Independent Media Announces Senior Appointments
02 February 2015
Independent Media today announced the following changes in its editorial leadership team in Cape Town:
Jermaine Craig, Editor of the Cape Argus, has been promoted to the position of Brand and Editorial Executive of the Independent Media group and will join the corporate team with immediate effect.
Craig, who comes with solid brand and media experience having previously worked as Global Communications Manager for South African Tourism and as the Media Manager for the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa, will play an important role in driving the brand strategy objectives of Independent Media's newspaper titles, its magazine and digital assets, as well as the company's overarching corporate brand.
He will also serve on the company's executive team. "My association with Independent dates back two decades, when I started as an intern at the Cape Argus, and the company means a great deal to me personally and professionally. I am honoured to have served as the Editor of the Argus and I am proud to leave a talented newsroom on a sound editorial and commercial footing. I am excited at the opportunity to play a broader leadership role in the company as we entrench our position as the biggest English-language media group in the country," said Craig.
Gasant Abarder, current Editor of Cape Times, will replace Craig as Editor of Cape Argus. This is familiar territory for Abarder who held the position from 2009 to 2013 before being tasked with editing and restructuring the Cape Times. Abarder has vast experience in print and electronic media which will benefit the repositioned Cape Argus which was re-launched as a broadsheet in September last year.
"It is a bitter sweet moment for me. I enjoyed editing the Cape Times, but I always considered the Cape Argus to be my first love. All credit to Jermaine Craig for a very successful revival of an important institution in Cape Town. I look forward to building on that success," said Abarder.
Replacing Abarder is newspaper stalwart, Aneez Salie, currently Cape Times Deputy Editor. Salie's career spans over 40 years, of which 35 years were with Independent, 20 years of that with the Cape Times. He started off as a newspaper street seller, van guard and driver. Since then he has worked in every position in the newsroom and subs room, winning four awards including health writer of the year, partly for exposing the Sarafina ll scandal. He has seen the Cape Times through all its iterations, understands the fickle nature of the market and has a clear view of the diverse needs of its readers.
"This is a historic moment. Our media freedom was by no means free. We are here today only because of a long and bitter struggle. I thank the very many South Africans involved in that struggle for their sacrifices," said Salie. He thanked the executive chairman of Independent Media, Dr Iqbal Survé and Gasant Abarder for the opportunity to edit the Cape Times.
Taariq Halim has been appointed Editor of the Daily Voice, where he has been serving in an acting editor capacity since 2013. During this time, he has maintained the Voice's status as the English newspaper with the highest readership in the Western Cape. He started his career as a reporter for the Cape Argus in 1999, and in 2006 joined the Daily Voice, which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary. "It is an honour for me to be entrusted with leading Cape Town's most popular daily newspaper - the voice of the people. Thank you to Independent for this amazing opportunity," said Halim.
Yunus Kemp, currently the Head of News at the Cape Argus where he has worked in various capacities since 2006, has been promoted to Deputy Editor at the title. He is one of the rising stars at Independent and has just been awarded an international scholarship in China which he will take up later this month. "I am delighted and honoured by the confidence management has shown in me by appointing me as Cape Argus Deputy Editor. It is a responsibility I will not take lightly and I hope to continue to meaningfully contribute to this great Cape Town establishment as I have strived to do since first setting foot into the newsroom as a journalism intern in 1999," said Kemp.
Congratulating the new appointees, Executive Chairman of Independent Media, Dr Iqbal Survé emphasised the Group's editorial values of balance, fairness, accuracy and diversity. "Editorial independence and integrity remain the cornerstones of all the publications in the group," said Dr Survé. He said Independent's management and editorial teams would not be distracted by the unrelenting attempts of cynics and skeptics to subvert its efforts to transform into a truly non-racial media company.
"Our goal is to ensure that all our media properties are representative of the communities we serve while at the same time, introducing new and more effective workflows in the newsrooms. We will not be deterred from growing Independent Media into the biggest media company in South Africa," said Dr Survé.
He also thanked Independent staff members and his management team for their efforts in helping to transform a legacy newspaper company into a dynamic multi-platform media company. "We have a job to do. We have the people to do it. There's no stopping us", said Dr Survé.
The appointments come into effect immediately.
Statement issued by Lutfia Vayej, Group Executive: Marketing and Communications, Independent Media (Pty) Ltd, February 2 2015
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