The Journalist: December 2018

The annual literary feast Abantu Book Festival brought together black poets, academics and authors for a weekend of decolonising the discussion around black literature, changing the narrative and challenging the discourse in a safe space. The line up included legendary Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Professor Pumla Dineo Gqola, poet and activist Diana Ferrus, Zimbabwean author and filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarembga, Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi and so, so many more.

From the repatriation of Saartjie Baartman’s remains to the land question and the death of kwaito, the discussions and debates were more than relevant, more than timeous and absolutely essential in healing and unifying black writers and their audience.

Catch up or re-live the Abantu Book Festival with The Journalist.

The Journalist: October 2018

In this edition we look at what we can expect in the mid-term US Elections next week. The brutal murder of Jamal Kashoggi indicates that fundamental change in Saudi Arabia will not come soon. Following the Medium Term Budget Speech by newly appointed Finance Minister Tito Mboweni last week, a financial analyst argues that euphoria around political change is slowing and key to transforming the South African economy is rebuilding trust between business and government.

Since the passing of hip-hop icon #HHP, talk around depression in black communities can no longer be ignored and a Vice-Chancellor speaks out about mental health on his campus.

Gatekeepers in academia are keeping black academics on the sidelines of the industry and a new study looks at the glass ceiling for women working in newsrooms. Liz Khumalo started out as a secretary at the iconic Drum magazine and decades later became the first black female editor-in-chief. A science writer delves into lessons on quantum physics taught by Trevor Noah. We bid a sad farewell to Winston Ntshona.

This month in The Journalist …  October 2018 Issue


The Communication Education and Curriculum Development Interest Group Convenor is Prof Bruce Mutsvairo, University of Technology Sydney.
If you would like to learn more about this interest group or get involved in its activities you can contact him at

The Papers presented during #sacomm18 in this stream: Communication Education


The Journalist: September 2018

The Journalist is an independent, not-for-profit organisation working with the academic community and a range of credible entities. We are committed to multimedia offerings that delve more deeply into the complex facets of our reality. We don’t just tell you what happened. We help you understand why.

The Journalist has been launched with the support of the University of the Free State, the Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) and financial contributions from a range of individuals.

Students and media lecturers at the University of Free State and the University of Johannesburg and The University of Cape Town are participants in The Journalist.

September marks Heritage Month but how do we begin to celebrate and build a more inclusive society in a country marred by the effects of colonialism? Taking financial advice from friends or family members can have devastating consequences. We take a look at how a private girls’ school in Khayelitsha is grabbing the fourth industrial revolution by the horns and two academics tackle the ongoing conflict around the returned human remains from the German inflicted genocide in Namibia.

Sophie Tema Mosimane is the pioneer known for writing the article that appeared alongside Sam Nzima’s iconic photograph of Hector Pieterson, who risked her life numerous times for her craft. The challenges facing journalists on the African continent is a focus in the lead up to South African Press Freedom Day and an acclaimed writer looks at how technology will affect the notion of creativity in the future.

Read the September Issue here.

Postgraduate Programme in the School of Journalism & Media Studies: MEDIA AND SOCIALITY

The postgraduate programme in Media and Social Belonging (funded by the Andrew W Mellon Foundation) in the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University is now accepting applications for both study and scholarships.

  • Five Honours bursaries at R90 000 for one year of study
  • Four Masters bursaries at R100 000 for two years of study
  • Five Doctoral bursaries at R125 000 for three years of study

To apply, please send the following documents to Ettioné Ferreira at by

Monday 12 November 2018:

  • Academic transcripts of degrees to date
  • Motivation letter for joining the programme

and the level you will be applying for.

  • An indication of whether you are applying for a bursary. Specify whether you are interested in joining the programme regardless of whether you will be awarded a bursary or not.
  • A recent piece of academic/research writing.
  • CV.
  • The formal Rhodes University application form available from

Please see the attached advertisement for more details: Mellon_Advert_2018

#sacomm18 – Closing Message

Dear Colleagues,

As we wrap up and take stock of SACOMM 2018 at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and prepare to pass on the baton to the University of Cape Town (UCT) for SACOMM 2019, we want to take the opportunity to thank you all for your engagements and collegiality during what was a spectacular conference.

And for this we owe Prof. Pier Paolo Frassinelli and Mr Collen Chambwera a huge thank you! They carried this out through tremendous hard work and with the support of our SACOMM administrator Ms Annelize Vermeulen, the UJ School of Communication planning committee. Thanks also go to Prof. Nyasha Mboti and Prof. Colin Chasi for developing this year’s conference theme ‘Communication at a Crossroads’.

We had close to 200 delegates, 31 sessions, two plenaries and five book launches and a special screening of filmmaker Rehad Desai’s movie ‘Everything Must Fall’. And this year our delegates, apart from representatives from a wide range of South African universities, also came from Zimbabwe, Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia, Swaziland, Namibia, Malawi, Australia, Sweden, England, the United States and apart from the academic community we also had independent scholars, activists and civil society representatives from among others the Tembelihle Crisis Committee, Right2Know campaign, and the South African Department of Communication, as well as media houses and journalists.

The presentations were all of great quality and depth and the appreciation and collegiality in discussions around the challenging as well as exhilarating communication environment we find ourselves as both a discipline and practice, unparalleled.

Speaking of which, even though we have always emphasised an openness to topics and discussions, many of you did take the bait on the ‘crossroads challenge’, and we had presentations on everything from crossroads in journalism, corporate communication, ethics, teaching practices, social movements to technology in the service of democracy. And of course, many more interesting presentations talking to changes in the broader communication landscape. All of which was topped off brilliantly by Prof. Francis Nyamnjoh in his keynote address on the ‘Rational consumer: Bad for business and politics. Democracy at the crossroads of nature and culture’. And dare I say to a full house on the last day of the conference!

We also had a near full house for this year’s AGM and I think scheduling this mid-conference drew the membership. We had report backs from the interest groups chairs; Dr Mvuzo Ponono (Media Studies and Journalism); Mr Francois Smit (Screen Studies); Prof. Lida Holtzhausen (Corporate Communication); Mrs Martine van der Walt Ehlers (Communication Studies); Prof. Pier Paolo Frassinelli (Communications Advocacy and Activism); Prof. Bruce Mutsvairo (Communication Education and Curriculum Development); And last but by all means not least, Ms Linah Nkuna and Dr Theo Ngcongo (Emerging Scholars). And as always we had thorough discussions and deliberations on the running of SACOMM business. This year one main resolution was taken, and that to set up a task team headed by Prof. Keyan Tomaselli to look at the Constitution of SACOMM as well as the implications and desirability of an organisational name change, from South African Communication Association to Southern African Communication Association.

And speaking of Prof. Keyan Tomaselli, Prof. Ruth Teer-Tomaselli, Prof. Arrie de Beer and Prof. Pieter Fourie, our honorary SACOMM members deserve thank you’s for their continuous support and engagement with SACOMM matters big and small. Prof. Fourie and Prof. Tomaselli also both launched their books at this year’s SACOMM, ‘Media Studies volume 4 Social Media and Mediated Communication Today’ and ‘Making Sense of Research’. And they were accompanied by Prof. Herman Wasserman who launched his book ‘Media, Geopolitics and power: A view from the global South’, Prof. Nicole Stremlau and her book ‘Media, Conflict and the State in Africa’ and Prof. Bruce Mutsvairo and Prof. Beschara Karam with their book ‘Perspectives on Political Communication in Africa’.

As we handover to UCT for SACOMM 2019, I also want to say thank you to our colleagues from the East African Communication Association, who are taking the lead on a discussion at this year’s International Communication Association’s (ICA) regional conference in Ghana, to forge closer relations between our professional and interest organisations on the Continent. And this is important as we want to strengthen our own professional organisation as well as our cooperation with our sister organisations. The value of SACOMM and other organisation on the Continent is central to the establishment and the strengthening of the discipline and the many cogent disciplines and sub-fields it encompasses. This also goes for assisting emerging scholars in establishing themselves within a discipline, through networking, training and opportunities more generally. Putting such an affiliation on your CV does count and rightfully so. Thus we have a responsibility here to continuously strive to add to the professional life of our academics, emerging as well as more established. In later years the focus on advocacy has also become more prominent and highlighted, not at least in our own context through renewed decolonisation and transformation debates in our discipline as well as the higher education landscape more broadly. SACOMM has recognised this, not at least through it’s ‘Advocacy and Activism’ interest group that has become progressively more active since its first inception in 2015.

We have so much to build on, so we truly look forward to seeing you all in Cape Town in 2019!


Ylva and Elnerine
On behalf of the SACOMM Executive