Fiona Macleod

Fiona Macleod
Picture Credit: Fiona Macleod

Summary

From Johannesburg to Pietermaritzburg to Nelspruit, Fiona Macleod's career has proved to be one which has benefited the environment. Her passion and enthusiasm to recognise and award the good in society has been evident in her professional activities and awards. Fiona's career change from law to journalism was inspired by her love for meeting new and interesting people as well as and having a job that is challenging every day.[1]

Personal information


Fiona Macleod grew up in Johannesburg, Halfway House.[1] Her siblings are Duncan, Janet and Catriona and her parents are Don, a retired engineer, and Pat, a retired social worker[2]. Whilst at school she competed in athletics and show jumping as well as excelling in languages. After matriculating from Sandown High School she began a degree in law but later decided to change to a career in journalism. Her love for animals and interest in environmental issues come through in her most recent work as a journalist, in which she has been reporting and commenting on wildlife and conservation issues in post apartheid South Africa. Her most thought-provoking pieces have been investigative articles on Riccardo Ghiazza, an infamous animal trader.She has travelled and worked in Europe as well as around the country until relocating to Nelspruit in 1999. She now lives with her partner Gavin Smitsdorp, a green architect, designer and owner of the White River Gallery in Mpumalanga. She is currently editor-in-chief at HomeGrown Magazines, which publishes the glossy lifestyle magazines Lowveld Living and Limpopo Living, as well as regional business magazine Mpumalanga Capital and Sunrise magazine, in partnership with the Mpumalanga Parks and Tourism Agency. Fiona lives a green and eco-friendly lifestyle which echoes her work. Her home with Gavin is one of very few eco-friendly homes in the country and is a project in which they are both involved (My Green House).Her hobbies are hiking and horse riding which she has enjoyed since she was a young girl.[3]

Motivation towards journalism
As a journalist, Fiona Macleod believes it is her duty to report that which goes unreported and unrecognized by the media. In the latter part of her career this has included encouraging and celebrating good activism by citizens and the corporate world that largely goes unrecognised. For Fiona, journalism is a thinking person's career, an interesting and fulfilling job where one engages with different people and topics everyday.[1]


Academic History

Fiona completed a BA degree at the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg. After this she partly completed her LLB degree at the same university, and then through Unisa while travelling in Europe. From 1982-1986 Fiona completed the Argus Company's cadet training course in journalism, and then began working as reporter and sub-editor at The Star newspaper.[1]

Career information

From1982 to 1986 Fiona worked as a sub-editor, a night news reporter and a legal reporter at The Star Newspaper in Johannesburg. She then became the managing editor of True Love and Family magazine. From July 1988 Fiona became the production editor of The Executive, TML's magazine and In 1990 returned to Pietermaritzburg from Cape Town. From November 1990 to 1994, Fiona settled in Johannesburg as a freelance writer/ editor/ producer of publications such as Fighting for Justice (Wits University), A Social Contract: The Way Forward? (Phambili Books), Your guide to Green Living (Londolozi) and a Guide to The Drakensberg. During 1991 to 1994 Fiona worked as a 'dash' sub-editor twice a week at the Weekly Mail and Guardian newspaper. From 1994 to 1995 she returned to the Weekly Mail and Guardian newspaper with full-time employment, after which she was appointed the foreign editor of the newspaper in February 1995 until April 1996. in April 1996 she was promoted to chief sub-editor of the Mail and Guardian until February 1998. During this time she also assisted with the compilation of, and writing of articles in a monthly supplement called Open Africa; concerned with tourism, travel and conservation. From 1998 to 1999 became the Assistant editor of the Mail and Guardian and from August 1999 to March 2001 Fiona did more freelance writing and was employed part-time by African Eye News Service, a news agency based in Nelspruit. From March 2001 to June 2005 Fiona moved back to Johannesburg and became editor of Earthyear magazine, which focused on sustainable development, environment and eco-tourism.[1] While doing this she remained the environmental editor of the Mail and Guardian. Presently, Fiona is the full-time-editor-in chief of titles published by Homegrown Magazines.

[2]

Career Highlights

One of the main highlights in Fiona's career have been her articles around the Tuli elephant saga[1] in which Riccardo Ghiazza captured baby elephants and later trained them for his own use.[2] Some of these articles include "The Cruellest of Culls", "Mumbo-Jumbo over rides" and "Hands off our Juvenile Jumbos". These articles led to an investigation where Riccardo was also found to be smuggling drugs.[3] The articles and investigations ultimately led to the banning of capturing and training baby elephants. Riccardo later died in a car accident. Another highlight in Fiona's career has been her article "My Green House" in which she talks about her Eco-friendly home.[4]

Recognitions and awards

In 2005 Fiona received the prestigious Nick Steele Memorial Award[1] [2] from SAB Environmentalist and Environmental Journalists of The Year Awards.[3] The award is given in honour of the game ranger Nick Steele to journalists and who have covered crucial developments in the environmental field.

Other professional activities
Fiona serves on various judging panels for Corporate Social Investment as well as on the panel of the SANParks Kudu Awards. [1] Fiona is the editor and chairperson for the Mail & Guardian Investing in the Future Awards which recognises efforts towards sustainable corporate social investment.[2] Greening the Future Awards is an initiative started by Fiona, in which awards are given to those who are investing in a better future for the planet.[3] The Green Trust Awards is South Africa's premier environmental awards and recognises innovative projects which strive for environmental achievement.[4]


References:

Summary
Primary Source
[1]Fiona Macleod, 2009, Mpumalanga
editor@homegrown.co.za

Personal Information
Primary Sources
[1] Fiona Macleod, 2009, Curriculum Vitae
[2] Catriona Macleod, 2009, Rhodes University
[3] Fiona Macleod, 2009, Mpumalanga
editor@homegrown.co.za

Motivation Towards Journalism
Primary Sources
[1]Fiona Macleod, 2009, Mpumalanga editor@homegrown.co.za

Academic History
Primary Sources
[1] Fiona Macleod, 2009, Curriculum Vitae

Career Information
Primary Sources
[1] Fiona Macleod, 2009, Curriculum Vitae
[2] Fiona Macleod, 2009, Mpumalanga
editor@homegrown.co.za

Career Highlights
Primary Sources
[1]Fiona Macleod, 2009, Mpumalanga
editor@homegrown.co.za
Secondary Sources
[2] Elephant Conservation, 2008, "The Tuli Elephant Debacle" Retrieved October 18 2009 fromhttp://tinyurl.com/yk46gqf
[3] Fiona Macleod, 1999 "Ghiazza wanted by Interpol for drug smuggling" Mail and Guardian. Retrieved October 18 2009 fromhttp://tinyurl.com/yjp279p
[4] CyberProp, 2009, "My Green House" Retrieved October 18 2009 from http://tinyurl.com/ylz2kwq

Recognitions and Awards
Primary Sources
[1]Fiona Macleod, 2009, Mpumalanga
editor@homegrown.co.za
Secondary Sources
[2] SAB, 2009, "Past Winners" Retrieved October 18 2009 fromhttp://tiny.cc/12X2Q
[3] SAB, 2009, "The Awards" Retrieved October 18 2009 fromhttp://tiny.cc/bMu83

Other Proffessional Activities
Secondary Sources
[1] Muzi Muhale, 2009, Travelwires.com "SANParks Kudu Awards 2009 Nominations" Retrieved October 18 2009 fromhttp://tinyurl.com/leqczn
[2] Glenda White, 2009, Mail and Guardian Online "The secret of their success" Retrieved October 18 2009 fromhttp://tinyurl.com/ylnguef
[3] Mail and Guardian Online, 2009 "Acknowledging those who try to make a difference" Retrieved October 18 2009 fromhttp://tinyurl.com/yk7bqbc
[4] Nedbank, 2009 "Green Trust Awards- Background" Retrieved October 18 2009 fromhttp://tinyurl.com/yhytm4e

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