After her Nieman year, Janet Heard joined the Cape Times as assistant editor, head of news
I visited my father, Tony Heard, at Harvard in 1987. About to start my first job as a reporter, I shared in his notes about journalistic excellence, freedom of speech and justice. More than 20 years later, my dad came to visit me during my Nieman. We were invited for sundowners at the home of the chief justice of Massachusetts, Margaret Marshall, and her Pulitzer Prize-winning husband, Anthony Lewis, NF ’57. We sipped bubbly and downed local seafood. Marshall, a former South African anti-apartheid student activist, offered great insights about transformational justice issues. Lewis spoke eloquently about his golden years as a New York Times columnist.
I feel privileged to have met Marshall and Lewis. These two unassuming human rights figures embody the values both my father and I associate with the Nieman year: the pursuit of journalistic excellence, freedom of speech, and justice. I returned to South Africa energized, taking up a new role as head of news at the Cape Times, where I am even more resolved to make the most of journalistic privilege—speaking truth to power.