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News

Prof Mehita Iqani has been awarded a visiting fellowship to Sussex University later this year. Seven Asa Briggs Visiting Fellowship awards have been made to a prestigious group of international academics and Sussex faculty. Named after a 'founding father' of the University and its second Vice-Chancellor, this new scheme enables inward visits for internationally outstanding academic collaborations to work on specific projects with Sussex faculty. The scheme is designed to enable our researchers to engage in collaborative work with the best people in their field, regardless of their institutional base. Professor Michael Davies, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research said: "The awarding…
CISA Invites you to a seminar: The media wars and their discourses in the South African print media' by Mbuyisi Mgibisi   Mellon Graduate Fellow In post-colonial, post-apartheid South Africa, "media wars" appear to have become a strong feature. Traditionally, the news media rarely report about another media. Interestingly, media wars seem to manifest themselves more when news publications subject each other to critical scrutiny. Recent media wars between newspaper companies and editors have highlighted the agonistic pluralist nature of the South African print media which is facing persistent and complex disruptions. This research asserts that a notable feature of these…
PhD studentship Funding is available for a PhD student to work on an NRF-funded project entitled 'Risk, anxiety and moral panic in the global south', based in the Media Studies department at Wits. The student in question would need to be registered for a PhD at Wits and supervised or co-supervised by the grantholder. S/he would ideally be beginning her/his doctorate at the start of 2017, although students who began in 2016 and have not yet had their proposals passed will also be considered. Applicants must have an excellent Masters degree (70%+) and a PhD project that is relevant to…
Book Launch Digital Activism in the Social Media Era Critical Reflections on Emerging Trends in Sub-Saharan Africa   Edited by Bruce Mutsvairo Palgrave MacMillan WHEN 21 February 1pm - 2.30pm WHERE University of the Witswatersrand Humanities Graduate Centre, Seminar Room, South West Engineering Building, East Campus PANEL Dr Glenda Daniels Dr Iginio Gagliardone Prof viola milton CHAIR Prof Pier-Paolo Frassinelli DISCUSSANT Prof Ylva Rodny-Gumede CONTRIBUTORS Bruce Mutsvairo Iginio Gagliardone & Matti Pohjonen Admire Mare Monica B. Chibita Ibrahim Seaga Shaw & Di Luo Samuel C. Kamau Mirjam de Bruijn & Didier Lalaye Tanja Bosch Glenda Daniels viola C. milton Ashley…
The Media Studies department is delighted to welcome visiting scholar Dr Bruce Mutsvairo, who joins the department for this semester as a CODESRIA Visiting Professor. Bruce is a Senior Lecturer in Journalism in the Department of Social Sciences at Northumbria University in the UK, and he is spending his sabbatical with us. Bruce is a former journalist with the Amsterdam bureau of the Associated Press (AP). He is an intersectoral researcher with interests in citizen journalism, social media and political participation, focusing primarily on the sub-Saharan African region. His latest book "Perspectives on Participatory Politics and Citizen Journalism in a…
Jozi clubbing: Simply Blue RelaunchArticle by Katlego Disemelo | February 7, 2017 | In Entertainment, GALLERIES There is something quite refreshing about change and dynamism. And if you are prone to curiosity like I am, you will be drawn towards most things that are new or different. For almost fifteen years Simply Blue has prided itself on providing its patrons with all things distinct to Joburg nightlife and its edgy culture. And this is precisely why I was excited to attend the Simply Blue Relaunch event late last month. Although I'm quite familiar with Rogers Street in Selby Village, and…
We are thrilled to announce that, hot on the heels of winning the Faculty of Humanities 'Team-teaching award' earlier this year, our department was nominated for, and won, the Vice-Chancellor's Team Teaching award for 2016.  The Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Prof Andrew Crouch, said, "It was noted that this department has developed and demonstrated a deep capacity for team work, collegiality and inclusive decision-making across the three years of their undergraduate curriculum. This has had significant implications for the quality of their intellectual environment as well as for throughput rates." The award comes with a R40,000 grant that we…
We are so proud to announce three promotions in our department:  Dr Ufuoma Akpojivi has been promoted to Senior Lecturer.  Dr Cobus van Staden has been promoted to Senior Lecturer.  Dr Nicky Falkof has been promoted to Associate Professor.  Warm congratulations on these well-deserved recognitions. 
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR 2017 THIRD YEAR MEDIA STUDIES STUDENTS This announcement is for the attention of students who intend to register for the Power stream in 2017. There has been a slight change in the programme for next year. We're pleased to annouce that Dr Bruce Mutsvairo, a renowned academic and journalist, will be joining us as a visiting scholar at the start of 2017 and has agreed to teach a third year module. During the time scheduled for the first quarter class Critical Political Economy of the Media, Dr Mutsvairo will be teaching a course on Digital Activism (description…
Prof Mehita Iqani's 2016 book, Consumption, Media and the Global South, has been made available by Palgrave MacMillan as an e-book with chapter downloads from SpringerLink. Since the book was published, there have been 617 chapter downloads - that's an average of over 50 per month! 
Two Research positions for UNESCO study on World Trend of Freedom of Expression and Media Development The Media Department at the University of the Witwatersrand is seeking two Researchers for the UNESCO funded study on “World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development”. The project is led at Wits by Dr Iginio Gagliardone and will develop in collaboration with the University of Oxford, the University of Pennsylvania, and an international team of researchers. The positions will be on a part-time basis for approximately 15-20 hours per week, for approximately 8 months. Additional hours may be available depending on experience…
Part-time positions available in Wits Media Studies The Department of Media Studies at Wits is recruiting for tutors/teachers at various levels for 2017. This is a chance to work with an exciting department within this growing and globally recognised field. 1. Second year tutorsFirst semester: Texts, Audiences and Processes of ReceptionSecond semester: Sociology of News ProductionDuties:- Teach 1-2 tutorial groups of 45 minutes each per week, with classes of around 20 students- Attend a weekly tutors' meeting to be briefed about the content of the week's lecture and given a tutorial outline and exercises to follow- Mark one tutorial assignment,…
Dear Media Studies students, The violence that has marred the legitimate and democratic protests taking place on campus this week has been extremely distressing for all of us. We know that a lot of you will be feeling very anxious about the situation at Wits and about your studies. We want to reassure you that, as a department, we're committed to finding creative solutions to help you get through this academic year. Some of your classes have already been moved online via Sakai. Timetables will be changed and specific classes dropped where necessary. All assignments due at the start of…
Applications are currently open for our Honours in Media Studies postgraduate degree. To qualify for Honours, students must achieve an average of 65% in third year Media Studies or a related discipline. Applications should apply through the Wits online enrolment centre, and select Honours in Media Studies, NOT Honours in Journalism and Media Studies (which is a separate programme offered by the department of Journalism).  Some commonly asked questions from applicants:  1. Can I work full-time and also do an Honours course? We have found that many students find this very difficult. While it is not impossible, you should be…
You can find out departmental YouTube channel at this link, and embedded below. 
Dr Cobus van Staden, Lecturer in Media Studies and co-founder of the China-Africa project, recently appeared on The Heat CCTV to discuss the upcoming China G20.  Watch him here or on our YouTube channel.
The Media Studies department offers its warm congratulations to two students who recently completed their Master of Arts by research, and were both awarded distinctions! Simphiwe Rens (left) and Jessica Pereira (right) were supervised by Prof Mehita Iqani (centre), who says she is extremely proud of both students. "They chose original topics, worked really hard, and stayed focused!".  Jessica Pereira wrote a thesis titled Believe in Yourself(ie): A study of young, ordinary, South African women who share selfies on Instagram. This study examines, from a feminist perspective, why young, ordinary, South African women take selfies. The aim of the research was…
Dr Iginio Gagliardone has, with colleagues, initiated a new research group at Wits, focussed on Internet Studies. Internet Studies is a broad multi-disciplinary field. At Wits there is currently relevant work being conducted across the University from the Business School to Electrical Engineering. Some of this work concerns infrastructure, regulation and policy. Other work concerns effects of the Internet on productivity or on disruption of existing industries. Some is focused on the role of new technologies in development, on politics and society. The new Wits Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct is launching later this year which is an important University initiative…
One of the first academic studies to contextually examine how hate speech emerges and disseminates in social media, led by Dr Iginio Gagliardone from Wits Media Studies, has been featured by the BBC World Service. The interview with Iginio can be found here, while the findings of the research can be accessed at the links below. Focusing on Ethiopia, and in collaboration with Addis Ababa University, the research team examined thousands of comments made by Ethiopians on Facebook during four months around the time of the country's general election. Hate speech' – defined as statements to incite others to discriminate…
The Media Studies department is thrilled to congratulate Dr Zvenyika Eckson Mugari, who recently graduated with his Doctor of Philosophy in Media Studies for a thesis entitled: Rethinking news values and newsroom practices in postcolonial contexts and the construction of subaltern identities Dr Zvenyika Eckson Mugari's work blends critical discourse analysis with ethnographic inquiry to explore discursive constructions of subaltern identities in postcolonial contexts of news production by mainstream news organisations in colonial and post-independence Zimbabwe. The study critically explores continuities and disjunctures in newsroom cultures of production in colonial and in post-independence situations in which marginalized former colonial subjectivities…
The Media Studies department is very proud of our third year student, Mpho Ndaba, who was selected to participate in the Young African Leaders’ Initiative Regional Leadership Center Southern Africa Programme which took place from 16 May 2016 up until the 10 June 2016. The programme included a large number of young African leaders from the Southern African part of the Continent.  
Dr Glenda Daniels has recently published a piece on The Conversation press freedom. You can read the article at the link. The text is also included below.    One key measure of a country's levels of freedom and democracy is how the government treats journalists and how free they are to do their work. Sadly, based on a range of measures, including number of deaths, detention and government control of the media, the situation for journalists has worsened in the world. Three organisations monitor press freedom across the world. They are the Committee to Protect Journalists, Freedom House and Reporters…
The Media Studies department is thrilled to announce that it has been awarded the Faculty Team Teaching Award for 2015. The award is in recognition of our "clear demonstration of team work, collegiality, and inclusive decision-making across the three years of the undergraduate curriculum". According to the Assistant Dean for Teaching and Learning, "the Faculty is lucky to have such a considered and thougtful group contributing to the teaching and learning environment" at Wits.  The award comes with a R40,000 grant, which the department will use in student-centred and curriculum-development projects during 2016.  According to Media Studies HoD, Dr Nicky…
WiSER, in collaboration with Media Studies at Wits, warmly invites you to its opening event for 2016: INTERSECTIONAL WRITING IN TIMES OF PROTEST:Conversations with young woman journalists The #RhodesMustFall and #FeesMustFall protests that have shaken South African campuses since early last year have invigorated various modes of politics. One of these is a powerful strain of what some refer to intersectionality, involving black feminist and queer politics that are seldom explicitly stated in South African political discourse. Many of the debates around these issues have taken place online, either in digital publications or on social media. This panel discusses issues…
A warm welcome (back) to all students joining the Media Studies department in 2016. We have learned a huge amount from the student movement of 2015, and acknowledge the passion, committment and sacrified of many students who participated in the FeesMustFall movement last year. We're very proud of all media studies students who contributed to the massive achievements towards accessible education for all.  We're committed to doing what we can to support the drive for reform of the higher education system, while also continuing to look after all the students who are currently in the system. We are committed to…
The Department of Media Studies affirms its support for the nationwide struggle to make quality higher education accessible for all South Africans who gain university entrance. We commend Wits students and workers for taking a difficult position with potentially harmful personal consequences in order to to fight for true transformation and political progress within the university sector. We believe that education must be a right rather than a privilege given only to those who can afford it. We condemn all acts of violence: both those perpetrated by protesters and those, less widely reported on, perpetrated against protesters. At the same…
Three postgraduate students presented papers at an international conference held at the University of Tubingen, Germany from 6-9 October. The panel was titled 'Sex, Gender, Class and Consumption: Media Formations in the Global South'. PhD student Siyabonga Koba presented on 'Practices of pleasure: Exploring porn consumption in South Africa', PhD student Katlego Disemelo presented on his MA research, 'Black Men as Pink Consumers? A critical reading of race, sexuality and the construction of the Pink Economy in South African queer consumer media' and MA student Simphiwe Rens presented on his current research, 'Striving Towards Perfection? An Investigation into the Consumption of…
The deadline for applications for the 2016 Honours programme in Media Studies has now been extended to 31 October 2015. Please get your applications in on time, and don't forget to apply for a Postgraduate Merit Award (PMA) at the same time, through the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office (FASO).  To be admitted to Honours, students are required to have a BA degree (not a National Diploma) in Media Studies or a related field, with an overall mark of at least 65% for their final year of study.  Please contact the Honours Co-ordinator, Dr Glenda Daniels, with any queries. 
The department of Media Studies was delighted to host a visit from Prof Lilie Chouliaraki, a Professor in Media and Communications at the London School of Economics, this September. Prof Chouliaraki participated in a number of events organised by the Critical Research in Consumer Culture. She also gave a public lecture, on the theme of Post-Humanitarianism and Mediation, and gave a masterclass on Discourse Analysis to postgraduate students. For more about the events click here and to learn more about Prof Chouliaraki's research click here.   
Warm congratulations to colleagues Dina Ligaga and Ufuoma Akpojivi who have recently receied NRF ratings. Ufuoma obtained a Y2 rating, and Dina a C3. They are now included in the small and prestigious group of NRF rated researchers in the country. This brings the number of rated researchers in the department to three.       
We are proud of our former student, Thulani Fakude, who completed an Honours in Media Studies in 2013. He was recenly awarded a scholarship to study in China, the Chinese Government Scholarship, awarded through the South african DHET. Thulani is doing a Masters in International Relations at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing. Thulani says, "I am glad and grateful to the SA government, I really wanted to study in China and to learn Mandarin. Just a few years ago, as a black South African, I would have never had this opportunity. I will definitely make the…
Snippets of the SABC: Media Studies student excursion On the 13 August 2015 Media Studies third year students went on an excursion to the SABC forming part of their Media Policy and Regulation course, led by Prinola Govenden and Dr. Ufuoma Akpojivi. It was a highly informative, educational and fun trip that introduced the students to the public service broadcasting sector and core policy and regulatory debates. The Head of the SABC's Policy and Regulatory Affairs Division Judy Monyela gave a lecture, during the question and answer session the students kept Judy on her toes and she was impressed with…
Media Studies Honours student Pontsho Pilane was invited by the Swedish Institute on an annual trip to Stockholm in order to learn more about the LBGTQI community and the activities that lead up to Stockholm Pride, one of the largest pride marches in Sweden. As well as being a student in Media Studies, Pontsho is a journalist with The Daily Vox. The media trip included eight other journalists from various countries and aimed to show how progressive Stockholm is in terms of LGBTQI rights. During the trip, Pontsho experienced life in Stockholm and learned about the history of LBGTQI liberation…
On 29 July, Media Studies PhD student Katlego Disemelo was interviewed about his award-winning MA dissertation on talk radio station Power FM. Katlego's MA thesis, titled 'Black Men as Pink Consumers? A critical reading of race, sexuality and the construction of the pink economy in South African queer consumer media', won the 2014 Stuart Hall Prize for Postgraduate Research Excellence in Media Studies. You can listen to his interview here. Well done Katlego!     
Congratulations to Joel Pearson and Phesheya Dube, two outstanding scholars, for earning distinctions for their MA dissertations. Phesheya, whose work was titled 'Who cares about Swaziland? A textual analysis of the representation of Swaziland in South African media', was supervised by Media Studies' research associate Dr Sarah Chiumbu. His thesis explores the representation of Swaziland in key South African media sites. Using a thematic content analysis of reports on Swaziland in The Star, Mail & Guardian and Sowetan, it argues that South Africa replicates western media's stereotypical reporting of the continent as a result of the socio-political and economic structural similarities between…
The Media Studies department is very pleased to announce that Dr Glenda Daniels's Wits Press title, Fight for Democracy: The ANC and the Media in South Africa, has been included in the prestigious Thomson Reuters Book Citation Index of the Web of Science. More details, and a full list of other Wits Press titles titles also included thus far in the Citation Index, can be found here.  
Congratulations to Dr Dina Ligaga on her well-deserved promotion to Senior Lecturer. Dr Ligaga is particularly interested in interrogating the role played by popular culture in Africa. For more information on her research interests, visit the staff page of this site.  
In April-May 2015 the department's resident Asia-Africa scholar, Dr Cobus van Staden, was invited to take up a guest lectureship at the School of Public Policy at the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. Dr van Staden, who specialises in the overlap between media and politics, presented his ongoing research on Chinese and Japanese media debacles in South Africa. You can read more about Dr van Staden here, and about his current work here.      
Congratulations to Dr Mehita Iqani, who has received a prestigious Y1 National Research Foundation (NRF) rating for the period 2015-2020. According to the NRF, a Y1 rating means that a researcher 'is recognised by all reviewers as having the potential (demonstrated by research products) to establish him/herself as a researcher with some of them indicating that he/she has the potential to become a future leader in his/her field'. More details about NRF ratings are available here.   Well done Mehita!
As part of her fellowship from the African Humanities Programme of the American Council of Learned Sciences, Dr Nicky Falkof will undertake a writing residency at the University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, from June to August 2015. Nicky will be working on a book project about moral panics in contemporary South Africa.
Congratulations to those members of the excellent 2014 Honours cohort who achieved distinctions for their long essay research projects.They are:   Louise Crouch: 'I love you LOL! From Whatsapp with love: negotiating the romantic relationship over Whatsapp'; Callan Dunn: 'Re-invented: Analysing the self-portrayal of black South African women on Instagram'; Monique Gibbs: 'Sneaker-heads and hype-beasts: The sneaker subculture in a global society'; Firdaus Khan: 'The discourse of diversity in Disney'; Thando Mbatha: 'The rise of "Black Twitter"'; Jessica Pereira: 'Men: The new victims of the "myth of beauty"?'; Marisa Pereira: 'The representation of gender-based violence in South African print media:…
Congratulations to Media Studies PhD candidates Siyabonga Koba, Vidhya Sana and Prinola Govenden on each being awarded a South African Humanities Deans' Association scholarship (SAHUDA). The scholarship supports PhD programs in the fields of humanities and social sciences and is awarded to outstanding PhD scholars who are opening up new areas of research which can shape and influence future humanities and social science projects as well as support progressive transformation. More information on the scholarships is available here.  
Many congratulations the latest round of fantastic scholars to achieve distinctions for their MA degrees in Media Studies. Jabulani Nkuna's project was titled 'Universal Access at Crossroads: A political economy of the digital migration policies in South Africa' and Nkosinathi Selekane's was called 'Four-Four Masihlalisane: Newspaper representation of the South African minibus taxi industry on issues about the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system'. Both Masters students completed their degrees in 2014 under the supervision of Research Associate Dr Sarah Chiumbu. 
To further the pursuit of excellence in academic achievements and research, the department of Media Studies has inaugurated a series of prizes to recognise outstanding work at all levels of study. The awards are issued to students who have completed their third and final year of their undergraduate degree, as well as students who have completed a Honours, Masters or PhD postgraduate degree. The awards are as follows: Media Monitoring Africa Prize (R300), awarded to the top third year student in Media Studies. Chouliaraki & Orgad Long Paper Prize (R500), awarded for excellence in research at Honours level. Stuart Hall…

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