Ryland Fisher has more than 35 years of experience in the media industry as an editor, journalist, columnist, author, senior manager and executive.
He is the former Editor of the Cape Times and The New Age, and was assistant editor of the Sunday Times. His experience in the media industry extends across all media platforms, including broadcast, online, books and events.
He writes a weekly column, called Thinking Allowed, in the Weekend Argus (published in Cape Town) and occasionally for various publications. He is a judge for the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards.
Fisher has worked with and in corporates, academia and government. He is the author of Race (published in 2007), a book dealing with race and racism in post-apartheid South Africa. His first book, Making the Media Work for You (2002), provided insights into the media industry. He undertakes projects in media and social transformation, and has lectured on transformation and race in several countries.
He has edited many books, magazines and newspaper supplements on topics such as Nelson Mandela, the National Development Plan, Empowerment, Corporate Social Investment and democracy in general.
He has also done work in several African countries, including a stint in Ghana in 2008, where he worked as a consultant for Global Media Alliance. He helped to turn around a weekly newspaper in the capital, Accra.
Fisher is chairperson of the Cape Town Festival, which he initiated while editor of the Cape Times in 1999 as part of the ‘One City, Many Cultures’ project.
He served on the Board of Trustees of Brand South Africa, the body marketing South Africa abroad, until March 2016. He has also been appointed to the Council of the University of the Free State until 2019.
Fisher has appeared on many radio and television programmes, in South Africa and abroad, where he was required to speak on the media or on political and social issues facing South Africa.
He is a previous Head of Journalism at Peninsula Technikon (now Cape Peninsula University of Technology) and has lectured at, among others, Emory University in Atlanta, Ohio University's campuses in Athens and Zanesville, Ohio, at the Initiatives of Change in Caux, Switzerland, the University of Cape Town, and the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism in Johannesburg.
He has traveled extensively abroad including for a stint as a Rockefeller Research Fellow at the Center for the Study of Public Scholarship at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, in 2003. He participated in a five-week leadership course at the Harvard Business School in 1997 and a five-week journalism course at the University of Missouri in 1993.
Fisher was awarded a fellowship at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies (Stias) in 2010 and 2013. He was acknowledged and appointed as an Honorary Member and Fellow of the Frederick van Zyl Slabbert Institute for Student Leadership Development at Stellenbosch University in August 2013.
In October 2006, he was awarded the Award of Appreciation for Print Media (for Media that Transforms the Public Space) at the Images of Voices and Hope conference in New York, in recognition of the “One City, Many Cultures” project which he initiated at the Cape Times.