Dr Kate Skinner has been a media freedom activist, researcher and policy analyst for the last 25 years. She has worked in the unions, NGOs, government and the media industry to build a diverse, independent media sector. In 2008 she established the Save our SABC (SOS) Campaign including unions, media NGOs, film and television makers and academics. The campaign won a number of important legal victories including strengthening the independence of the SABC Board. In 2012 she won a Unesco World Press Freedom fellow award for her activist contribution.
In terms of academics, in 2008, she completed her MA degree focusing on media diversity issues and the establishment of the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA), at Wits University in the Media Studies Department. In 2017 she completed her PhD degree also at Wits University focusing on public service broadcasting and South Africa’s stop-start digital migration process.
She recently stepped down, after three years, as executive director of the South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF). She took up her position as executive director of AIP in July 2021.
Fun Facts About Kate Skinner
- Do you have any hidden talents or obsessions? My obsessions are coffee, chocolate, longform journalism and listening to podcasts (a new pleasure).
- Who is your celebrity crush? Don’t really have one. But did love my father who died in 2016. He was famous at the local level for doing community projects in Amanzimtoti.
- Do you collect anything? (Art, shoes, books, etc) No, the opposite. I’m always throwing things out. Sometimes I deeply regret my decisions!
- If you were given the opportunity to have lunch with the President, what would you say to him? Please focus on the communications industry – it shouldn’t be an afterthought.
- Everyone has at least one annoying habit, what’s yours? I have a very loud voice and always end up bellowing on the phone.