Hazel Friedman is a TV Producer, investigative journalist, arts writer and author. She has a MA in Art History from University of the Witwatersrand, and is also a renowned arts critic, having written extensively on visual culture.
In 2007 she won the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award for her harrowing documentary on rape inside prisons. She won the Best Producer award at the SABC Awards in 2006. In 2008 she received a highly commended award at the CNN African Journalist of the Year Awards for Rights of Passage - an investigation into abusive initiation practices. In 2009 she was awarded the Best Legal Journalist of the Year prize for her investigations into sexual crimes against children and SA's sexual offences legislation. In 2010 she was a finalist in the international AIB Journalism awards and the Lorenzo Natali Prix. She refuses to shy away from confrontation and controversy, so committed is she to the privilege and responsibility of transforming private lives into public narratives. And she acknowledges that lives continue long after the story's credits have faded. Her areas of interest include documentaries that focus on the heroism of people on society’s periphery. She confesses to an insatiable curiosity towards the paranormal and popular culture and embraces body-draining challenges that transcend the ordinary and the routine. Her three C's for success are: Courage, creativity and commitment.
Friedman was born on 23rd July 1961 in Johannesburg. She grew up in Johannesburg and also spent a year in Cambridge Massachusettes as well as New York during 1983. She attended King David Linksfield Primary after which she attended Sandringham High School, Waverley Girls High School and Eden College.
Friedman confesses to be passionate about history, politics, music, critical theory, classical and contemporary arts and literature.Apart from working as a senior producer at Special Assignment, Friedman's other qualifications include: author, investigative journalist, art critic, copywriter and Art History lecturer. She is well qualified to work in print, electronic, radio and television mediums.
From 1985 to 1987, Friedman was an Art History tutor at Wits University, Braamfontein where she was studying for a Masters Degree in Art History. She also taught Art History as a lecturer at Funda College in Soweto. Friedman has also been a freelance writer writing for publications such as The Mail and Guardian, Independant Newspapers, Art South Africa, Artnews, Jerusalem Report.
As an author, Friedman has published the following books:
2006- Hijack - A fact-based thriller that was described by critics as " the best thriller South Africa has produced."
2004- Farm Lives - an investigation, together with well-renowned photographer, Jurgen Schadeberg, into the conditions of farmworkers.
2000- Norman Catherine - a monograph on South African Artist, Norman Catherine, with foreward by David Bowie.
From September 2007 to the present date she has been a full-time senior producer for Special Assignment, an award-winning investigative documentary programme that runs on the South African Broadcasting Corporation. It is during this tenure that Friedman won the Vodacom Journalist of the Year award ( November 2007) for her harrowing documentary, For the Boys, an expose on SA prison violence.
Recognitions and awards
Friedman is famous for her inspirational work/s which is fact based on real social issues that affect society. It is for her great works that she has received many awards and has been recognised as a freedom writer as she has a strong commitment to give people in society a voice. In 2007 she won the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award, this was for her harrowing documentary on rape inside prisons. She also won the category for the best television news feature. In the year 2006 she won the Best Producer award at the SABC Awards of that year.In 2008 she received a highly commended award at the CNN African Journalist of the Year Awards for Rights of Passage - an investigation into abusive initiation practices. In 2009 she was awarded the Best Legal Journalist of the Year prize for her investigations into sexual crimes against children and SA's sexual offences legislation. In 2010 she was a finalist in the international AIB Journalism awards and the Lorenzo Natali Prix.With listing a few of her achievements; in her experience as a freelance journalist for the past ten years, Friedman has written on people or stories that are life changing and yet thrilling. To name a few these include; Cocaine City in April 2001, Dark Places, Death by Design in the same year and in 2000 she wrote a biography on a South African artist. This article (Cocaine City) she wrote with Bianca Williams, and it is based on the shocking statistics on cocaine being shipped in the country from other parts of the world such as South America. In the year 2000, she wrote a biography and critical analysis of one of South Africa’s most renowned artists, Norman Catherine.
Other professional activities
Friedman is an internationally recognised as an investigative journalist, producer, author, art critic, and a art history lecture. She continues to be a senior producer and investigative journalist of Special Assignment at SABC 3. Currently she is researching gang culture and is also thinking of producing a follow-up to For the Boys called For the Men.
Tel No: 011 714 6757
www.suite101.com/profile.cfm/hazelf Retrieved 15 October 2009
www.sabcnews.com Retrieved 16 October 2009
http://www.mg.co.za/article/2007-11-13-i-knew-was-the-vessel-for-a-very-powerful-story Retrieved 15 October 2009
Retrieved 19 October 2009