Phillip de Wet
Deputy Editor, The Daily Maverick
If you don't get Phillip de Wet's First Thing, you
might as well just get your news by post. De
Wet, deputy editor of The Daily Maverick, South
Africa's revolutionary news website, sends out his
newsletter by 6:30 am � which means he's up way
before the rest of his readers. Who, by the way,
include the country's top journalists and
In a few hundred of the best-crafted news
words you'll read each day, De Wet will brief
you on everything from which minister will be
speaking on what and where to Microsoft's
overnight earning results and must-know info like
AC/DC's win at the Grammy awards.
Launched by editor Branko Brkic and De Wet
(who were the brains behind the now-defunct
Maverick and Empire magazines) The Daily
Maverick is what we've all been waiting for
� a news site that grasps fully the brave new
world of social media.
De Wet, who writes his newsletter while it is
still very dark, heads out in daylight to scour the
country, bringing readers the latest controversy,
such as second-by-second coverage of the most
contentious Julius conferences or solidarity braais,
with regular news reports and live tweeting.
De Wet studied journalism at the then
Technikon Pretoria while working part-time in
the Pretoria offi ce of Die Beeld. His only formal
qualifi cation is a national diploma (a threeyear
course) in journalism; several attempts at
completing a bachelor's degree were interrupted
by new projects and launches. Eventually he gave
up and started doing what he was meant to do.
And didn't stop.
He's worked for community newspapers,
covering under-8 rugby matches and crime,
been a news editor for ITWeb and has freelanced,
writing on everything from property development
to politics. In addition to Maverick and Empire
he was also on the launch team of the ill-fated
ThisDay and ITWeb's Brainstorm magazine.
But it's at The Daily Maverick that he's found
his groove. "I just love the rush,� he says. "It's
the immediate reaction and interaction with the
readers. Nothing beats this. I'll never go back.�
We hope not. � Lloyd Gedye
Lunch spot: A sit-down chain like Spur, which has an electrical outlet I can use. Or Seattle