Yogas Nair has been made Independent Media’s Executive: New Business Development and Strategy, beginning 1 August 2022.
Cape Town – Respected journalist and media stalwart, Yogas Nair, has been made Independent Media’s Executive: New Business Development and Strategy, beginning 1 August 2022. The important role is national but with a specific focus on the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) region, an area she is most familiar with considering her roots as head of The Post and the Mercury.
Yogas has recently served as the company’s independent in-house press ombudsman, but will now use her considerable expertise and experience, as well as established network, to create new opportunities for the media organisation.
Also making changes in KZN is Mazwi Xaba, a stalwart of Independent Media and currently regional managing editor in KZN, who has been appointed Group Executive for editorial content and strategy.
Of her new role, Yogas says: “I want to thank Independent Media chairman Dr Iqbal Survé for yet another opportunity in the group. My career has progressed in leaps and bounds since I joined more than 20 years ago and I now look forward to this new role, engaging with stakeholders and helping to grow the company, especially the KZN region, commercially. It will not be without its trials, of which I am all too aware, but I relish the challenge ahead as I believe that we still have a good product and that people still need to read what is happening in their local environments, the country, and the world at large.”
Yogas is cognisant of the ever-changing media landscape that has promoted an era of fast news, and sadly, fake news, and diminishing public trust in media – a worldwide trend. Consequently, her experience as Ombudsman that put building audience trust at the centre of her remit, will play an important part in her new position too.
Yogas joined Independent Media in 2001 as a freelance reporter at the Post. She worked on this basis for a few years until she was appointed senior reporter at the title. In 2012, she joined the Daily News as a senior reporter before being appointed its news editor in 2013.
In 2014, Independent Media’s executive chairman, Dr Survé, appointed Yogas as editor of The Post - its first female editor in 60 years. Proving her capability in this role, in 2016, she took over the editorship of the now 168-year-old Mercury newspaper – the first black female in its history to hold the reins. A few months later, while still editor of the Mercury, she was appointed Kwa-Zulu Natal Regional Executive Editor, both positions she held until February 2020 when she was appointed Deputy Editor-in-Chief for the Independent Media group.
The enormity of the responsibility that Yogas is taking on, is not lost on her or on Dr Iqbal Survé, who remarks: “This is a business-critical role within the organisation and one that requires a strategic mindset, a head for business as well as a keen understanding of how a publisher works. Yogas has all this and more and it was never a question as to who could step into this position and fulfil its demands.
“Every opportunity that has been presented to her, Yogas has made it her own and has excelled. I am confident she will do the same here. I would like to publicly thank her for all her contributions to date and for her unwavering passion for this organisation.”
For his part, Mazwi has also played an empowering role within the organisation, as chief sub and being on the founding newsroom leadership that launched the highly successful Zulu-speaking Isolezwe newspaper in April 2002.
Over a decade the team grew the paper from zero to over 100 000 copies a day, and Mazwi rose to be editor by the time he left in 2012.
Mazwi has been with Independent Media for around 30 years, minus a short stint at Media24 where he served as Daily Sun editor. He has also edited the Sunday Tribune and the Independent on Saturday.
About his new role, Mazwi says: 'It's a challenging job but I'm looking forward to it and having had some training in my past job as Regional Managing Editor, I feel I will be able to contribute positively to this position and the wider Group.
“We are a huge organisation serving a wide and diverse readership, but we derive our power from pulling and standing together around fundamental issues that can take our group and our country forward.
“I, therefore, am looking forward to working with our colleagues across the country to ensure the variety of voices we give expression to through our titles are never silenced.”
Echoing this sentiment Dr Survé comments: “This is a new era for Independent Media and one that requires the right team at the right time. I am confident that Mazwi with his considerable experience, his passion for teamwork, and his commitment to transformation, along with Yogas and our other colleagues, will ensure that Independent Media continues to represent all our people, hold the government to account, and keep telling the stories – as they are.
“It is my honour to work alongside them.”