Julie Cunningham

It's been "the year of the laptop� for Julie Cunningham. SA � The Good News's website editor is online 24/7 because that's what it takes to counter "negative stereotyping� about South Africa, she says. Cunningham was still in primary school when she caught the journalism bug from her grandmother. They would read the Sunday Times together and drive around Pretoria, looking for the girls kidnapped by paedophile Gert van Rooyen. Much later, when CNN ignored her emails, Cunningham jumped on a plane to London to convince them to give her an internship. Soon she was hobnobbing with Christiane Amanpour and covering Paris Fashion Week. Returning to Jo'burg in 2006 Cunningham became the youngest-ever producer for Carte Blanche, winning an award for her series on international adoptions. A two-year stint at eNews followed. Her next challenge? To explore how to use social media for nation-building. "Without knowledge, people are stuck in racism and prejudice,� she says. � Sipho McDermott

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