Ferial Haffajee, editor in chief of City Press, has resigned and will step down at the end of July, Media24 announced. She has edited the newspaper since 2009.
“My seven years with the company have been a joy and a life highlight. I move on to writing again in fast, fresh and data-driven journalism,” Haffajee said in a statement.
Haffajee said she was joining Bloomberg in Johannesburg as a writer in September. Prior to this she will moderate at the Aspen Institute’s action forum in July and work on her next book proposal.
“City Press and Media24 have empowered and transformed me,” she said. “I leave a large part of my heart at City Press and thank my colleagues for years of great joy and fun.”
Haffajee’s resignation was “a huge loss” to City Press and Media24, said Media24 CEO, Esmaré Weideman. “She is an extraordinary editor – brave, bold, fair, connected and in touch with her market. She was a fantastic brand ambassador for her newspaper and for Media24 as a company. We are very sad to see her go.
“Ferial indicated a few months ago already that she felt her work at City Press was done and that she wanted to go learn and do something new. We can only hope she will return at some stage,” Weideman added.
Haffajee has been an editor for the past 12 years. Before joining Media24 as the editor of City Press, she edited the Mail and Guardian. In 2014 she was awarded the International Press Freedom Award by the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists. She is a former chairperson of the South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef).
Ishmet Davidson, on behalf of Media24’s news division, thanked Haffajee for her contribution to City Press and South Africa. “Often setting the news agenda, Ferial has fearlessly reported on numerous issues which may otherwise never have come to light. She has been an exceptional editor at City Press and remains an outstanding patriot and defender of our democracy. It has truly been an honour and privilege for me to work so closely with Ferial and she will be sorely missed.” Davidson was head of Media24’s news division until being seconded to its distribution business in January 2016 for one year.
A successor will be announced in due course.