BULL’S EYE: Days of treachery and terror in the newsroom


BULL’S EYE: Days of treachery and terror in the newsroom

FREE TO READ | Journalism has transformed itself since the 1970s, but certain memories tend to linger like unpleasant dreams


In 1979 I had my first brush with the company known as Times Media. It was a holiday job at the Sunday Express, a title that along with the Rand Daily Mail would shortly be killed off. Big sister the Sunday Times would live on, in due course joined by Sowetan, Business Day and others.

Now, 40 years later, the company has been bought by a consortium of people who happen to be black, which makes a nice change. Arena Holdings takes over from Tiso Blackstar Group, which will fall off the JSE.

The man who told us what stories to write at the Sunday Express was news editor Peter Wellman, who had been harassed and imprisoned for his political views. Wellman gave off a ferocious aura, all hedgehoggy moustache and eyebrows, pipe smoke and brandy fumes, and he knew there were rules of give and take in the newspaper trade. ..

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