A freelance journalist in South Africa (and the world)

April 29 2012

This was, and will be, my personal blog. But it’s currently under maintenance. Much like my career. And long may that continue.

Here’s the formal intro to me.

Adam Oxford is freelance journalist based in South Africa and the UK, who does a lot of other stuff you might want to know about too.

What do I do? In the past I’d have described myself as a journalist who writes about technology, whatever that actually means. To be a little more specific, I cover consumer electronics, PC hardware, tablets, international development, environmental issues, telecoms, open data, big data, data privacy, on and offline gaming, Africa and… that’s not much more specific, is it?

My most recent full-time job was as Editor-in-Chief/Publisher of htxt.africa and its parent company, htxt media PTY (ltd). It is that most ridiculous of things, an online journalism startup in a country where around 40% of people are still offline. Over the last four years we’ve grown htxt.africa from nothing to the second largest site of its kind in South Africa (and maybe the continent?), at which point it was time for me to move on. I’m still involved with htxt.africa on the fringes, but I’m also exploring new challenges.

Right now, I do a lot of freelance writing, if you want to get in touch. That includes journalism & investigative research, and also independent report production. I also help to prepare teaching materials on subjects related to journalism (like what you should know before launching a media startup and how to use PGP for journalists), and have also been commissioned to write speeches, edit scripts and, on the odd occasion and for someone I like,

I love things like city camps, open data, hack days and Linux. I love data-driven journalism, both producing and consuming. I do photos and – sometimes – videos too. I’m not a particularly talented hardware hacker, but I’m a proud member of the SA Makers Collective all the same.

As a freelance journalist I’ve written for PC Gamer, Stuff, The Journalist, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Mail & Guardian, The EcologistGreen FuturesWired.co.ukComms DealerPC Format, ZDNet, The Journalist, Brainstorm, PC Plus, PC Answers, Digital Photographer and, a little more randomly, the Musician’s Union magazine. I’ve also edited reports for people like the African Child Policy Forum and written for the Arts & Humanities Research Council.

In a previous life, I edited PC Format and the now defunct Digital Camera Shopper. One of my first journalism jobs was on a long forgotten children’s technology magazine called Planet PC.  I got to dress up in an Elvis costume, write about volcanoes, interview astronauts and visit the building site that became the Eden Project. Best job ever.

Not all at the same time, I hasten to add.

In 2009, I was a finalist in the Guardian International Development Journalism Competition.

What else do I do? I help to coordinate the Johannesburg chapter of Hacks/Hackers, through which I’m leading the #HackTheConstitution project and helping to bring together journalists and technologists for the good of the world. I regularly appear as a talking head/disembodied voice on South African TV & radio.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ve also helped to produce marketing or other materials where there is no obvious conflict of interest (or I’m able to recuse myself where there is), and have worked for clients including Opal TelecomUK:Telco, PC World, Gemalto, Bluebell Telecom, Intel, Microsoft and Asus. I’ve also worked with the Henley Business School and Praekelt.

Wherever possible I use a Creative Commons licence for my work.

You can hire me or my company for reporting, feature writing, reviews, investigative work and research or for bespoke content production by clicking through to the contacts page. Work samples will be uploaded to this site as soon as I can find time, until then mail me for requests.