Janet Heard, assistant editor (head of news) at the Cape Times, has resigned.
Contacted by Bizcommunity.com, Heard replied as follows: "Yes I have resigned as head of news. I am soon to take up a new position as parliamentary editor, Media24. An exciting new challenge."
Janet Heard, the latest senior and experienced staff member to depart from Independent Newspapers. (Image extracted from Janet Heard's BlogSpot)
Heard, who on her BlogSpot HEARD MENTALITY describers herself as "a South African journalist currently assistant editor, head of news, at the Cape Times. Passionate about the craft of journalism, freedom and the ocean. A 2009/10 Nieman fellow of journalism", is the latest in a number of senior and experienced staffers who have left Independent Newspapers since Iqbal Survé's Sekunjalo group took over late last year.
Alide Dasnois was the first to go, then Chris Whitfield "took early retirement", Terry Bell's column of 18 years' standing was "suspended", and according to an Index on Censorship report, Business Report Cape bureau chief Donwald Pressly was suspended for putting his name forward for the parliamentary lists of the DA. Business Report editor-at-large Ann Crotty resigned and on 14 February, Bizcommunity.com reported that Moshoeshoe Monare, Sunday Independent's editor, had resigned.
Rod Baker is Content Director at Bizcommunity.com. A journalist since before computers, he worked on a wide range of magazines and, in his youth, rose through the ranks from being a lowly and abused sub-editor, to a high and still abused editor and publisher. He has been editor and publisher of a number of magazines, as well as a newspaper. He has edited many books, and written a number too. Email him at .
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Really sad that so many experienced and professional journalists have resigned from Independent Newspapers. Not surprised though, as the editorial integrity of the newspaper group has been seriously tarnished by the blatant interference of the new owners. Watch the ANC being championed in the lead up to the elections. New masters controlling content the same way that the SABC has been hijacked by the government.
Government should take a leaf from these editors' books. Here's the message: when you become an old fart (yes you too Mr President), resign, take up a new challenge and make way for new blood. Old farts with renewed vigour may please stay back.
I think you might be missing the point here. Heard is just the latest in a number of top journos who have left Independent. As it is common knowledge that it seems very likely that most if not all have either been dismissed or resigned as a result of interference by top management - for putting journalistic integrity ahead of kowtowing to the whims of management - the suspicion here is that Heard might have resigned for the same reason.
I doubt that it is a case of an 'old fart' as you delicately refer to her, leaving to make way for new blood. It is far more likely that she has decided enough is enough.
But only she, at the end of the day can confirm whether you're right - or I am.