Andrew Trench


Andrew Trench started his career at the Daily Dispatch, then worked for ten years at the Sunday Times newspaper, which is now the Daily Dispatch's "big sister" newspaper. While working for the Sunday Times, Trench was a reporter, news editor, London bureau chief, diplomatic correspondent and headed various other bureaus in South Africa [1] [2]. He is currently the editor-in-chief for the Daily Dispatch. His passion is his personal interest in online news trends and technologies which can assist in innovative journalism. He is currently doing reading of and tinkering with data visualisation techniques, geo-located information, as well as the civic journalism movement [1].

Personal information

Andrew John Trench was born to Jenny Drndrasky and Robert Trench, on November 25, 1970. He was born and brought up in Durban, South Africa. He grew up with one other sibling. He attended Glenwood High School and subsequently went to Natal Technikon. At the technikon, Trench studied for a diploma in journalism. He did not complete it, as he did not return to the technikon following his six-month practical at the Daily Dispatch. He decided that he was learning more by working as a journalist rather than by studying how to be one. He also has an incomplete diploma in international relations from Birckbeck College, London. He studied there part-time while working as London bureau chief for the Sunday Times, but had to return to South Africa two weeks before he was supposed to write his final exams. He is married to Gill Moodie and they have two children, Gemma (4) and Kiefer (15). He now resides in East London, South Africa [1].

Career information

Trench began his career as a sports reporter at the Daily Dispatch in 1990. In 1991, he moved onto hard news and became news reporter. In 1993, he worked as a reporter at the independent East Cape News Agencies, where he covered Eastern Cape news for most major South African news outlets as well as for international organisations like the BBC. In 1994 he was the producer for a daily current affairs show on Radio Cki in Bhisho. In 1995, he worked for the Sunday Times in Johannesburg as a local government reporter. In 1996, he was sent to London as bureau chief and in 1998 he became diplomatic correspondent in Pretoria, both for the Sunday Times. From 1999, he was deputy news editor and then news editor for the Sunday Times in Johannesburg. He was then appointed Cape bureau chief in 2002, followed by KZN bureau chief in 2004. From 2005 until December 2008, Trench became Deputy Editor for the Daily Dispatch and DispatchOnline editor. He is currently the editor-in-chief for the Daily Dispatch and the Saturday Dispatch. Trench is also the editor of the DispatchOnline and has an editorial blog, Dispatches from the Trench [1].

Recognitions and awards

Trench managed and led many investigative reporting and online journalism teams at the Dispatch, whose awards include:

Trench was the Eastern regional winner of the online category for the Vodacom Journalist of the Year 2008 [9] . He and the rest of his online team were the winners of the online category for the 2009 Vodacom Journalist of the Year [10] . The DispatchOnline was the Winner of Best Online Journalism 2008. Trench received recognition for "exceptional news editing in seeing the full potential of a story which started as the complaint of one mother." The story eventually led to three of The Daily Dispatch's reporters winning the 2007 Taco Kuiper Award for Investigative Journalism [1] [5].

Other professional activities

Trench regularly contributes to his blog Dispatches from the Trench. He has also built a fledgling social network for journalists and others involved in media, called the Grubstreet Gang, which is a small project designed to connect media folk in South Africa and Africa generally. Trench is a member of the South African National Editor’s Forum. He also contributes articles to various industry publications such as The Media, Rhodes Journalism Review and so forth [1]. He was a guest speaker at the School of Journalism and Media Studies' Media Freedom commemoration in Rhodes University on the 19th of October, 2008 [1] [4]. Trench also spoke about a local investigation with far reaching consequences (the Daily Dispatch’s Frere Hospital story) at The Wits Power Reporting Workshop (now known as the Investigative Reporting Workshop) on the 11th of June, 2007 [6]. He has spoken at Wits’ Power Reporting Conference for the last couple of years [1]. He was chairperson at "A Lesson in Civic Journalism: Making Research Relevant for Communities", for the Media Round Table on Environmental Biotechnology at Rhodes University [7]. He appears quite often on SAfm’s Sunday morning media show as well [1].

External links


Andrew at the computer[3] Trench [11]


Primary Sources

1. Andrew John Trench:
Telephone number: 043 702 2114

2. Trench, Andrew. "Dispatches from the Trench" blog. Post: "About me". Retrieved October 11, 2009.

Secondary Sources

3. First photo: Blogs from the Dispatch. Retrieved October 12, 2009.

4. Rhodes University. Grocotts excels again: page 2.
"Daily Dispatch deputy editor Andrew Trench addresses staff on media freedom." November 2007. Html document version. Retrieved October 14, 2009.

5. Wits, News Room, News Items. "Investigations into Neo-Natal deaths, Jackie Selebi, result in great awards." May 21, 2008. Retrieved October 14, 2009.

6. "Power Reporting Workshop 2007." June 11, 2007. Retrieved October 13, 2009.

7. Frayintermedia. "Bugs into Battle: Workshop programme." August, 4, 2009. Retrieved October 13, 2009.

9. TheMedia Online. "Vodacom Journalist of the Year 2008". October 10, 2008. Retrieved October 15, 2009.

10. Foster, Shelagh. TheMedia Online. "Congrats, Nomsa Maseko." October 12, 2009. Retrieved October 16, 2009.

11. Second photo: Trench, Andrew. "andrewjohntrench's photostream." July 3, 2009. Retrieved October 17, 2009.

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