On 3 May 2018, to celebrate World Press Freedom Day, the United Nations will launch the UNESCO study on World Trends of Freedom of Expression and Media Development, led for Wits by Dr Iginio Gagliardone (Media Studies), and produced in collaboration with the University of Oxford and the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, in consultation with research teams across five continents. The study was a major undertaking, charting recent trends in global media and communications, including the rise in algorithmic pluralism, the increasing polarization of the public sphere, and the role played by private spaces for expression (e.g. social media) in shaping public debates. The event will be opened by the UN Secretary General and followed by a panel including Professor Nicole Stremlau, as lead researcher of the publication. The final report can be accessed here.
SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL EDITORS’ FORUM (SANEF)
The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) is an influential grouping of editors and senior editorial executives operating in print, broadcasting and digital mainstream and regional and community media, as well as media trainers from major journalism training institutions in the country.
SANEF is looking for a dynamic, organised, problem-solving, tech savvy administrator with good writing abilities.
Media Monitoring Africa (MMA), South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) and Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF), are thrilled to invite you to a free public event:
From Fire-pools to Ramaphoria: Key media moments over the last ten years and why they matter for our democracy.
Date: Thursday, 8 March 2018
Time: 18h00 for 18h30 until 20h00 followed by refreshments
Venue: Nelson Mandela Foundation (107 Central Street, Houghton, JHB)
While South Africans are becoming increasingly accustomed to political frenzy and uncertainty, it is important to take stock and reflect on the function that the media have played in our recent history. There can be little doubt as to the critical role that our media, and in particular investigative journalism, has played in exposing the abuse of power and state capture in our country. But what does this coverage mean for us, as the public, and how can we use this information to deepen our democracy?
Over the last few years, we have also witnessed the unprecedented abuse of resources by state entities to target and harass journalists as they carry out their responsibilities of holding the powerful to account. Here, too, we have seen active intentional campaigns that seek to undermine the credibility and trust in legitimate media institutions. How do we respond to these challenges and what are their implications for building quality journalism?
This early evening panel discussion intends to highlight some of the key media moments that have dotted our past, and to recognise the efforts of those who have taken great risk to report the very stories that have shaped our current political reality. Critically, too, we seek to unpack some of the crucial lessons that we have learnt as the media fraternity during this chaotic, unpredictable and volatile time, and how we can use these going forward, especially in light of the inevitable chaos we can expect in the lead-up to 2019 elections.
We would also use this as an opportunity to honour Mandy Rossouw who was the first to break the story about Zuma’s controversial homestead, Nkandla, in December 2009.
Please follow online with #MediaMomentsza and at @MediaMattersza (Twitter), MediaMattersza (Facebook) or on our web page (www.mediamonitoringafrica.org) for updates.
For more details, you can also contact:
Sarah Findlay or William Bird
Tel: 011 788 1278
Project Coordinator: Policy & Quality Unit
T: +27 (0)11 788 1278
F: +27 (0)11 788 1289
C: +27 (0)83 969 2084
Facebook: Media Matters
The Media Studies department is proud to announce that its senior lecturer Dr Ufuoma Akpojivi has won the prestigious VC award for teaching!
Well done indeed Ufuoma.
The Media Studies department is very pleased to announce that Dr Kate Skinner has passed her PhD. Big congrats to Kate and her supervisor Prof Tawana Kupe.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT MEDIA STUDIES HONOURS ADMISSIONS
The Honours programme in Media Studies at Wits University is extremely popular and consistently has far more applicants than places. Space on the course is limited because all students require supervision for their research essays from properly qualified academics.
The minimum requirement for entry to this programme is 65% for third year Media Studies or a related subject and 65% for third year overall. However attaining these marks does not guarantee that you will be offered a place on this course. Offers are made first to students with higher marks (70%+), while students in the 65-69% bracket are either waitlisted or have decisions deferred until their final results are released, depending on whether they are internal or external applicants. The number of waitlisted and deferred applicants who receive offers depends on how many highest-ranking students apply.
We strongly suggest that students apply for more than Honours course, so those who do not receive a firm offer from Media Studies still have an option of doing a postgraduate degree in 2018. This applies equally to those who have received provisional offers, as lower marks in the second semester may mean that you are not offered a firm place on the course. Other departments within the School of Languages, Literature and Media offer outstanding Honours programmes, some of which have slightly less strict entry criteria. Students must apply for the Postgraduate Merit Award (PMA) when applying for Honours. You do not need a formal offer in order to apply for this bursary.
Humanities Graduate Centre
Transforming the Humanities through Interdisciplinary Knowledge THInK 2018 DOCTORAL FELLOWSHIPS: CALL FOR APPLICATIONS
A Doctoral Fellowship Programme for a New Generation of Scholars
The Humanities Graduate Centre in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of the Witwatersrand is pleased to announce the third annual call for applications for a uniquely exciting doctoral fellowship programme, generously funded by the Mellon Foundation. Known as 'THInK' or 'Transforming the Humanities through Interdisciplinary Knowledge', and directed by Professor Eric Worby, the programme aims to support and stimulate innovative doctoral scholarship. Each year we select for funding and participation a small, talented, and intellectually ambitious cohort of doctoral candidates. We seek individuals who have the originality of vision, the passion for scholarship, and the breadth of imagination to work beyond conventional disciplinary boundaries in ways that will build a distinctive future for the humanities and social sciences in Africa.
The THInK Fellowship
THInK Doctoral Fellows are funded for four years at the doctoral level followed by a fifth post-doctoral year (contingent upon the successful and timeous completion of the PhD). Funding comprises a basic annual stipend (valued at R125 000 in 2018), as well as limited additional funding to cover the costs of scholarly resources, such as books and a laptop, as well as field research expenses, writing retreats and conference attendance.
THInK Fellows are based at the Humanities Graduate Centre, where they take part in a PhD Lab, collaborating to shape innovative scholarly projects and events for doctoral students across the Faculty. This involves the convening of reading groups, writing retreats, and scholarly colloquia as well as seminars for the presentation of doctoral work-in- progress. Fellows also contribute to the design and implementation of new curricula and pedagogies, which may involve some teaching, in the Faculty of Humanities at Wits in the third and fourth year of the Fellowship.
While the thesis topics pursued by THInK Fellows are expected to range widely across the contemporary African humanities and social sciences, fellowships will only be offered to those who demonstrably seek to make a significant, original and transdisciplinary intervention in social, cultural, political and/or aesthetic theory. Fellows will be expected to demonstrate that they have the capacity and intention to engage in an ambitious and self- motivated programme of reading and writing, as well as scholarly argumentation and reflection throughout the duration of the Fellowship.
The Humanities Graduate Centre
The THInK programme supports doctoral scholarship in the Faculty of Humanities through fellowships based at the Humanities Graduate Centre at Wits University. The Humanities Graduate Centre has pioneered the provision of intellectual support to postgraduate students in South Africa, especially doctoral candidates in the Humanities and Social Sciences. It is designed to help constitute and nourish a new generation of diverse Africa- based scholars.
At the time of application for a THInK Fellowship:
*Applicants must have already graduated, or be scheduled for graduation, with a Masters degree from any university no later than 31 December 2017. Students who are already enrolled for the doctorate in any School in the Faculty of Humanities at WIts are eligible to apply, but only if they first registered for the PhD after 30 June 2017*
*Applicants must propose doctoral research that will make an original conceptual or theoretical intervention, and, in its broadest aspects, that will hold the promise of reshaping the contours of knowledge in the African humanities and social sciences. Applicants who do not show how their doctoral research might make a substantial theoretical and/or conceptual contribution will not be considered.
*Priority will be given to black South African, and particularly black African South African, applicants. Outstanding students from elsewhere on the African continent are, however, welcome to apply.
* Please note that, at the time of application, applicants do not have to be accepted into, nor do they have to be registered in, a PhD programme in the Faculty at Wits. However, please see below for conditions relating to acceptance and registration into a PhD programme at the time of accepting an award.
At the time of accepting an offer of a THInK Fellowship:
*Fellows must be admitted into, and be registered full-time for, a PhD in an academic programme in any School in the Faculty of Humanities at Wits.
In those cases where a THInK Fellowship is offered, but the student has not yet applied for or received admission to a PhD programme, the THInK programme will provide assistance with the application process. Where a THInK Fellowship is offered and a student has already secured acceptance into, or has been registered in, a PhD programme, supervisory arrangements will be subject to negotiation with the student and the PhD programme concerned. Please note that the offer of a THInK Fellowship does not constitute or guarantee acceptance into a PhD programme.
v While in principle THInK Fellows are not precluded from receiving other funding, all such funding applied for and/or received must be disclosed at the time of application. THInK Fellows are expected to be fully committed to the Fellowship programme, and any other funding or employment with requirements that prevent such a commitment may result in the Fellowship being withdrawn. It is the applicant's responsibility to check whether other funding awarded to them has any caps, restrictions, or requirements that would make them ineligible for the THInK Fellowship, or that would inhibit their full- time commitment to the programme.
CV with full contact details
An intellectual autobiography of about 500 words. This should indicate how, or in response to what influences, your intellectual trajectory has taken shape thus far, while also addressing your future scholarly ambitions.
A preliminary statement of doctoral research interests of about 1,000 words. The statement should indicate (a) the puzzle or problem that the research will address; (b) the conceptual or theoretical terrain in which the research promises to make an original intervention; (c) the possible range of intellectual resources or scholarly genealogies upon which the research will draw; (d) the ways in which the research is conceived to contribute to the reshaping or transcending of current disciplinary knowledge.
An electronic copy of the final version of your Master's research report or dissertation (in other words, the version submitted for final archiving following examination and the making of any subsequent corrections).
In addition to the above application materials to be sent by the applicant, every application must also include the following to be sent separately:
A recommendation letter from the supervisor of your Masters research report or dissertation that discusses the merits of your scholarship at Masters level and your scholarly potential, and
A recommendation letter from any other person deeply acquainted with your academic work and who can attest to your scholarly potential.
Both recommendation letters are to be sent directly and separately by the supervisor and the referee to the email address listed above before the application deadline, and should put the candidate's name in the subject heading of the email to which the recommendation letter is attached as follows: THInK 2018 Recommendation - Candidate's Name.
Applications in which any of the above required application materials have not been submitted by the deadline will not be considered, and no further correspondence will be entered into.
Transforming the Humanities through Interdisciplinary Knowledge
Humanities Graduate Centre
Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand
Iginio Gagliardone featured on CNBC to discuss the increasing role China is playing in the information and communication technology sector in Africa. Speaking alongside other scholars and experts, he stressed how China has made the difference in emerging markets like Ethiopia’s, but is playing a significant role in most countries in Africa. Iginio's work has also been used by the tech team of CNBC to offer a broader picture of how other emerging actors, such as Korea Telecom, are increasingly investing in Africa's information societies. Iginio is currently working on a manuscript with ZED Publishers on China’s role in shaping information societies in Africa.