sunday Times is what prepared me for this.
align=justifyWhat motivates you?
align=justifyI’m competitive as hell. I don’t like coming second. I get really excited by innovation and new ideas, I am very inspired by young people. I am in a great position to be in a place where there are so many great ideas floating around.
align=justifyWhat are the pros to working in regional media?
align=justifyWe have more space to make mistakes. Our audience is very loyal and tends to be more forgiving. We are the dominant newspaper in our region so we have more room to experiment and it allows for innovation.
align=justifyThe challenge is to try to keep the reputation of the paper in a national spotlight. It is also hard to attract quality staff and to convince journalists that the Eastern Cape is a great place to live.
align=justifyWhat are you reading at the moment?
align=justifyI am the type of person that reads a number of books at a time. At the moment a have a pile of books and magazines that I am reading. It would be hard to name one at the drop of a hat. But I am an addicted consumer of news feeds on my cell phone. I receive everything from the !_LT_EMNew York Times!_LT_/EM to specialist information.