Dan takes to TV with signature urbanity
Veteran journalist sees himself as a mentor to the younger generation
OU CAN take the man out of journalism but you can’t take journalism out of the man. Which is why veteran broadcaster and newsman Dan Moyane is back behind the microphone.
These days, not only is there a microphone, but there is also a TV camera, as Moyane co- anchors Morning News Today on eNCA, e.tv’s 24-hour news channel on DStv.
And the charming, urbane Moyane has made the transition seemlessly to a medium where there is really no place to hide, unlike others who have struggled with nerves in front of the cameras.
Admittedly, he has done previous stints on both SABC and e.tv, and he is at ease in front of crowds. This he proved back in 1995 when he sang Shosholoza to a packed Ellis Park at the start of the historic Rugby World Cup final.
“That sort of thing doesn’t make me nervous. I am certainly not a showman, but the best way to do something in public is to ensure that your are fully prepared.”
Preparation, attention to detail, accuracy and balance are things that have been drummed into Moyane for the three decades he has been involved in journalism.
He remembers his first job, as a junior reporter at a Maputo radio station where a bad-tempered old white man “chewed me out royally” for his first misdemeanours.
“It’s a tough place. You learn, though... there is no better place to learn our trade than from an experienced journalist.”
These days, Moyane sees himself as a mentor, working with young journalists, sharing his experience, his news sense and, importantly, that sense of maturity that can moderate the sometimes excessive enthusiasm of youth.
“But, and I must be honest about this, I am also learning in the process. You’re never too old to learn and I love to see the energy and different approach from people who are younger.”
Moyane has always had a calm, likeable exterior, which reflects a person who takes the world as it comes, is not too judgmental and believes in standing back to take in
Ythe “big picture”. “However, at this stage in our country’s development, almost more than at any other time, we need independent, professional journalists.”
Those journalists should, without fear or favour, relay the real story of South Africa – good and bad – to the citizens of the country.
“People have a right to know what is happening in their country and they need this unbiased information to make the decisions on which they will live their lives.”
While he does not believe in “sunshine journalism” or the sort of “good news quotas” being debated at the SABC (chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng wants 70 percent positive news), Moyane feels that the media could be telling more “uplifting” stories.
“There are many, many people in this country who have triumphed against adversity or who are making new lives for themselves because they have been given a chance. Those stories make people feel good... but they also inspire.”
Moyane’s professional career has had its twists and turns. After a successful career on 702 Talk Radio, he went on to become chairman of Primedia Broadcasting, leaving only when he thought “there were no more challenges for me”.
Currently, he is the corporate affairs executive at financial services group MMI Holdings Limited. He has been given permission by the group to take the news anchor job – provided it doesn’t interfere with his normal work.
There has been some criticism about the appointment of a news anchor who is also a corporate spin doctor.
“Where there is any story where there is a potential conflict of interest, I would recuse myself, that goes without saying.”
At the time of Moyane’s appointment at eNCA, group head of news Patrick Conroy said his credentials were impeccable, and foremost among those was his integrity.
Moyane sees the market for independent news coverage, such as that provided by eNCA, as growing in the future because “we will be providing credible, accurate news”.
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