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New editor for 160-year-old The Mercury

Philani Mgwaba has been appointed Editor of the KwaZulu-Natal morning daily, The Mercury. He moves over from editing the Sunday Tribune.
New editor for 160-year-old The Mercury
It is a full circle for Mgwaba who started his journalism career as a Junior Reporter on the Durban-based morning title in 1991.

"The Mercury holds a special appeal for me," says Mgwaba. "It's where I learnt my craft as a young reporter, covering every beat in the book, during the manic early 90s.

"It's been an ambition of mine to come back to The Mercury. Words, reading, newspapers can enrich ones life immensely. I didn't grow up in a newspaper reading home but the reading bug bit and radically transformed my outlook as a youngster.

"A career in journalism attracted me and I felt an obligation to tell ordinary people's stories."

"Through newspapers, readers experience so much - they can meet new interesting people, challenge their preconceptions, learn about what's going on in the world. Even in our electronic age, there's immense power in the written word."

And Mgwaba should know. He was launch Editor of the stellar Zulu daily, Isolezwe. Under his pen, the title grew from zero-base in April 2002, to become the biggest daily in the province by the time he left to edit the Pretoria News in January 2005.

Mgwaba says his plans for The Mercury don't include seismic changes at this stage.

"I am fortunate to be inheriting a diverse and talented team that includes stalwarts with many years of experience and energetic youngsters who have shown huge promise. They understand our target market and its evolving needs.

"They are the reason the newspaper has remained relevant to its readers over the years and still the premier morning newspaper in KwaZulu-Natal.

"Together we shall be building on the solid foundations already laid in the interests of our readers and advertisers," says Mgwaba.

A staunch fan of the Sharks, Mgwaba is looking forward to watching his team at the Shark Tank now that Saturday night deadlines are a thing of the past.

Mgwaba, who holds an Master's degree in Classical Culture from Stellenbosch University takes over from Jon Knight, who has been Acting Editor, since Angela Quintal's departure in October last year. The Mercury is KwaZulu-Natal's largest English morning daily broadsheet with a readership of 247 000 and sells 31 474 copies.
17 Feb 2012 11:04

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