Mandy Wiener

Radio journalist and author

By the time you read this, Mandy Wiener will have well over 8 000 followers on Twitter, and probably quite a few more in real life. The fact is, people care about what 28-year-old Wiener sees, thinks and reports. Whether she's signing off as a reporter for Eyewitness News or signing her debut book, Killing Kebble, Wiener has a way of making you feel part of history. You could say she feels a deep responsibility to keep the public informed. Her reasons for putting herself under pressure (and potentially in danger) to write about the Brett Kebble murder are proof of this. "I felt that the story was quite disjointed for the public and that there needed to be a holistic take on it. I also knew that there was an incredible amount of behind-the-scenes detail and information the public was not privy to,� she says. After five years of following every thread and detail of the Kebble case Wiener not only had a complex story to which few other journalists had access, but also the perspective needed to turn it into a riveting bestseller that would be both insightful and accessible. Of course, good instincts come with experience, which is something this 2007 CNN African Journalist of the Year for Radio has plenty of. Unlike Kebble, Wiener hasn't taken short cuts or made any wrong turns. She started off writing the traffic report for Highveld Stereo before working her way into the corridors of power, where she has reported on everything from the rise of President Jacob Zuma to the fall of Jackie Selebi. Her coverage of the historic 2008 US elections reminded South Africans how far we have come as a country but how much further we could go as a nation. With her award-winning combination of professionalism and passion it's not surprising Wiener has converted thousands of listeners into loyal followers. � Cat Pritchard

Twitter: @MandyWiener