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Newsletter Spring 2011

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Winter for me flew by in a whirl of work. Firstly non-stop around the country conducting courses on corporate writing, newsletter writing and media training which hopefully left those involved with a greater sense of what people want to read as well as how to deal with media – always a tricky issue.

Marion Scher with Pik BothaGlorious spring sees no let-up to the flow of work – and interesting work at that. From government to NGO’s to corporate – life is never dull in the world of media and training.

My Sunday Times column continues to offer me unique opportunities to interview great South Africans. This last couple of months I’ve had face to face interviews with legends such as Pik Botha, Hugh Masekela and Paul Slabolepszy – what an adventure.

Being able to ask Pik Botha about his relationship with P.W. Botha and the infamous Rubicon speech as well as discussing Hugh Masekela’s jamming with such greats as Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong – there are no words for it.

By far the most important happening in the last month revolves around my time at The Carter Center (http://www.cartercenter.org/health/mental_health/index.html). This was South Africa’s last official visit as part of their involvement in Mrs Rosalyn Carter’s Mental Health Journalism Programme.

Marion Scher at the Carter Centre

Since 2004 we have sent fourteen South African journalists, from print as well as electronic media, to The Carter Center in Atlanta to partake in this programme. Not only have they come back enriched and enthused from their time there exposed to Mrs Carter’s Mental Health Advisory Board, but also able to make valuable contributions to this much needed field of journalism in South Africa. 

After my Fellowship work in 2005/6, I was privileged, along with Zane Wilson of The South African Depression and Anxiety Group to be appointed as members of their South African Mental Health Journalism Board, and as I previously announced we are thrilled to say this work will be carried on with the help of Pfizer in South Africa. Our first recipients of this award in South Africa are Cape Town freelance journalist, Biddi Rorke and Johannesburg freelance journalist, Janine Shamos.

On the last day in Atlanta Mrs Carter presented us with a special award recognising the South African contribution to her work.

Although our official work with the Carter Center has come to an end – our relationship will most certainly continue. To this end we are hoping to secure sponsorship to be able to offer mental health journalism workshops in other parts of Africa.

 

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Magazine Publishers Assocation of South Africa

 

 

 

Marion Scher is a member of the Southern African Freelancers Assocation

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