Ryland Fisher to edit Weekend Argus - Independent Newspapers

This follows appointment of Kevin Richie to head The Star, and Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya The Mercury

More senior appointments at Independent Media

25 November 2014

In another of several senior editorial and commercial announcements, Independent Media today announced the appointment of Ryland Fisher as the resident editor of the Group's Sunday publications in the Western Cape, Unathi Kondile as the editor of the Group's vernacular publication in the Eastern Cape and Lutfia Vayej as group executive for branding, marketing and communication. 

Ryland Fisher is a former editor of Cape Times and The New Age, and was assistant editor of the Sunday Times. His experience in the media industry extends across all media platforms, including broadcast, online, books and events. Unathi Kondile was at UCT where he taught New Media elective courses to undergraduate and post-graduate students.

He has sound national and international experience as a journalist having worked for media outlets such as Voice of America and Lonely Planet.   Lutfia Vayej is the former head of communication for Media24.  She will be responsible for the roll-out of Independent Media's new corporate identity, the consolidation of marketing initiatives and the establishment of an internal and external communication function for the Group. 

"The appointment of key people who are experts in their respective fields is central to our strategy to re-position Independent Media as a leading content, multi-platform media company", said executive chairman, Dr Iqbal Survé.

"I believe that many people have bought into our vision. We've attracted several senior people from the country's top media houses who want to be part of the new Independent Media", said Dr Survé.  

He also emphasised the company's transformation goals which will focus on diversity, merit and development.  

"We are unapologetic about our objective to redress the imbalances of the past.  This will be reflected in the way we conduct our business, in our recruitment process, in the workplace and in our balanced and fair editorial approach", he said.

Under its new owners, Independent Media has undergone rapid change and introduced a number of new initiatives.  These include a new corporate identity, an improved operational structure with a new national leadership team, launched several new products and invested significantly in technology.  The company intends launching more products next year. 

 "In order to keep abreast with an evolving, dynamic industry, we've had to move fast, invest in technology and get the right people for the job. The new appointments are part of that strategy", said Dr Survè.

These announcements follow on recent senior editorial announcements which include Kevin Richie, editor of The Star; Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya, editor of The Mercury and Wally Mbhele, editor at large of the Group's Sunday publications. 

Statement issued by Lutfia Vayej, Group executive: Branding, Marketing and Communication, Independent Newspapers, November 25 2014

Previous statement (November 7):

Excellence and Equity a Hallmark of New Independent Media

07 November 2014

In keeping with its objective of creating a diverse workforce by attracting and retaining the most skilled and talented journalists to lead its publications, Independent Media (Pty) Ltd has announced the appointment of three senior editorial posts.

Kevin Ritchie, currently acting editor of The Star, has been appointed Editor of the publication. Wally Mbhele will take up the position of Editor-at-Large for the Group's Sunday publications.  Mazwi Xaba is the recently appointed Deputy Editor of the Sunday Tribune. 

Kevin Ritchie, who will be at the helm of one of the Group's flagship publications, is a veteran of Independent Media. He is a former editor of the Diamond Fields Advertiser (DFA) in Kimberley and managing editor of the Saturday Star. His previous position was as The Star's deputy editor. 

Wally Mbhele, a seasoned journalist who has held various editorial positions at several publications including City Press and Sunday Times has worked as a newspaper journalist for over 20 years. In 1999, Mbhele was named co-recipient of the Outstanding Journalism Award which was presented to him by late President Nelson Mandela on behalf of the Foreign Correspondents' Association. Mbhele received further professional accolades when in 2005, he was named co-recipient of the Mondi Shanduka Award for Best Commentary and Analysis. He has worked as an independent media and communications consultant for the past two years.

Mazwi Xaba is a former editor of Independent's popular brand of isiZulu newspapers, Isolezwe. He was among the founding editorial leadership who oversaw its growth from its launch in 2002.  Xaba also had a stint in Johannesburg as Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Sun and Sunday Sun in 2012 and then as Content Editor at The New Age.

According to the executive chairman of Independent Media, Dr Iqbal Survé, the company is committed to excellence, equity and diversity. 

"We are a non-racial South African company and as such it is our responsibility and duty to reflect this in every aspect of our business.  I am proud of our diverse workforce. The new Independent Media is founded on the principles of non-racialism and this is reflected in the leadership team and at all levels of the business", said Survé.

The latest appointments are in line with a series of high-level appointments over the past few months on both the editorial and commercial sides of the business. 

"We expect to recruit more senior and executive appointments in the near future as we grow and develop our business into a leading multi-platform media company, grounded on the principles of non-racialism and equity", said Survé.

Statement issued by Lutfia Vayej, Group executive: Branding, Marketing and Communication, Independent Newspapers, November 25 2014

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