Graeme Addison is former Professor of Communication at the University of North West (1994-6) and former Head of the Department of Journalism and Public Relations at Technikon Natal (1993). Today he edits and publishes books and reports for clients on a wide range of topics and has worked for Penguin South Africa as a rewrite specialist. He is also a science and technology journalist, contributing a regular weekly column to Business Day on medical science and pharmaceuticals.
Graeme is a well known media trainer and consultant assisting community newspapers and other publishers. He ran the Sunday Times training and recruitment scheme (1996-8) and was a lecturer in journalism at Rhodes University earlier in his career (1976-81). He is currently a fulltime writer and researcher who continues to train media practitioners in corporate s – for example, mentoring postgraduate science writers at for the Rhodes University School of Media Studies.
Graeme is best known for several books on South Africa’s history of innovations, including the Edge Series: Innovation Nation, comprising The Hidden Edge (1900-2000), The Leading Edge (1994-2000), and The Competitive Edge: Creating Innovations. The latter is a textbook for business schools explaining how to plan a firm’s innovation strategy. He runs workshops on entrepreneurship and innovation for corporate managements.
He holds a BA in Economics from Wits University (1968), honours in Eng.Lit from Unisa (1972), and an MA Cum Laude in Journalism from Rhodes University (1981). He started his career in 1968 as a newspaper reporter on the Cape Times, and worked for the Rand Daily Mail, The World, The Star, London Evening Standard, Sunday Tribune and Sunday Times.
In the 1970s he lectured in journalism at Rhodes University, launching the first science writing course there. He gained his higher degree in journalism for a thesis on wartime censorship under apartheid which was itself immediately suppressed under the Official Secrets Act. In 1982 he was appointed Senior Fellow on contract to design and set up the first issue of The Social Indicator magazine at the Centre for Applied Social Sciences at the University of Natal.
He quit media training in the 1980s because levels of self-censorship in South Africa made full and fair reporting impossible. Graeme went into business, becoming marketing director and owner of an outdoor adventure company, Rivermen/Trailblazers (1981-88). He is renowned for having pioneered whitewater rafting and kayaking routes in South Africa and he continues to be active on the water as a hobby.
On the release of Nelson Mandela in 1990 he returned to journalism and media training. Since then, Graeme has won numerous Mondi and Pica awards for freelance feature journalism, and has twice been runner-up in the national science writing awards sponsored by the National Research Foundation. He is a commentator on media and communications, writing for The Journal of Marketing and Business Day.
Today he runs the Vaal Cybercentre, a research and publishing enterprise based at Parys on the Vaal River. He is the author of White Water:The World’s Wildest Rivers (Struik: 2000) and Whitewater Rafting (Struik: 2000). He has been General Editor and background researcher for two influential books on the philosophy of African humanism (Ubuntu) entitled Let Africa Lead: African transformational leadership for 21st Century Business (2006) and Attuned Leadership: African humanism as compass (2011), both authored Reuel Khoza.