In celebration of Joel Burton’s birthday earlier this week, we share the story the landed his first byline in print: a profile of Brad Weare – the real deal in longboard surfing.

An interview with legendary longboard surfer, Brad Weare, inspired Joel Burton’s coverage of the 2011 South African Longboard Surfing Championships hosted in Durban.

Joel subsequently served a six month internship with Roving Reporters as part of the required work-integrated learning component of his studies toward a Diploma in Journalism. Joel played a key role in in two cutting edge investigative journalism assignments, sponsored by the Taco Kuiper Trust.

Belated birthday greetings from the Roving Reporters team, Joel. Please let us know what you’ve been up to since your cutting your journalism teeth with Roving Reporters.


Joel Burton, (right) Sabelo Nsele (second from right) and Sandile Ndlovu (centre) interview Detective Sergeant Lindani Mhlongo at the scene of a stakeout in 2011 where two juvenile offenders turned serial hijackers were shot dead.


Seven years on . . . 

It’s been seven years since Roving Reporters introduced a pilot investigative training programme catering for journalism students at the Durban University of Technology, and we are still in the game providing exceptional opportunities to a growing cohort of emerging and established writers and researchers to take part in Roving Reporters assignments.


Scoop! How junior journo Bukeka Silekwa earned her spurs


Izze Siemann

What can Roving Reporters do for an international journalism student?


Thabiso Ngoba

High-flying hack: on mining for the truth and meeting my Deep Throat


Elephant in the room: how film-makers pricked a rookie reporter’s conscience


Featured image: Joel Burton getting interviewed at Durban University of Technology campus in 2012 about his role in The Turtle Butcher investigation.