e.tv journo quits over Harvard leave

2012-05-10 16:11
Thinus Ferreira
Cape Town – An e.tv journalist promptly quit after the broadcaster denied him special study leave after he was selected as South Africa's candidate for a prestigious overseas programme.

e.tv has refused Beauregard Lucian Tromp special leave after he was chosen as only one of 12 journalists outside of America to attend a study programme as part of the prestigious Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University.

Tromp subsequently resigned.

e.tv claims Tromp has not been working for e.tv for long enough to qualify for special leave and that there are many others in line ahead of him for the privilege.

The last time a South African was chosen as a Nieman fellow but wasn't allowed to attend the overseas programme was in 1965.

eNews senior management said in a statement to Channel24: "Beauregard Tromp is a worthy recipient of the Nieman Fellowship. We are very proud of him for being selected."

Other eNews staffers studying in US

According to the statement, three eNews staffers have received scholarships to Columbia University within the past year and the eNews anchor Nikiwe Bikitsha will be taking special leave from August to take part in the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship in the United States.

eNews said the news operation sent two journalists to Duke University in the past year which eNews funded with another one going next year. Two eNews staffers also go to Atlanta for training with CNN every year.

"It is within this context, and in order to treat all applicants fairly, that eNews requires staff to have worked for the company for a minimum of three years before being eligible for special leave."

Policy due to abuse

eNews said the policy was instituted because in the past employees have abused the system with people allowed to go on fellowships who fail to return to e.tv's employment despite contractual obligations, and some who have resigned immediately after they've returned.

"Beauregard only joined our company towards the end of last year and is therefore not eligible," said eNews.

eNews says Tromp didn’t apply for the Nieman Fellowship for 2013 but for 2011. "This year the Nieman selection committee in South Africa failed to secure a candidate and so took the rather unusual step of granting the 2013 position to a past and unsuccessful candidate."

eNews said many others at the news organisation are ahead of Tromp in the queue when it comes to special leave.

"Furthermore an open invitation was extended to Beauregard to return to eNews should he wish to do so after the programme. His future is in no way compromised by the decision to resign in order to take up the Nieman offer."


  • michael.duplessis.71 - 2012-05-10 16:27

    It is absolutely pathetic strategic thinking from e-tv. As a matter of fact most South African Companies could relate to that. Actually when you are in Europe and want to go on study leave they pay you, because you arer an asset to the company later on. What exactly is the problem e-tv?

      Squeegee - 2012-05-10 17:08

      Michael I'm sure you will not ever be chosen for anything which requires a brain. No employer can afford to have the bulk of its staff on study leave at once. Also, if the article was about another employee at E. TV complaining because this guy jumped the queue you would still be complaining.

  • michael.duplessis.71 - 2012-05-10 16:29

    It is absolutely pathetic strategic thinking from e-tv. As a matter of fact most South African Companies could relate to that. Actually when you are in Europe and want to go on study leave they pay you, because you arer an asset to the company later on. What exactly is the problem e-tv?

  • colin.langley - 2012-05-10 16:41


      Barefoot - 2012-05-10 17:12

      don't go forgetting the SABC now chap

  • Tumisang - 2012-05-10 16:45

    He must take unpaid leave, he cannot roam around the streets and expect a salary from the company.

      lydonmcg - 2012-05-10 16:52

      Oh really? The last time I checked that's pretty much what many journalists do on a daily basis!

      Citroes - 2012-05-10 16:53

      You don't understand do you?

      Pixie86 - 2012-05-10 22:02

      epic fail! You missed the point completely

  • Lebzadikgetsi - 2012-05-10 17:03

    I would have done the same if I was Tromp as for etv \sis man. Is this what you call integrity?\

      Atholl - 2012-05-10 20:58

      Beauregard Lucian Tromp (Beauree ?) E! is for free to all except thee that is the policee now take thou leave to see the tip of thou burri oops Beauree ! Ha!

  • Gregory - 2012-05-10 17:18

    Tuff luck etc. U obviously don't no a good journalist when you see one. It's your loss not his.

  • Tamaranui - 2012-05-10 17:23

    Wait in line like everyone else Trompie. Each Individual ahead of you in the queue also thinks their prospective engagements are life changing events.

      koo.doyle - 2012-05-11 07:40

      Each individual ahead of him wasn't offered an opportunity at Harvard. Think of the bigger picture, not the bureaucratic bull.

  • Billy - 2012-05-10 17:38

    If you so very proud of him grant him study leave. He'll be an assest once he's finished and better than other jurnos, especially SABC!

  • Hermann - 2012-05-10 17:43

    How is that for cutting your own nose! Poor ETv.

  • rayno.grever - 2012-05-10 18:35

    Beauregard Lucian Tromp. What a cool name!!!

  • Sonja - 2012-05-10 21:16

    eNews is a horrible news station. If you watch news during the day, they repeat the same stories over and over. And when they should be on the scene of breaking stories, they'd rather speak to a journalist on the phone and show a map of where the story is happening. Pathetic. And the Showbiz Report is just Hollywood, Hollywood, Hollywood - and our rich South African arts and culture scene is being neglected.

  • Thabo - 2012-05-11 00:57

    Give etv a "Good PR Award" for this story!

  • Johan - 2012-05-11 08:05

    There is a little bit more to the story that the headline suggests.. They are both right. But I would also have resigned to get into such a program. Good Luck Beuaregard, have fun. Etv is not the end of the line. The journey is the destiny.

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