By Vincent Pienaar
Loved and lost: Jeremy Gordin (1952 – 2023)
Jeremy Gordin came into Daily Sun as a caretaker editor-in-chief in 2012. He was assigned to hold the fort until somebody could be permanently appointed. He did nothing of the sort.
Jeremy was short and short tempered – and he was a fearless giant.
Jeremy was never going to be a caretaker. From the day he walked into the general office he immediately made it clear that he was there to run the newspaper. He was not going to hang around and be the token manager until things “got better”.
For the people on the floor, he was an oasis in a desert. He injected passion, urgency, and a desire to be contributors to a great newspaper – emotions we had not felt for a long time.
Daily Sun, for many years, had the reputation of being different – and it was. It was a private place where the “inside members of the family” thrived and lived. But it had a downside.
Outsiders somehow never understood the culture of Daily Sun. People would try, and fail, to know what the newspaper was about.
Jeremy was different.
Not only did he understand the ethos of the publication, he embraced it. He loved it. He gave the people on the floor back the dignity that was slowly being eroded after the death of the founder Deon du Plessis.
And he was our champion of the newsroom.
He was certainly the boss man – but it was not because of any title. He had a presence that overrode everything. He took that presence with him to the Media24 boardroom in Cape Town – and he didn’t always come back unscathed – but he never stopped fighting.
In Yiddish, he was a mensch.
I sometimes met him in Melville or in Parkview where he took his blind and deaf bull terrier for walks.
Watching the two of them slowly waddling down Tyrone Avenue proved the old saying that a man and his dog end up looking like each other.
Jeremy was a man with strong opinions. He had the ability to be super critical, and publicly so, without insulting anybody. A fighter. No doubt a fighter till the end.
In the words of Barbara Ludman, who worked with him at Daily Sun: “He was very supportive of his reporters, cared deeply about journalism, and could tell a story better than anyone I knew.”
That’s how we will remember him.
Jeremy Gordin was formerly deputy editor of The Sunday Independent and ran the Justice Project at the University of the Witwatersrand’s School of Journalism. He was a regular contributor to Politicsweb.
He was born in Pretoria in 1952 and educated at Unisa and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He had been a journalist since 1976.
He was killed during a robbery at his home in Parkview on Friday night.
A friend who went to Gordin’s home found that it had been ransacked, locked from the outside and his body had been covered – a mark of respect after a violent, disrespectful act.
Pictured above: Jeremy Gordin
Image source: Twitter