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By Hein Kaiser

Journalist


Carte Blanche’s Lezanne is switched on and buzzing online

Lezanne Janse van Rensburg is driven by the principle of telling human stories.


Lezanne Janse van Rensburg has carved out a name for herself as a social media expert, particularly in news and actuality. She is the online editor of investigative television show Carte Blanche. Janse van Rensburg has a passion for what she does and speaks with enthusiasm about the myriad of projects that she has on her plate at any given time. As the online editor, Janse van Rensburg is responsible for managing all the show’s online content. This includes overseeing the production of the show’s podcast, which launched in July 2020. She also keeps a close eye on any news…

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Lezanne Janse van Rensburg has carved out a name for herself as a social media expert, particularly in news and actuality.

She is the online editor of investigative television show Carte Blanche.

Janse van Rensburg has a passion for what she does and speaks with enthusiasm about the myriad of projects that she has on her plate at any given time.

As the online editor, Janse van Rensburg is responsible for managing all the show’s online content. This includes overseeing the production of the show’s podcast, which launched in July 2020.

She also keeps a close eye on any news developments that might relate to stories the show has either already done, or is currently working on.

Telling human stories

Janse van Rensburg loves being part of a team of like-minded individuals who are all driven by the same principle of telling human stories – responsibly – and shining a light on the many injustices people endure.

She considers working with the best of the best, as she rates her colleagues, to be an enriching experience.

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Her journey into the world of social media and online journalism began by chance during her journalism studies.

As Facebook began to rise in popularity, Janse van Rensburg started sharing news content on her feed, mostly to avoid posting irrelevant information.

However, as she began to attract followers seeking news content, she began to take social media seriously a medium that stretches beyond cute cat videos.

Background

Before joining the Carte Blanche team, Janse van Rensburg worked at TV Plus Magazine as a writer and social media manager, as well as a researcher for Unicef.

She also did freelance work for international publications.

But it is her work at Carte Blanche that has given wings to explore her journalism universe.

Janse van Rensburg loves challenges. The podcast series has been a highlight.

“Having launched Carte Blanche: The Podcast has been a challenging but fulfilling journey,” she said.

Janse van Rensburg has a deep respect for social media. She believes that, if used responsibly, it can become a machine that informs and inspires people.

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“Yes, you can use it to post cat videos and dank memes – and I do a fair amount of that – but it can help individuals make informed decisions about their lives and, at times, find their people. But the flip side is that social media can be an extremely toxic environment that can lead to more harm.

”Social media has changed the world we live in, social discourse, relationships between people, news, and brands significantly.

“Together, these platforms play an integral part in how we function as a society. In terms of South Africa has become a giant rubbish heap Facebook specifically, the platform has certainly moved away from what it was originally intended to be: a place for people to stay in touch.

“It has now become a virtual town square where users can buy and sell goods, discuss pressing topics, form groups, and even influence governance. It’s become a far more serious space where people’s perspectives can be changed.”

Janse van Rensburg believes that users are approaching social media in a more conscious manner and that the novelty of posting “superficial content about what you had for lunch is wearing off, fast”.

Artificial intelligence

Social media may also change as artificial intelligence, or AI, grows.

She believes it is something to watch out for.

“I see more content creators turning to AI to simplify certain aspects of being online. I also think society will make greater demands on social platforms to better manage and protect their personal data, while also owning the online space to voice their concerns, highlight issues and become more conscious in the way they use social platforms.

“We are entering a more conscious digital era and the social platforms will have to adapt.”

Offline, Janse van Rensburg is a bit of a homebody. She enjoys spending time with her loved ones and cats, watching anime, and playing games. It is a privilege to switch off, she said.

“The world of online content never stops” – so, she puts her phone on silent and enjoys the silence to reboot her mind.

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