Category Archives: journalism

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I spent last week embedded with the South African army. Nine SAI, a mechanised division, with whom we ate rat packs, slept in cramped armoured troop carriers and experienced censorship that an African despot would have been proud to claim. … Continue reading

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What the watchers drink

We have known about this for a long time, now it is just official. A survey by PR company Pressat has revealed that the number one choice of fuel for those defenders of Democracy, the Fourth Estate is coffee. In … Continue reading

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A week’s long walk to see Madiba one last time

It has been a hard emotional week, chasing one of the biggest stories in the history of our country. Days of little sleep, mammoth queues, and a sense of comradre we are unlikely to experience again.   I hope these … Continue reading

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The grandmother of all newspaper corrections.

It is an embarrassing part of newspaper life. But the New York Times took “for the record” writing to the extreme yesterday when they printed a correction for a story that appeared in their paper 136 years ago. The correction … Continue reading

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The drug deal that almost happened

The plan was for a score. Most us journos have had this assignment before. Find a street corner where the view is unobstructed, so to allow a shooter to snap away, with a long lens, as the transaction goes down. … Continue reading

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Behind bars for ‘a sliver of green’

There was enough grass to roll a spliff the size of a toothpick. Maybe half a toothpick. Not enough for a drag, or even to get high on. But that sliver of green, clinging to the bottom of the stamp-sized … Continue reading

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When photographers drive scary

It happens around the third floor-loose coins float in the VW Polo like bubbles, passengers lift in their seats, only to be held back by seatbelts. What photographer Christopher Collingridge achieves in those frightening seconds, has cost the US government … Continue reading

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Death by a thousand panics

Every day Nelson Mandela dies a score of times in our newsroom. He is killed off when a reader phones in to say they have just heard … Twitter, that Ted Bundy of social media, has killed off the former … Continue reading

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When the day nearly came

In our newsroom it is called Operation M. Now Operation M is bit like the US president’s football, that emergency satchel that contains the codes and authorisation for a nuclear attack. What Operation M is is the paper’s plan for … Continue reading

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This is CSI Africa!

Jasper* doesn’t know the faces of the men he hunts; he recognises them from the soles of their shoes. He gathers shoe prints left in the dust, like other men collect stamps, or rare coins. There is a whole database … Continue reading

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