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Allister Sparks

allister sparks, allister sparks tomorrow is another country
Allister Haddon Sparks 10 March 1933 – 19 September 2016 was a South African writer, journalist, and political commentator He was the editor of The Rand Daily Mail when it broke Muldergate, the story of how the apartheid government secretly funded information projects


  • 1 Career
  • 2 Publishing highlights
  • 3 Developing African journalism
  • 4 Awards and honors
  • 5 Works
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links


Allister Sparks began his journalism career at the Queenstown Daily Representative in 1951 In 1955, he reported for the Bulawayo Chronicle in Rhodesia He worked as an editor under Donald Woods, who was editor-in-chief at the East London Daily Dispatch from 1956-1957 Afterwards, he worked for the Reuters news agency in Britain He was a journalist for Rand Daily Mail and then a columnist in the 1960s Sparks was later the editor of the Sunday Express The highlight of his career was his editor position at the Rand Daily Mail He worked for the Rand Daily Mail since 1967 as an editor and was let go when the board decided to target a white audience He followed his position as an editor by working as a correspondent with top-level newspapers, including the Washington Post, The Observer UK, and NRC Handelsblad in the Netherlands

In 1994, he wrote an extensive piece in The New Yorker, about Nelson Mandela

In 1995, he researched and narrated the documentary series Death of Apartheid He died in Johannesburg on 19 September 2016 due to a heart attack following an infection

Publishing highlights

Sparks later wrote a number of critically acclaimed books on South Africa's transition from apartheid, including The Mind of South Africa 1991, Tomorrow is Another Country 1996, and more recently Beyond the Miracle: Inside the New South Africa University of Chicago Press 2006 Sparks also wrote the book First Drafts 2008, as well as an Tutu: The Authorised Portrait of Desmond Tutu, with a Foreword by His Holiness The Dalai Lama written with Tutu's daughter, and published in 2011 for Tutu's 80th birthday

Developing African journalism

Sparks founded the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism in South Africa and was its executive director from 1992 to 1997 The IAJ has focused on the education of African journalists and fostering better communication between professionals across the continent

Awards and honors

Sparks was a Nieman Fellow from 1962-1963

He won the Louis M Lyons Award while with The Observer

In 1996: The Media Institute of Southern Africa presented Allister Sparks with its Press Freedom Award According to MISA,

It was during his tenure at the Rand Daily Mail in the late 1970’s that Allister distinguished himself as a journalist of great valour and strength, willing to stick his neck out for a story even though it might have reached into the deep echelons of government

He was the first South African journalist to receive the award


  • The Mind of South Africa, 1990; Random House, 2011, ISBN 9781448134557
  • Tomorrow Is Another Country, 1995
  • Beyond the Miracle: Inside the New South Africa University of Chicago Press, 2003, ISBN 9780226768588
  • The Sword and the Pen, 2016


  1. ^ a b c "Allister Sparks: Journalist and lecturer" theglobalist Archived from the original on 16 October 2012 Retrieved 7 October 2012 
  2. ^ "Veteran journalist Allister Sparks dies" News24 19 September 2016 Retrieved 2016-09-19 
  3. ^ van Niekerk, Phillip 24 September 2016 "Allister Sparks: passionate crusader against apartheid" the Guardian Retrieved 25 September 2016 
  4. ^ a b c d e "MISA Press Freedom Award: Previous winners" Media Institute of Southern Africa Retrieved 2012-10-07 
  5. ^ a b c d "Speakers on the conference The Power of Culture" Power of Culture Retrieved 2012-10-07 
  6. ^ Roberts, Sam 2016-09-20 "Allister Sparks, South African Journalist Who Challenged Apartheid, Dies at 83" The New York Times ISSN 0362-4331 Retrieved 2016-09-22 
  7. ^ "Veteran journalist Allister Sparks dies" News24 19 September 2016 Retrieved 2016-09-19 
  8. ^ "About" Institute for the Advancement of Journalism Retrieved 2012-10-07 
  9. ^ Friedman, Saul 2007-01-07 "Commentary" Nieman Watchdog Retrieved 2012-10-07 
  10. ^ "Max du Preez and Gitobu Imanyara" Archived from the original on 15 February 2009 Retrieved 2012-10-07 

External links

  • Recounting a revolution
  • Legendary South African Journalist Allister Sparks on Wiretapping and Torture, Under Apartheid and Bush, Transcript of Thursday, 23 February 2006 interview by Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman, mp3 interview here
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
  • The Mind of South Africa at the Wayback Machine archived 2016-03-03

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