Veteran editor and head of Wits Journalism Anton Harber will be leaving his academic position to take up the new post of editor-in-chief of South African broadcaster ENCA.
by Kenichi Serino
“Anton’s extensive experience in South African Media will allow him to mentor and grow the future leaders of the television news industry. He is a seasoned journalist, experienced manager and highly respected professional. We are thrilled to have him join our group,” ENCA group COO Mark Rosin said in a statement.
Harber has been the head of Journalism department at the University of Witwatersrand for the past 14 years where he is also the Caxton Professor of Journalism.
In a letter to Wits Journalism staff, Harber said his time as head of Wits Journalism had been a “privileged postion” and he had “mixed feelings” about leaving.
“I say that I have mixed feelings because I enjoy my job and appreciate what a privileged position I have held this last decade. I think we have built not just a strong team, but one that is immensely enjoyable to work with, and who do a range of interesting and valuable work,” Harber wrote in the letter.
“But I hope you agree with me that a change for me and the department is timely.” Without divulging the name of a possible replacement, Harber wrote in an email to Jocoza, “At least I will be back in two years and I know that it will be in good solid hands”.
Harber is also a board member of the Global Investigative Journalism Network and one of the founders of the Weekly Mail, known today as the Mail & Guardian.
Harber said the offer from ENCA “has come out of the blue, but I think it is an opportunity to refresh my newsroom experience, catch up with evolving journalism practice, and hopefully contribute to making one of our more important news outlets as good as it can be.”
The position at ENCA is on a fixed-term, two-year contract. Harber said he plans on returning to his position as Wits Journalism’s Caxton professor at the end of his ENCA contract.