INDABA Newsletter | June 2013

Networking forums

Thank you to Denel for hosting the club’s networking forum on 20 June. The evening was well attended with good networking opportunities. Specific thanks go to Pam Malinda for the arrangements.

July’s networking forum will be hosted by the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa on Thursday the 18th. Press club members are requested to diarise this – the venue will be announced soon.

Executive editor of Pretoria News leads National Press Club

Jos Charle, an executive editor of the Pretoria News, has been elected unanimously as new chairperson of the National Press Club.

This follows the recent election of a new executive committee, comprising of Martin van Niekerk of Junxion Communications, re-elected as treasurer and Congress Mahlangu of the Land Bank who was elected as public relations officer.

Jos Charle

Other committee members include general manager Ben Rootman of Junxion Communications, Tanya de Vente-Bijker, freelancer and responsible for social media, An� Roux of Rekord Newspaper, Antoinette Slabbert of Sake24, Frans Machate of PINA News, Gerhard Pretorius of eNCA, Herman Scholtz of Huisgenoot, Lisa Dewberry, freelancer, Mosidi Mokgele of Absa, Phillip Bruwer of Maroela Media, Roy Devenish, freelancer and Willem van de Putte of The Star.

“It is a great honour to be elected chairperson of the National Press Club,” said Charle.

“I have in the past acted in various positions of leadership in the club I am so passionate about. I am accepting the position with humility and promise to discharge my responsibility with dedication.”

He said over the past years the club has positioned itself as a credible voice in the South African media space and has continued to inspire many people through its various programmes. These include the Journalist and Newsmaker of the Year award as well as the recognition of the role of late editor of The World, Percy Qoboza, through its annual memorial lecture and bursary scheme.

“I am proud that we are making a positive contribution and that we are growing in leaps and bounds. I hope to, together with the elected executive, fulfill our members’ wishes and to carry out their mandate to the fullest. One of the challenges we face is to continue to be relevant to the people we represent and to act and react to their needs accordingly,” said Charle.

Entries open for SANParks environmental journalism awards

This is according to SANParks Head of Communications, Paul Daphne, who says the Environmental Media Contribution to Conservation award category of the Kudu Awards – is presented to conservation/environmental journalists/media entities that have been considered to have conducted their reporting in a socially responsible manner and have also given extensive and balanced reporting on conservation related matters.

According to Daphne the Environmental Media Contribution to Conservation Award category forms part of the annual SANParks Kudu Awards – designed to recognize external stakeholders for their contributions and efforts in making South African National Parks the custodian of choice for the national parks system in South Africa. “It aims at enhancing equitable and sustainable relationships with various external communities with a particular caring interest to the national parks of our country and conservation of our natural heritage in general.”

He said the event, now in its eighth year, has seen good interest from members of the public in the last few years and last year saw a massive contribution of R200 000 for prizes from First National Bank. “This shows that there is a lot of passion for our parks from our patrons and all have a need to be recognised as the best in conservation of our biodiversity.”

The deadline for nominations is 26 July 2013.

The awards winners will be announced at a gala function to be held in Gauteng later in the year. For more information and nomination forms visit or contact Itshekeng Lamola on telephone (012) 426 5058 / e-mail or Christinah Chauke on (012) 426 5203 / email

Chicago Sun Times fires all its photographers to replace them with iPhones

Last week the Chicago Sun Times laid off all of its full time photographers. I agree that experiments are needed in the newspaper business, someone needs to do something to change the cost base in the face of falling circulation and revenues. But I’m not entirely convinced that this is quite the right thing to be doing.

The Chicago Sun-Times laid off its entire full-time photography staff Thursday, including a Pulitzer Prize winner, in a move that the newspaper’s management said resulted from a need to shift toward more online video.

Over the weekend the other part of the strategy leaked out:

The Chicago Sun-Times is training its journalists in iPhone camera work to replace its staff photographers, who were all laid off last week.

The training commences on Friday and will include “iPhone photography basics”, as well as capturing and editing video on iOS, and uploading it to the appropriate social sites, according to a staff memo leaked by Sun-Times stalwart Robert Feder:

In the coming days and weeks, we’ll be working with all editorial employees to train and outfit you as much as possible to produce the content we need.

These sessions will be mandatory and will concentrate on several areas:
iPhone photography basics
Video and basic editing
Transmission and social media

… Suggestions on topics, in particular, are definitely worthwhile.

You can certainly take photographs on an iPhone. And you can most certainly make little videos on them. And there’s nothing wrong with doing either. However, I’m entirely unconvinced that this will work out in the longer term (or even the medium, come to that). For whatever anybody says or anybody thinks there’s rather more to taking good pictures than point and click. There’s a definite art to the composition of a good picture and using better technology doesn’t change that in the slightest. It’s sometimes referred to as having the “eye”. It’s not really something that can be taught either: you’ve either got it or you don’t.

Writing for the web is a little different. You’re no longer bound by the restrictions of space so much of the art of newspaper writing isn’t quite so relevant. And the production of online video also doesn’t require great artistic or photographic skill. But they do still have the print version to publish and they will still need people with that eye to take those pictures. Whether they’re using expensive cameras or playing around with an iPhone.

It’ll most certainly be interesting to see how the experiment works out: but I wouldn’t say I’m expecting it to be massively successful.

Tim Worstall on, 3 June 2013

Welcome to new members

We welcome the following new members to the National Press Club and hope to see them at a networking event soon:

Makhaya Komisa – SABC, Mpho Chaka – Tshwane University of Technology, Keitumetse Letebele – Competition Commission SA, Thembelani Vanga – Auditor-General of SA, Kagiso Mosue – Tourism Business Council of SA, Dineo Thapelo – North West Dept of Local Government and Traditional Affairs, Nilton Bernardo – Tshwane University of Technology, Salome Baloi – Dept of International Relations and Cooperation, Africa Boso – Auditor-General of SA, Bakang Motlhage – City of Tshwane, Mashudu Mutamba – Dept of Correctional Services.

See you at emBARgo

Members are reminded about happy hour at the press club bar emBARgo, every Friday from 17:00 to 19:00. The bar is in the cellar of the Orange Restaurant in the Court Classique Hotel, corner of Beckett and Francis Baard (previously Schoeman) Streets, Arcadia.

Thank you for paying membership fees

Thank you to those press club members who have already paid their membership fees for 2013.

Members who have not yet done so, are requested to pay their fees as soon as possible.

Membership fees are R220 for full members, R350 for associate members and R150 for student members.

Members are requested to use their invoice number as reference when payment is done, so that it can be picked up easily by the secretariat.


Please send any news, suggestions or information for this newsletter to Martin van Niekerk at the secretariat on, 082 257 0305. Website | Facebook | Twitter