Anton Harber

Wits University Caxton Professor of Journalism at Wits University
Location:Johannesburg, South Africa

Profile

Anton Harber, Wits University Caxton Professor of Journalism and chair of the Freedom of Expression Institute, was a Weekly Mail (now Mail & Guardian) founding editor and a Kagiso Media executive director. He wrote Diepsloot (Jonathan Ball, 2011), Recht Malan Prize winner, and co-edited the first two editions of The A-Z of South African Politics (Penguin, 1994/5), What is Left Unsaid: Reporting the South African HIV Epidemic (Jacana, 2010) and Troublemakers: The best of SA's investigative journalism (Jacana, 2010).
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News reporting followed a tight style and format for decades, largely driven by technology and deadlines. We call it the inverted pyramid: the most important information should be at the top of a report and the material that can most easily be cut out sits at the bottom...

By Anton Harber 31 Jul 2015

Publish and be damned in name of patriotism

After being stalked down a street, taunted and hit with a wrench, Emmanuel Sithole was cornered by his attackers, stabbed in the heart on a rubbish-strewn Alexandra street. He was from Mozambique...

By Anton Harber 24 Apr 2015

Criminal libel has no place in law books

He has made it his mission 'to expose, through my investigations, the scourge of corruption, which is robbing (Angola) of billions of dollars a year': journalist and human rights activist Rafael Marques de Morais...

By Anton Harber 20 Mar 2015

One step forwards, one back for democracy

If journalists in Zimbabwe had stood up in that country's parliament to protest against interference with their cellphone signals, they would have been laughed out of the place...

By Anton Harber 2 Mar 2015

Investment in people keeps news groups afloat

At a Future of News seminar at the University of the Witwatersrand last week, Financial Times (FT) of London managing editor James Lamont told how they had turned that operation around...

By Anton Harber 13 Feb 2015

Serial - A murder investigation...

An experimental US serial has transformed investigative journalism...

By Anton Harber 2 Feb 2015

Editors must edit without fear of being attacked

I once asked a South African editor why he ran a cartoon that he agreed was offensive. He said he had felt obliged, as he did not want to censor a well-known and much-respected cartoonist...

By Anton Harber 16 Jan 2015

Confronting racism on the internet: A response to Nzimande

Minister of Higher Education and Communist Party chief Blade Nzimande is right to be concerned about hate speech and racism on the internet - but what is to be done about it?

By Anton Harber 8 Jan 2015

Depth of Africa coverage improves

Coverage of the rest of Africa in our media provides an interesting gauge of our relationship with the continent since our borders opened up 20 years ago...

By Anton Harber 5 Dec 2014

MPs more free in the street than in Parliament

I can stand in the street and call someone a thief. I can even call the president a thief. But I can't do it in Parliament. Something is topsy-turvy here...

By Anton Harber 21 Nov 2014

Space for independent, critical media is under siege

Senior journalist Tony Weaver faced a company disciplinary hearing because he questioned why the Cape Times cut an advertiser's logo out of a photograph of a shooting in a supermarket...

By Anton Harber 7 Nov 2014

Ebola stories divide people into 'others' and US

There was some thoughtful and well-crafted reporting of the outbreak in West Africa and its encroachment into the US, which was mindful of the risks of careless journalism...

By Anton Harber 24 Oct 2014

Nakasa does not deserve to be shoved into any box

Nat Nakasa would have been bemused. He would be pleased to be brought back to home soil at last, almost 50 years after he died in New York.

By Anton Harber 10 Oct 2014

Fear of our dark depths keeps Farlam in shadows

News editing is the art of deciding what is important and what is less important. Faced with a barrage of potential stories, events, people and issues to cover and huge competition for audience attention...

By Anton Harber 26 Sep 2014

Absurdity rules the day in justice as in headlines

Craig Williamson, who sent the bomb that killed activist Ruth First in Maputo in 1982, walks free... Pallo Jordan, who lied about having a doctorate, has withdrawn from public life...

By Anton Harber 29 Aug 2014

SA must put pressure on Swaziland to open society

I think SA should recall its ambassador to Swaziland and threaten to close our borders with the country. I am not joking...

By Anton Harber 22 Aug 2014

A saga in three chapters

This is a tale in three chapters of behind-the-scenes newsroom intrigue and backstabbing...

By Anton Harber 18 Aug 2014

Propaganda war is now in the hands of the people

Israel rests on its military strength. There is no doubting its ability to exercise its superiority over Gaza, but it is losing the social media war...

By Anton Harber 15 Aug 2014

Does a liar as a source ever deserve protection?

It is easy to review ethical decisions in journalism with hindsight, when one has the luxury of time to wonder whether a choice made under pressure was the correct one...

By Anton Harber 8 Aug 2014

Newspapers' scrutiny of each other can be good

Like politicians, national sports coaches and rhinos, newspapers proprietors need big heads and thick skins.

By Anton Harber 1 Aug 2014

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