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Franz Krüger is Adjunct Professor and director of the Wits Radio Academy, a newly established centre for learning, research and public engagement around radio based in the journalism programme of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
He is a journalist of some 25 years’ experience, having worked in print and broadcasting in South Africa, Namibia and the UK, at media groups ranging from the BBC and London Guardian to East London’s Daily Dispatch and the Windhoek Advertiser. He was founding group editor of East Cape News Agencies, a network of independent news agencies during the eighties which was subjected to considerable repression at the hands of the apartheid government. As national editor of radio news and current affairs at the SABC from 1994 to 1999, Krüger formed part of the first post-apartheid management team at the corporation and helped achieve a significant turnaround in the credibility and quality of radio journalism at the corporation. During his spell there, he managed major projects including the coverage of several elections, the Truth Commission, the introduction of sound to bulletins, the overhaul of news and current affairs programming on SAfm and the equalization of news resourcing for African language stations.
In 2000, he left the SABC to become an independent journalist and trainer, serving as correspondent for Canadian, Dutch, US and British radio. He also edits the website www.journalism.co.za, and is the ombud for the Mail & Guardian. He also serves on the SA Press Appeals Panel. He became director of the Wits Radio Academy in September 2009. At Wits, he developed the radio journalism, ethics and advanced subbing courses.
His book Black, white and grey: journalism ethics in South Africa was published by Double Storey in 2004. A second title, The Radio Journalism Toolkit, was published by STE Publishers and the IAJ in 2006. Both are widely used as prescribed texts at several colleges and universities in South Africa and abroad. He has contributed chapters to various books, has published journal articles and writes a regular column in the Mail & Guardian. Krüger has a BA from UCT and an MA with distinction from City University, London.
Some of Krüger’s journalistic work (Unfortunately, links to these reports are no longer available since the relevant websites have been revamped)
Waiting for Madiba, broadcast on the CBC’s Dispatches programme on 21 March 2001: A tale of wonder from the people in a South African village getting their first glimpse of Nelson Mandela.
Swaziland elections, broadcast on the CBC’s Dispatches programme on 15 October 2003:
The tiny country of Swaziland, wedged up against Mozambique and South Africa, is sometimes called one of the world’s last absolute monarchies. And that’s been absolutely fine by M’Swati the third, the country’s youthful King and husband to nine wives. Some would like to see him relinquish some of his power, though this weekend’s elections are unlikely to bring it about. But there are new pressures for change in in the little kingdom caught between tradition and the present-day challenges of famine and AIDS. More now in this “Dispatches” documentary by Franz Kruger in Swaziland’s capital city.
The security industry’s private army, broadcast on the CBC’s Dispatches programme on 17 December 2003:
The South African government is jumpy. Crime is soaring and there’s not much it can afford to do about it. Private security companies say they can. And they’re springing up faster than pickpockets at a parade. Now the whole situation is being aggravated by questions of race and politics, as we hear from Dispatches contributor Franz Kruger.
Mozambique elections, broadcast on the CBC’s Dispatches programme on 12 January 2005:
Mozambique, on Africa’s southeast coast, was blighted by open conflict, for decades, right into the ’90s. The FRELIMO party that’s ruled the place for almost 30 years recently beat back the rebel leadership once again at the ballot box. What it hasn’t thrown off though, is the dead hand on its own economy. More now from Dispatches contributor Franz Kruger.
Me, myself and the change consultants: (Sunday Times, 12 November 2000)
So there I was, having left the SABC and setting up shop as a small business. A very small business – just me. But who said transformation is just for the big guys?
Coming mahala to a hall near you: (Sunday Times, 29 July 2001)
Long deprived of mainstream cinemas, townships are now being put in the picture. A unique project is bringing Hollywood’s best skop, skiet en donner to some unlikely venues.
(Sunday Times, 29 July 2001)
The death of innocence (Sunday Times, 12 November 2000)
Fifteen-year-old Busi Zulu tells the story of her first relationship, which brought a baby, HIV and rejection.
Life in the shadow of a death foretold (Sunday Times, 13 August 2000)
A murder in an Eastern Cape village exposes the tension between South Africa’s present and its past.
Two organ monsters please – and some some food on the side (Sunday Times, 1 January 2001)
It all began with a simple and familiar cry. “I want a toy,” said the princeling, aged four. And so we set off in search of fast toy, and some food.