Shepard Strategic Communications


While the majority of the news media coverage of minority affairs centers on the American domestic agenda, during the 1990s and beyond, Shepard discovered coverage of the beat required a study of events beyond our shores.

The South African anti-apartheid movement in the U.S. reached a fever pitch among black activists in the 1990s. So covering the black agenda in the U.S. required an on-the-ground study of the first all-race elections in South Africa.

Shepard traveled to South Africa to cover the election for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Newhouse News Service and found a nation gripped with fear.

For a time, it seemed that the white power structure would not permit the transfer of the presidency. A deadly car bomb explosion, set outside Shell House, the African National Congress’ headquarters in Johannesburg, days before the election seemed to confirm the world’s worst fears.

However, the elections took place on schedule and, for the most part, without further incident. Nelson Mandela was sworn in as president in a sparkling ceremony under Pretoria skies.

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