Interview with Heather Robertson

Heather Robertson completed an MA in journalism and media studies at Rhodes University two decades into a successful career as a journalist. This took her from Elle magazine, to the Sunday World, to a decade-long stint at the Sunday Times, where she deputised for the editor, Mondli Makhanya, from 2007 to 2010. From 2010 to 2015, Heather was editor of The Herald in Gqeberha, a role in which she pioneered a new form of journalism for the paper which drew on similar work done at sister paper the Daily Dispatch in East London. At the time of her appointment, the newspaper owners told her she would need to work hard to transform readership from its traditional white, suburban audience to one that served and represented the diverse Nelson Mandela Bay Metro. Heather decided to engage her readership through community dialogues. Working with Alan Zinn from the Centre for Non-Racism and Democracy (Canrad) about 50 dialogues were held across the city, using church and community halls and getting right into the townships. “We got to listen, reflect and change our thinking around issues and we got leaders to listen and engage with ordinary people and learn about the impact of their decisions,” Robertson said in 2016. After this seminal role, Heather came to Rhodes to complete her MA, while acting as director and partner for Change Routes Publications. In May 2020, Heather became the editor of the Daily Maverick publication DM168, renowned for moving from a digital-only format back to a weekly print edition, thus bucking the trend in news journalism today.
5 Jul 2023 English South Africa Business · Education

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