Verashni Pillay is the founder of explain.co.za, a portal aimed at making news more accessible. She was previously editor-in-chief of the Mail & Guardian and HuffPost South Africa, and head of digital at Power FM.
She worked as a senior reporter for years covering politics and general news, specialises in digital media management and relishes the task of putting together the right team to create compelling and principled journalism across multiple platforms.
Verashni is a recipient of the CNN African Journalism Award in the digital category, several Standard Bank Sikuvile Awards, an Open Society Foundation journalism fellowship and the 2018 Mandela Washington Fellowship.
Under her helm the Mail & Guardian increased its year-on-year readership in every quarter bar one, the only print title within any category to do so in that time.
Her experience of cyber bullying as editor of HuffPost SA led to her popular Tedx talk, The Cost of Shame.
At Power FM she built the first in-house digital team and revamped all the digital products including podcasts, websites and streaming.
Verashni is invested in using journalism as a tool to further democracy and to this end is passionate about reaching more ordinary people who are excluded by a media that often narrowly focuses on elite audiences.
She believes that making journalism more accessible and attracting the attention of new and larger audiences would greatly enhance our democracy and the decisions we would make as an active and informed citizenry.
She is passionate about finding new models of journalism to both sustain the work of journalism in a changing landscape where revenue is under threat, and to reach wider audiences – in South Africa and across the continent.
Feedback & Reviews
“She is a totemic figure in SA as a young editor who represents and speaks for a generation of millennials who want more from the media, more from democracy and more from freedom.”
Daily Maverick Editor At Large
“The uncertain terrain of digital media requires a constant attention to the new. Verashni Pillay is perfectly suited to any program that emphasises invention and learning.”
Code For Africa Deputy CEO
She is a gifted editor and innovator who has the track record and gravitas to take any opportunity and run with it, stand up to challenges and pressure, and make a success of things.
What can I do for you?
I offer work in three areas.
Digital management services
This includes everything from the normal services like web and app development, animations and putting together digital teams to exciting innovations in AI-driven and machine learning solutions to help companies be more efficient and innovative. I work with skilled partners I have formed relationships with over the years while building digital departments and platforms for many media houses.
Writing and editing
I am still a writer and reporter at heart but I have since expanded into radio and audio production, thanks to my work on my media start-up, www.explain.co.za and my WhatsApp news channel. I am able to do research, reporting, and multimedia projects, again working with trusted partners I have built up throughout my career.
From event MC-ing to training, keynote addresses, moderating and other public speaking engagements, I have received glowing testimonials from clients who have used my services – from investment houses and multinationals to churches and schools. You can see more here.
I’m always happy to just chat through a client’s needs and help them find a solution.