Kerry Cullinan

kerry cullinan


Kerry Cullinan is currently the Managing Editor for Health-e News service, a non-profit agency that has been covering HIV/AIDS and health in South Africa for the past ten years. Health-e is a specialist agency that supplies newspapers and radio stations with health news. Prior to her work reporting on health issues, namely HIV/AIDS, she was a political reporter. She was recently involved in the editing of a book titled “The Virus, Vitamins and Vegetables”, along with Anso Thom. It is a collection of essays by South African HIV/AIDS writers, doctors and activists. Cullinan has worked for newspapers such as City Press and New Nation, which was banned for a period of time, by the Apartheid government, as a result of its outspoken position against Apartheid and racial oppression. Cullinan currently serves on the Board of the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) and the feminist journal, Agenda.

Personal Information

Kerry Cullinan has a BA Honours in English from the University of Natal which she attained in 1982-1985. In 1994 she achieved her masters degree in Culture, Communication and Media Studies. While at university she was named “Campus Woman of the year for leadership and was awarded a sports half - blue. She also received numerous student bodies, including two terms on the student Representative council and as a chairperson of the Arts Students' council.

Career information

Kerry Cullinan began her career as a media officer at the Midlands Information Centre and Resource Unit in January 1986 where she trained community organisations to produce media. The following two years Kerry dedicated her time to working for the City Press as a sub-editor and a labour and politics reporter. Kerry continued her work as a labour and politics reporter for a newspaper called the New Nation until May 1991. In June she moved to London (UK) where she worked as a freelance sub-editor. From 1992 until May 1994 Kerry was the editor for a magazine called Work In Progress (WIP) and the following year Kerry continued her work as a sub-editor for a newspaper called The Star. January 1995 Kerry became a media co-ordinator for the Institute for Democracy in South Africa and continued with this work for two years. From 1998 to August 1999 Kerry held multiple positions simultaneously; an associate editor for Siyaya Magazine, a researcher for Democracy Radio (Idasa) and in mid-1998 she also represented as a political correspondent for the Independent Group Parliament Bureau where she assisted with the re-organisation of the bureau. Kerry then began her work as a journalist for a non-profit organisation called Health-e News Service. After about four years she became the managing editor which is a position she still holds to the present year (2009).

Recognitions and awards

· 2008: Award from rural Doctors association of SA ( Rudasa) for significant contribution to rural health care through journalism)
· 2007: Vodacom journalism awards: best print feature (KZN)
· 2006: Vodacom Journalism Awards : best print feature (KZN)
· 2004/5: Bessie head fellowship, Sunday Times · 2004: overall winner, US/SA excellence in health journalism award
· 2004: US/SA excellence in health journalism award: Best report in a commercial magazine( for : “hard pills to swallow” in fair lady magazine, August 2003
· 2003: US/SA excellence in health journalism award: best report on HIV/AIDS in a publication with a readership of over 50 000. (For: “We are all the losers as political parties exploit HIV/AIDS to win votes” published in the Cape Times, November 2000).
· 1985: campus woman of the year for leadership, university of Natal ( Pietermaritzburg); half blue sports award for achievement and leadership in sport (fencing), University of Natal ( Pietermaritzburg); Natal colours ( fencing).

Other professional activities

Cullinan has been involved with numerous organisations. In 1984 she started her activities as representative of the National Unions of SA Students . After a year she then became an executive member of the Association of Democratic Journalists in Transvaal. She then worked as a Public secretary for the ANC Youth league for a year in 1990 after her work at the SA Youth Congress during 1988. In 1992 she worked in anti-apartheid organisations as a Media Officer for the ANC Yeoville branch, a year later she was an Editorial Board member for Amandla an ANC PWV newspaper. In 2003 Cullinan was appointed Board member of Media Development and Diversity by Parliament for a five year period. She was a juror for the international panel for global Health Council media awards in 2009.Besides her involvement in organisations and her work as a journalists on Health-E News Service Cullinan was also able to produce books such as the highly appraised. The Virus, Vitamins and Vegetables: The great South African HIV/AIDS mysteries (2009), a Grade 9 textbook titled Rights and Constitutions (1997) and Now that we are free: Coloured Communities in the Western Cape (1996).


Primary Sources

  • Kerry Cullinan

Secondary Sources

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