Based at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York, the UN Correspondent’s Association represents journalists from around the world and reports on all activities of the UN. The Eastern Cape’s Sherwin Bryce-Pease was recently elected the President of the Association and the first African to be elected to this position. Sherwin will work closely with the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, to make sure that media has access to the UN and he is also responsible for planning the gala awards where the UN honours the best journalists.
Born and raised in East London, the 37 year old Sherwin has interviewed everyone from presidents such as Barack Obama to actors such as Morgan Freeman. He has also interviewed South African presidents Thabo Mbeki, Kgalema Motlante and Jacob Zuma, as well as local celebrities such as Black Coffee.
After completing a degree in Journalism and Linguistics at Rhodes University, Sherwin started out as a marketing and communications intern in the US during which time he also worked as an International Communications Liaison for Rhodes University. When he came back to South Africa, he started working for the SABC’s Newsbreak after which he became a Bulletin Writer and News Presenter on SAFM. In 2005, Sherwin was appointed Insert Producer and Co-Anchor of SABC’s Weekend Live as well as being a stand-in presenter on SABC 2’s Morning Live. In March 2008, Sherwin was appointed SABC’s US Bureau Chief & Correspondent, based at the United Nations in New York where he also covered the recent US elections.
Sherwin is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Dag Hannarskjöld Fund for Journalists, a trustee of the USA Rhodes University Trust, and he regularly donates large sums of money to the Rhodes’ bursary fund (a fund that helps students to pay for their studies). He is also passionate about getting more women in the newsroom and is a supporting signatory to the UN Women’s Step It Up for Gender Equality campaign. In 2016, he received the Emerging Old Rhodian Award which recognizes the achievements of Rhodes Graduates under the age of 40 who have excelled in their careers. He also received awards in the broadcasting category of the Un Correspondent Association Awards and the Ricardo Ortega Memorial Prize for television and radio.
Sherwin, who currently lives in Manhattan, says that he feels very privileged and grateful for the opportunities that journalism has given him. Although he loves traveling the world and living in different places, he admits that he misses South Africa and he especially misses braaing with his family.
Sherwin is a Blue Bulls fan and he also enjoys watching cricket, F1 auto racing, tennis and golf.
The advice he gives to aspiring journalists is that, in an age where technology gives your easy access to information, sometimes you have to put away your gadgets and explore the communities that you are reporting on. Work hard to make sure that you have a unique and memorable perspective to share with your readers and viewers. It is especially important that you pay attention to the detail. Be a perfectionist but at the same time, don’t be rude to people. Be kind and gracious.