If you think community radio is the cute, agreeable cousin to the tough-talking commercial stations, Dorianne Arendse will change your mind. Who do you think broke the halaal scandal surrounding Orion Cold Storage? Not the commercial station that took the credit. And when Hangberg was about to implode over forced evictions, who do you think the community called to warn? Arendse and her team at Voice of the Cape. It’s this kind of personal, almost familial, relationship with her audience that makes 27-year-old Arendse get up at 4am to host the breakfast show. As current affairs producer she also gets to decide what stories to investigate, like the five-part series on the socioeconomic issues affecting Hangberg, which won her and Faatimah Hendricks a 2011 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award for Community Media. It’s a luxury her commercial cousins don’t have and something she wouldn’t give up, short of becoming the next presidential spokesperson.
— Cat Pritchard