News24 appoints Lynsey Chutel to head up new Africa desk

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Lynsey Chutel.
Lynsey Chutel.

News24 has appointed seasoned journalist Lynsey Chutel to head up its new Africa desk.

Based in Johannesburg, she will focus on the SADC countries in particular.

The Africa desk has been established with the support of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

Chutel has more than a decade of experience in reporting on the continent. She has worked as a correspondent for the Associated Press and the German Press Agency, covering breaking news and features in southern Africa. Previously, she was a producer at 24-hour news channel eNCA, where she reported from countries that included Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Madagascar and Rwanda.

Chutel's work has been featured in the New York Times, The Guardian and more recently, Quartz, where she covered technology and culture in southern Africa.

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Her accolades include an Emmy nomination in 2013 while writing for Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola. More recently, she was a finalist for the Mirror Award from Syracuse University for the work she did tracking how governments used Covid-19 to crack down on journalists.

Chutel holds a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and a master's degree in international relations from the University of the Witwatersrand.

"I'm really excited that News24 is throwing its considerable online weight behind coverage of Africa and helping South Africans understand the issues on the continent," said Chutel.

News24 editor-in-chief Adriaan Basson said: "It is a great privilege for News24 to partner with the Hanns Seidel Foundation on the establishment of an Africa desk. Our well-being and fate is directly linked to that of the rest of Africa. Lynsey is a seasoned journalist, well-versed on issues affecting the continent. Expect to see much more quality reportage on our neighbouring countries and more, on News24."

Asked about the big stories that would come out of southern Africa in 2021, Chutel said: "Mozambique will dominate southern African news for a long time because we're trying to figure out how to manage an insurgency in our backyard in a region that's perhaps been the most stable in the recent past.

"Covid-19 will also continue to be a big story in Africa because the continent's infection rate is still behind the rest of the world, and our recovery will be slower. We'll see the fallout of that for a while still."

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