Gasant Abarder

When Gasant Abarder started his journalism career in 1997 he set himself the goal of becoming editor of the Cape Argus by the age of 35. He reached that milestone much earlier — being appointed editor at 31, the youngest in the paper’s 156-year history. Today, at 35, he is moving on to a new project, heading Eyewitness News (EWN) in Cape Town. He says he is leaving on a high. It’s been a tough time for newspapers, he admits. In fact, a year ago the Argus was on a downward trajectory. He helped to put it back on a sustainable path when he oversaw its conversion from a broadsheet to a tabloid with two editions a day. Though the circulation still needs work, Abarder says advertisers have found their way back. The final act of his editorship will be something he will have to enjoy from a distance: the new digital platform that launched in May. Apart from his personal achievements Abarder says he is proudest of the people he nurtured and who have garnered the paper numerous journalism and photographic awards. “The greatest pleasure for me has been to see people excel under my leadership and become leaders in their own right.” Abarder is proud of the career he’s carved out for himself, which has included both print and electronic media. He worked as a news journalist for about four years at e.tv and later as an elections specialist at SABC news. He was also a member of the team that launched the Daily Voice, eventually becoming its deputy editor. From there he moved to the Cape Argus, and says he is looking forward to taking the Cape Town EWN team to new heights. — Joonji Mdyogolo