Sheep magazine Archive 2: issues 10-17


Lefty online magazine: issue 10, May 2016 to issue 17, November 2016

Drum’s fortunes might have continued to slide had not a second

generation of black South Africans taken to the streets after June 1976.

With this second tide of resistance Drum took on new significance and

the ground was laid for a renaissance in Drum-style journalism. The

incumbent editor at the time was Tony Sutton, a former Daily Express man

whom Drum owner Jim Bailey had recruited in London to service his east

and west African magazines before bringing him south. When Sutton

took over Drum in early 1976, circulation hovered below 50,000 and

Drum was about to go monthly instead of its usual fortnightly frequency.

In short, the magazine was not exactly burning up the tracks.

I first met Tony Sutton when I was drafted in to edit Drum’s sister

magazine with the unlikely title of True Love. Volatile by nature, brash

and pugnacious, Sutton was not a great respecter of management, nor

proprietorial interference. But he had a passionate love for journalism

in general and Drum in particular and possessed an uncanny gift for

design, a gift he put to good use, visually transforming Drum and

stretching its staff and inadequate facilities to their limits.


When I crossed over to Drum as news editor, the staff consisted of Sutton

as executive editor, Stan Motjuwadi as editor, Chester Maharaja as staff

photographer and Sipho Jacobs, a clerk seconded from picture filing

to become crime reporter. Occasional input from Jacky Heyns in Cape

Town, the late G R Naidoo in Durban and a motley crew of freelancers

completed the editorial picture. Slowly we began to develop a robust and

aggressive style which, backed by Bailey’s considerable input, began to

show circulation results. Our market was once again on the boil and we

went out to capture it as best we could.

mid-June 2016

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