Anyone watching news reports in England, the US or Australia these days might be struck by a growing phenomenon – South African accents. More and more journalists from South Africa are either taking the anchor seat on leading international news programmes or reporting for them from hot spots around the world.
Whether it’s on an official visit to Cuba with US President Barack Obama, covering the tragic bombing this week in Brussels, on the trail of Donald Trump, following the Syrian refugees into Europe, or interviewing the new Canadian prime minister, South Africans are there. We gathered a few of their broadcasts from the last month.
1. Robyn Curnow, anchor and correspondent for CNN International, in Atlanta. She has lived in Johannesburg, Sydney, London, Perth and Cambridge. She interviewed Oscar Pistorius in 2008 and has also interviewed Michelle Obama and Nelson Mandela. Here she is on the the death of “To Kill a Mockingbird” author Harper Lee.
2. Lara Logan, “60 Minutes”. Logan, already an experienced war reporter, showed immense bravery during a brutal sexual assault by a mob on Tahir Square during the 2011 Spring Revolution. After repeated health issues stemming from the terrible attack, Logan has reportedly signed another two-year contract with the award-winning “60 Minutes”. Here she interviews the new Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
3. Anand Naidoo, host of the daily CCTV talk show “The Heat” in Atlanta. The former SABC anchor joined CCTV in July after six years as an anchor for Al Jazeera English, and 10 years as CNN International’s World News anchor. His three guests in this clip talk about the US presidential race.
4. Jane Dutton, host of “Inside Story”, Al Jazeera. (Watch the main video to see Dutton’s take-no-prisoners’ style.) Dutton, who began at the SABC, has worked at CNN and CNBC before becoming one of the initial journalists to join the fledgling Al Jazeera in 2005. Doha, Qatar-based Dutton describes herself as being the mum of twins and a “desert dweller” with her “heart in South Africa”. She covers the refugee crisis engulfing Greece in this segment.
5. Lerato Mbele, presenter of Africa Business Report on BBC World News. Starting at SABC, and after a stint at CNBC Africa, she joined the BBC in 2012 as presenter of flagship breakfast radio programme Newsday on its World Service. Anyone still confused by the three finance ministers appointed by President Jacob Zuma over five cataclysmic days last December, here Mbele explains it perfectly.