Championing innovation through broadcasting in South Africa

Upon graduating in 1988 with a BJourn from Rhodes University, Deidre Uren made the
decision to relocate to the Eastern Cape, where she has remained since. Uren joined
the SABC as a radio and television journalist and, after almost a decade in this role, she
became, in turn, radio assignment editor, TV assignment editor and, thereafter,
provincial editor Eastern Cape from 2005 to 2021.
In 2021 Uren was appointed as the acting head of SABC news output for six months,
during which time the SABC News Channel held the number one position. Towards the
end of 2021, Uren was appointed the Head of innovation and content development at
SABC News, a post she currently holds. She was the Head of the SABC election project
in 2021, and honed her project management skills some years earlier when she acted
as head and co-ordinator of the M-Plan Project for the SABC. The M-Plan Project was
the code-name for the funeral of President Nelson Mandela, and in addition to running
the project for the SABC, Uren co-ordinated the International Broadcasters plan around
the funeral.
Uren co-authored a book in 1996 titled Who’s Who in local government – a practical
guide to the new local government dispensations in the Eastern Cape. In the 2019
Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards, she was a national winner in the Opinion
category for the production and implementation of the award-winning show Democracy
Gauge, a multiplatform production commissioned to commemorate 25 years of
democracy in South Africa, in which South Africans were interviewed about their lived
experiences in the democratic South Africa, and asked for their views on the country’s
successes, failures and challenges.
Uren has had international exposure to the broadcast landscape through the Media
Heads Development programme offered by the Chinese government. She completed a
postgraduate business development course at Gibs Business School, and the Women
Towards Management course with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. She has
spearheaded pilot projects aimed at ensuring the smooth transition to digital media for
the SABC Eastern Cape news department, and, through skills development initiatives,
and her experience as a mentor, has played an active role in discovering and
showcasing new talent in the journalism sphere. In 2022, Uren was awarded a JMS50
Alumni Award by the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University for
her commitment to Eastern Cape broadcast journalism.