My professional career and personal interests have always been informed by an insatiable curiosity and a desire to improve the way we live.
Carolyn is a senior journalist with the Johannesburg-based Wits Justice Project. She spends her time investigating human rights abuses and miscarriages of justice related to SA’s criminal justice system and drawing attention to the mostly ignored plight of people behind bars. Over the past few years, she’s focused mainly on prison torture and wrongful convictions and assisted five inmates whose convictions have been successfully over-turned by SA’s Constitutional Court.
Her professional career and personal interests have always been informed by an insatiable curiosity and a desire to improve the way we live. With a psychology and drama degree, a Masters in City and Regional Planning, stints as associate editor of the Financial Mail, features editor of Finance Week, Johannesburg bureau chief of Cosmopolitan magazine and communications manager of Conservation Corporation Africa under her belt, she brings a maverick approach to the Wits Justice Project.
Carolyn cut her journalistic teeth exposing the pitiful conditions experienced by migrant workers living in employer-provided housing in the Western Cape. Subsequently, she’s written extensively about socio-political, human rights and lifestyle issues, housing, business and the environment. She’s also written about travel, décor, design and architecture as a freelancer and spent lengthy periods in some of Africa’s most wild and wonderful places. She’s won numerous journalism awards – including being named Webber Wentzel Legal Journalist of the year (print) and runner-up twice. In July this year, she was awarded an “Honourable Mention” by the judges of the World Justice Project’s Anthony Lewis Prize for exceptional rule of law journalism in The Hague.
AREAS WE WORK IN:
The Wits Justice Project (WJP), based in the Journalism Department of the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS), investigates human rights abuses and miscarriages of justice related to the criminal justice system and publishes its findings. It is a donor-funded investigative journalism project which harnesses the power of the media to obtain justice when the justice system fails. The WJP aims to give voice to the voiceless by raising public awareness of systemic criminal justice problems. It liaises with stakeholders to address transgressions and abuse, conducts thematic research in an attempt to influence policy reform and advocates for change .