Geoffrey Nyarota began his journalism career at The Herald in Zimbabwe in 1978. Nyarota also served as editor of The Chronicle, a daily in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second largest city. During his tenure, The Chronicle published a series of articles exposing large-scale corruption involving government ministers and officials. As a result, the government, which owned the paper, removed Nyarota as editor. He then moved to The Financial Gazette, a weekly business and financial newspaper, and later joined the Nordic-Sadc Journalism Centre in Maputo, Mozambique.

On his return to Zimbabwe in 1999, Nyarota founded The Daily News, the country's only independent daily newspaper. The newspaper's aggressive efforts to uncover corruption and human rights abuses made it the most widely read paper in the country. On Dec. 30, 2002, Nyarota was fired as editor on what management said were administrative grounds. But his dismissal came amid an escalating campaign by President Robert Mugabe's government to quiet criticism from independent news outlets. Nyarota fled to South Africa after police visited his home at midnight. Previously he had been arrested on six occasions while his newspaper was the target of a bomb attack twice.

He has been at Harvard University since the beginning of 2003 under the auspices of the Nieman Fellowship Program for Journalists. As a Carr Center Fellow, he proposes to undertake research on ethnicity as a factor in the liberation struggle and post-independence national politics of Zimbabwe. He was awarded a Knight International Press Fellowship Award in 2001 and an International Press Freedom award from the Committee to Protect Journalists.

In May 2002, Nyarota was awarded the 2002 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize and the World Association of Newspaper Golden Pen Award the same year. In all, he has received nine international media awards for his work as a journalist in Zimbabwe.