INMA Elevate Scholar: Timothy Rangongo of finweek

By Paula Felps

INMA

Nashville, Tennessee, United States

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On October 29, INMA and Google News Initiative (GNI) awarded 50 news media professionals around the world with its debut Elevate Scholarship. This series features these impressive media professionals who are shaping our industry. 

Even as a child, Timothy Rangongo was passionate about business and financial topics. 

“My father would pass on the Sunday newspapers after he was done reading them, and I’d jump straight to the business section,” he said. “It was no surprise that I majored in economics and law at Rhodes University whilst writing for the business section of the campus newspaper.”

Timothy Rangongo enjoys using technology to tell business stories at finweek.
Timothy Rangongo enjoys using technology to tell business stories at finweek.

He was so interested in finance matters that he chose to take one of the most rigorous finance programmes at Rhodes, the Economics of Money, Banking and Financial Markets. Despite failing the first time — and the second — he persisted and, upon taking the course for the third time, he not only passed it, but did “exceptionally well.”

That’s just one example of the tenacity and determination that Rangongo brings to everything he does. As an editorial intern at finweek, South Africa’s leading business and financial investments publication, he interviewed local business leaders and used the experience to learn as much as he could — both from his interview subjects and from the team he worked with. 

He then became a member of the inaugural team of Business Insider South Africa, a digital-only publication that quickly became the most-visited news site in the country just three months in. It was there, Rangongo said, that he honed his digital/multi-media reporting and production skills. His efforts didn’t go unnoticed, and he earned an Editorial Innovation Award from Media24. 

Although he now has returned to finweek as a business and financial journalist, he enjoys using technology to help tell business stories and oversees the digital arm of the magazine. 

“I handle the Web content. I produce it, edit it, and also administer all social media channels,” he said. “I am a journalist, content producer, and social media manager.” He aspires to become the magazine’s first digital editor, he said. 

In addition to making his mark through innovations in the newsroom, he also wants to open the door to promote diversity and avoid the misperceptions and misrepresentation of society members who are often overlooked. 

“As an African and gay business and financial journalist in a predominantly white male-dominated space, I am the embodiment of inclusivity,” he said. “I would like to continue shattering barriers. There could be many others like me who do not know how to get started or are discouraged by the walls around this space.

“I’d like to … offer opportunities to underrepresented groups and mentor them in school and in their internships [to teach them] where to apply their energies the most to excel.”

About Paula Felps

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