Nic Dawes on the biggest challenges of being the M&G editor

by Gill Moodie (@GrubstreetSA) Mail & Guardian editor Nic Dawes is off to India in September, when he will take up one of the top positions at the Hindustan Times in New Delhi, it was announced recently. In this second part of an interview, Grubstreet talks to Dawes about change in the M&G newsroom, his legacy to the paper and the press’ recent battles with the ruling party.

Grubstreet: Do you think the converged newsroom – how you’ve integrated print and online – is the main mark that you’re leaving on the M&G?

Nic Dawes: I certainly think it’s probably the most obvious thing that I’ve tried to do here – to bring some of those (online and social-media) practices into our newsroom, to open us up so that the audience is not so much the audience anymore but participants in what we do.

You have to be really very sanguine and welcome the changes that are going on in our industry because I think they genuinely make us better journalists and make us produce better news products.

I think the other thing is the way we’ve tried to build capacity inside the paper, to keep on doing more thorough public-interest journalism without having new sources of commercial funding. So there’s AmaBhungane (non-profit investigative centre) and the Eugene Saldanha fellowship – these sorts of things, which do substantially broaden the base of what we do and also makes a contribution that goes beyond the M&G in terms of training journalists from other papers and from other countries in terms of advocacy.

And maybe the final thing is opening up a bit more to Africa – trying to bring more Africa coverage into the paper and into the website.

Blood diamonds are forever

Y&R Cape Town produced this campaign for the African Diamond Council. It highlights the ongoing human cost of the illegitimate diamond trade in Africa and is particularly relevant as the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, the organisation that certifies traded diamonds doesn’t comes from conflict zones, debates certifying diamonds coming from Zimbabwe under the dictatorship of Robert Mugabe.

Behind the trillion dollar billboard

Conceptualised and created by TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris, these billboards and posters for The Zimbabwean newspaper were made entirely of worthless Zimbabwean bank notes. The billboard is made up of trillions and trillions and trillions worth of Zim dollar notes, which worked out to be cheaper than using paper.

It is sad no one truly knows a nation …until one has been inside its jails!

Only two more updates left on of the stunning work of Zimbabwean born illustrator Sindiso Nyoni. He currently works at Amicollective. Today: a poster series for Constitution Hill, South Africa. The posters are based on historical political prisoners held at the old fort prison complex which now houses South Africa’s Constitutional Court.

To kill a country 101 (howzit Bob)

Zimbabwean born illustrator and activist Sindiso Nyoni created this Free Zim activist graffiti tag, with accompanying posters addressing the suppressed state Zimbabwe is in under the continued dictatorial rule of Robert Mugabe. He currently works at Amicollective – an outfit known for grabbing the hottest talent off the market and living up to its reputation (as is obvious).

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