Helen Grange is an award-winning journalist, copywriter, editor and blogger based in Johannesburg. She has over 30 years’ experience in print and online media, and her work has appeared in newspapers and magazines in South Africa and abroad, including The Star, Cape Argus, Natal Mercury, Business Day and The Citizen.
Magazines she has written for include Forbes Africa, True Love, Femina, Acumen, Wits Business Journal, Noseweek and Africa in Focus. Her specialities are business, travel, health, property and IT innovation.
Helen got her Bacherlor of Journalism degree at Rhodes University in 1985 and began her career in 1986 as a reporter at The Citizen newspaper before moving to The Star newspaper in 1988, where she quickly rose through the ranks to become a senior reporter.
In 1990, she was appointed Pretoria Bureau Chief of The Star, covering the political transition in Parliament and related socio-political changes that were to become the bedrock of the new South Africa heralded by the 1994 democratic elections. “I covered the Goldstone Commission of Inquiry into township violence and the Harmse Commission of Inquiry into police death squads, among others, as well as numerous events that defined this momentous era in South African history,” says Helen.
For four years in the run-up to the 1994 election, Helen was The Star’s senior feature writer, and had a weekly column titled ‘The Thing about You’, profiling newsmakers and thought leaders. She was also the ‘Peace Train’ correspondent, covering the role of international and local peacekeepers in the transition process.
In 1998, Helen Grange was appointed TV editor for The Star, then moved over to lifestyle features for The Star, writing for the Verve section, but also for the Oped pages. In 2006, she decided to try magazines and was appointed Johannesburg bureau chief of You magazine, writing features in all genres from socio-political issues to human interest stories for weekly deadlines.
In 2006, she left Media 24 to become a freelance journalist, which gave her an opportunity to write for a wide number of publications, local and international. She also gained excellent experience as a corporate copywriter, with clients including SA Tourism, Gauteng Tourism, Department of Energy, Nedbank, Sandton Sun hotel, Tourvest, CEO SleepOut, Business Engage, African Women Chartered Accountants (AWCA), and FIFA SA.
In 2013, she worked on contract with NHK World News (Japanese Broadcasting Corp), producing stories around the failing health, then death of Nelson Mandela, the May 2014 elections as well as a feature on renewable energy. “This was a great opportunity to work in broadcast media,” she says.
Helen has also garnered extensive editing experience, having edited Celebrating Women magazine (Business Times, 5 Sept 2016), and Women magazine, inserted in Financial Mail on June 6, 2017. She was content editor of the CEO SleepOut blog page (first half of 2016). She has also edited quarterly reviews for the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC); reports for Genderlinks (NGO); development toolkits and fact sheets for GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit).
Helen Grange with Yehudi Menuhin 1995