Award-winning author Anton Harber at Great Texts

Author and editor Anton Harber reveals why he chooses journalism, on Thursday 18 October, in the final 2012 event in the Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA) Great Texts/Big Questions public lecture series.

Harber will examine the changing work and role of journalists in the perfect storm created by new technology, and state and commercial pressures. Using his own work in his recently-published book Diepsloot as the basis of his discussion, he will examine the challenge of journalism in this country, posing pertinent questions: What kind of journalism do we want and need in the age of social media? What do we expect from our journalists in a struggling democracy? Do we want professionalism, or activism, from our reporters?

Harber’s attempt to answer these questions draws on three very different texts:  Tiyo Soga’s writing on the role of newspapers in Indaba, one of the first newspapers for black readers; George Orwell’s Why I write; and Eduardo Galeano’s In Defence of the Word.

Anton Harber was one of the founders of the Mail & Guardian in 1985 and went on to edit this newspaper for 12 years. Having also been an executive director of Kagiso Media, he is now the Caxton Professor of Journalism at Wits University, and chair of the Freedom of Expression Institute. He 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). His book, Diepsloot, was published by Jonathan Ball in May 2011, and won the Recht Malan Prize for Non-Fiction Writing.  Harber writes a regular column in Business Day and blogs at His latest venture is in non-fiction e-publishing,

This event will take place at Hiddingh Hall, University of Cape Town (UCT) Hiddingh Campus, Orange Street, Cape Town on Thursday 18 October 2012 at 17:30 and is free. Refreshments will be served from 17:00. No Booking is necessary. For more information on the Great Texts / Big Questions series, please contact +27 21 480 7156 or