ICA 2022 Regional Hub Invitation

The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Centre for Film and Media Studies together with the South African Communication Association (SACOMM) invite you to attend the regional hub event of the International Communication Association (ICA) on May 27th-28th.   

In keeping with the theme of the ICA conference this year, One World, One Network, the event will take place in-person on the upper campus of UCT and will comprise screenings and streamed content direct from Paris, as well as panel discussions and social events. 

If you are interested in attending, please sign up here or via the link below. There is no conference attendance fee, so spaces will be limited.    



100 years of Radio in South Africa: Reflections from Academics and Practitioners
A book edited by Ms Sisanda Nkoala and A/Prof Gilbert Motsaathebe

Abstract Submission Deadline: November 30, 2021

The Year 2023 will mark a hundred years since radio broadcasting started in South Africa. Despite technological innovation characterised by new media platforms, radio continues to be a powerful medium because of its reach, affordability and place in the lives of South Africans. There has been a resurgence in radio studies in recent years as scholars ponder over how the introduction of digital technologies have reconfigured this traditional medium. In a context like South Africa, where the majority still turn to radio for information and entertainment, scholars are contemplating on how the development of the medium over the past century is shaping the convergence between radio and digital media as well as the reconfiguration that has taken place due to changes in access and participation.
The book aims to bring together media scholars and practitioners to deliberate on the role and influence of radio broadcasting in South Africa over the past 100 years. The publication will add to the existing body of knowledge on radio in this context by being among one of the few to consider radio broadcasting in South Africa-. Essentially, the book will make a distinct contribution by providing the following: a historical account of the development of the sector, an in-depth look at some of the key people and institutions that have shaped the sector, and a critique of the medium’s role in community-building and culture making among others. While the book will provide relevant theoretical frameworks, it also aims to include the voices of media practitioners who can reflect on the importance of this medium from a more realistic perspective.

The target audience is anyone with an interest in radio broadcasting in South Africa, including the general public, media professionals and academics who want to introduce a reflective text to their research agenda and curricula.
Possible themes include, but are not limited to:

Theme 1: The role of radio broadcasters/presenters/DJs in shaping public discourse, language and culture in South Africa
This theme will explore at the role of radio broadcasters in shaping public discourse and language, and culture. Radio broadcasters in South Africa are often more than mere announcers who inform the audiences about what is coming up on the programme. They are cultural icons who shape public discourse. They also play an essential role in the development and upliftment of indigenous languages. They have been instrumental in helping South Africans make sense of developments in this context. At many pivotal moments in the country’s development, they have been the voice communities turn to for information, reassurance, and a perspective on the prevailing state of affairs. This theme will profile some of those individuals and discuss the role of the South African radio broadcaster and how it has developed over the years.
Theme 2: The role of South African radio stations: then and now
This theme will explore the role of South African radio stations over the years. Radio stations in South Africa are the bastions of popular culture and repositories of our nations cultural heritage. As the most widely consumed form of media for decades, they have been an unrivalled source of information and entertainment. Some stations have played a critical role in political developments, while others have been the driving force behind fundamental changes in popular culture. Chapters based on this theme will examine the role of radio stations and may adopt a historical orientation of the radio station landscape or choose to focus on particular stations.
Theme 3: Reflections on South African radio regulation and governance over the years
This theme will explore the political dynamics behind the regulation and governance of South African radio over the years. From the establishment of radio to initially only serve English and Afrikaans speaking audiences to the present day constitutional provisions aimed at encouraging freedom of the airwaves, the changes in radio regulation and governance have been influential in determining the degree to which citizens can exploit the democratisation capabilities of radio as a medium. Chapters under this theme will consider the shifts in South African radio regulation and governance and reflect on how these have shaped the radio landscape over the years.
Theme 4: Reflections on the relationship between radio and politics/business in South Africa over the years
Due to its broad reach as a medium, radio has long been used as a strategic platform by political and business entities. The political economy of the medium is often deemed to drive all the other priorities, and this aspect has at times been at odds with the socio-cultural affordance of radio. Chapters under this theme will examine the relationship between radio and politics/business in the South African context over the years.
Theme 5: The future of radio in South Africa – Learning from the past
This theme seeks to forecast the place and character of South African radio in the coming years. With social media introducing audio forms such as podcasts and Twitter spaces, how will these developments affect the place of radio? It is clear that the medium has shown its longevity in this context, but will the technological shifts dethrone it from its place as the most widely consumed medium in South Africa? Chapters under this theme will endeavour to answer these and other questions regarding the future of South African radio.
Theme 6: Managing Radio in a digital environment
The digital media environment has presented both challenges and opportunities to the media industry. This theme seeks to examine specific challenges and opportunities concerning radio and how managers have navigated the complexity
presented by a networked, converged media environment. Proposals that contemplate future directions of the medium and business models will be considered under this theme.
Theme 7: Radio and African languages
With this theme, we welcome proposals that engage specifically with the contribution of radio to the preservation of African languages, which have generally seen a considerable decline in other media forms. Any other topic involving radio and indigenous African languages spoken in South Africa will be most welcome.

Submission Procedure
Researchers, academics and practitioners are invited to submit abstracts or chapter proposals of 500 to 700 words on or before November 30, 2021. Authors will be notified by December 15, 2021, about the status of their proposals. Authors of accepted abstracts/proposals will be invited to present their full papers at a colloquium on April 30, 2022. After the colloquium, authors will be given a chance to revise their papers, and final submission should be a maximum of 8000 words, including the references. When submitting abstracts, authors must indicate which of the above themes their submission aligns with.
Please send your extended abstract by November 30, 2021, to Sisanda Nkoala (nkoalas@cput.ac.za) AND Gilbert Motsaathebe (gilmot2000@yahoo.co.uk)

Important Dates

November 30, 2021: Abstract Submission Deadline

December 15, 2021 Notification of Acceptance
April 30, 2022: Colloquium

May 31, 2022: Full Chapter Submission

August 31, 2022 Review Results Returned

September 15, 2022: Final Acceptance Notification

October 15, 2022: Final Chapter Submission

CFP: ‘Journalism Studies’ Special Issue Call for Papers:

Rethinking the Sociology of News: Global, Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives 

Special Issue Editors: 

Hayes Mabweazara, University of Glasgow – Hayes.Mabweazara@glasgow.ac.uk 

Catherine Happer, University of Glasgow – Catherine.Happer@glasgow.ac.uk 

Manuscript deadline – 1 May 2022 

Journalism studies is defined by and benefits from its interdisciplinary nature and broad scope of interests and priorities. However, one consequence of this is that the way in which distinct disciplines might differentially shape and bring value to our understanding of the field can be overlooked.  A key strand of the current foundational critique of journalism was established and deeply rooted in the discipline of Sociology, which gave rise to specific concerns and approaches to understanding the ways in which news organisations manage the processes through which information is gathered and transformed into news and the pressures that encourage journalists to follow familiar patterns of news making.  In the British context, the late 20th century was a particularly prolific period for the sociology of news in which the empiricism of institutional research centres such as the Glasgow University Media Group (GUMG) played a leading role in setting the agenda for journalism and media studies. The conceptual basis for such work was the understanding of journalism as embedded within systems of power (economic, political, social, cultural) and as institutionalised through everyday practices, shared beliefs, and norms.  Methodological approaches which involved the analysis of production processes, patterns in content, audience reception and the formation of public opinion addressed the totality of communication systems with journalism and journalists as key agents in driving a range of societal outcomes. 

The body of work produced by the GUMG in particular was influenced by the political economy of the media as represented, for example, by Herman and Chomsky’s Propaganda Model, ideas of media as cultural hegemony and the role of ‘primary definers’ in the work of Stuart Hall.  Shared foci around journalistic selection, inclusion, and omission paralleled work in the US, including McCombs and Shaw’s research on ‘agenda setting,’ Robert Entman’s ‘media framing’ and David Manning White’s seminal ‘gatekeeper theory,’ among others.  The importance of structures of ownership and control and the extent to which the broader ideological climate shapes the thinking of journalists also came to the fore. News production was also seen as a highly regulated and routine process shaped by organisational pressures, with very little acknowledgment of journalistic agency. For some time, this pioneering body of work collectively ushered in revolutionary approaches to understanding news as a historically contingent ‘manufactured’ product. 

However, the complexities of contemporary societies and their media systems have increasingly rendered these early sociological approaches anachronistic, and in some cases, inadequate as explanatory frameworks for understanding the operations of journalism in the 21st century. The systems of power or ideological climate of news production have changed significantly and the field of analysis has expanded beyond a focus on the production of information flows and their impacts within Western economies. New political and social formations, including the complexities of increased globalisation and the emergence of multicultural citizenship have become central concerns in changing social and political contexts in which new global news players are emerging. At the heart of these changes are developments in digital technologies which have radically transformed the working practices of journalists and news consumption habits. The time is long overdue for revisiting early sociological studies and their deep-rooted Western-centrism which continue to define journalism studies’ key areas of inquiry and the field’s theoretical and methodological direction globally. 

This special issue addresses the question of the continuing value of the priorities of the sociology of news and the importance of a sociological critique of journalism more generally, the dynamism and adaptability of its modes of analysis to different contexts, and the validity of the conceptualisations of power and resistance built into them. Themes and areas of particular interest may include: 

·        Emerging methodological approaches to studying news and news organisations 

·        Doing content analysis beyond mass media 

·        Conceptualising ‘media power’ in the age of big tech 

·        Constructing ‘public opinion’ through social media content production 

·        Agenda setting on social media platforms 

·        News values in non-Western contexts 

·        The impact of technological innovation on traditional sociological understandings of news production 

·        Studies that challenge and throw into question Anglo-American conceptions of news 

·        Changing connections between journalists and news sources 

·        Shifts in the culture and patterns of news consumption/reception 

·        The shifting nature of social class identifications and media audiences 

·        Contestable notions of bias and objectivity in the news media 

UMass PhD Program Info Session


The Department of Communication at UMass Amherst invites interested PhD applicants to a virtual visit and meet-and-greet with faculty and current graduate students.
The one-hour Zoom session aims to introduce you to faculty and their current research projects, connect you with graduate students, and answer questions that can help demystify the application process.
For 49 years, the Department of Communication has produced innovative, influential, and interdisciplinary scholarship about communication and its centrality to social, cultural, and political processes. Our diverse areas of focus include digital technology studies, film and media studies, media and cultural production, media effects, rhetoric and performance studies, social interaction and culture, and the political economy of communication. From across these areas, our faculty and PhD student community share a commitment to address issues of social inequality and work toward equity and social justice through our empirical research, multimodal scholarship, community outreach, and teaching and mentoring.
PhD students admitted to our program receive five years of funding. They are welcomed to the department’s vibrant research culture and the hospitable environment of the Five Colleges in the Pioneer Valley, including UMass Amherst, Amherst College, Smith College, Mt Holyoke College and Hampshire College. They benefit from diverse resources, including the option to pursue certificate programs in Film Studies, Feminist Studies, Ethnographic Research, Data Analytics and Computational Social Science, and Caribbean, Latin American, and Latino Studies. Recent PhD grads have taken tenure-track job posts at Emerson College, the University of Colorado, the University of Houston, Vanderbilt University, and Simon Fraser University.
Come and ask all your questions to our faculty and grad students. For other inquiries, contact PhD program Admissions Chair Dr Jonathan Corpus Ong at jcong@umass.edu 

The registration link is: https://umass-amherst.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUudu2gqjouG9LHNAbb_CE33HUd9dWiRx_9

Scholarship: MSc Strategic Communication – London School of Economic and Political Science

Applications are now open for graduates interested in pursuing an MSc in Strategic Communications at the Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science, from September 2022. The course offers students a critical theoretical exploration of strategic communications theory and practice, in the context of the wider field of media and communications scholarship. They will explore how the changing modes of communication, image making and storytelling enacted by organisations promote not only products and ideas/ideals but also places and experiences in an increasingly mediated and networked world. The students will critically engage with the ways that power circulates in, and through, the communications industries, and the consequences for how we see the world and our place within it.  

The course benefits from a student scholarship specifically for applicants from sub-Saharan Africa, and applications from the region are encouraged. Interested students can find out more about the course here.
They are welcome to email Prof Lee Edwards, programme director for the MSc, for more information (l.edwards2@lse.ac.uk). They may also be interested in attending one of the LSE’s virtual graduate open days (including a session with the Department). We look forward to receiving your applications.

Invitation: Garbage in Popular Culture

4 November 2021
There will be a webinar at 16h00 SAST (GMT +2). You can join by clicking this link
Grace Martini (University of Tasmania)
Eleftheria Lekakis (Sussex University) 
Emmanuel Septime Sessou (Temple University)Emma Bloomfield (University of Nevada, Las Vegas) Myrian del Vecchio (Universidade Federal do Paraná)

Afterwards at 18h00 SAST for anyone in Johannesburg there will be an in-person artist residency visit (with drinks!) at Shade (166 Caroline St, Brixton, Johannesburg) with artists Tamzyn Botha and Francois Knoetze (whose work is featured on the book cover). If you’re coming to this please RSVP to me at mehita.iqani@wits.ac.za so that we can ensure covid safety and beverage quantities. 
All welcome, please feel free to pass on to anyone interested. 

Prof Arnold S. (Arrie) de Beer

SACOMM mourns the passing of one of its founder members, Prof Arnold S. (Arrie) de Beer. Prof De Beer was part of the organisation from its inception, as one of the participants at a meeting in 1974 at UNISA where the forming of a new communication association was discussed, and helped draw up the first constitution of the organisation in 1977.  De Beer was awarded an Honorary Membership by SACOMM in recognition of his important historical role in the organisation.  De Beer was also the founding editor of the journal Ecquid Novi (later renamed African Journalism Studies), one of SACOMM’s affiliated journals. SACOMM pays tribute to a stalwart of the South African communications studies landscape and extends our condolences to his friends and family.

Call for Book Chapters

Communication Rights in Africa: Emerging Discourses and Perspectives

Editors: Tendai Chari (PhD), Senior Lecturer, University of Venda, South Africa
Ufuoma Akpojivi, (PhD) Associate Professor and Head of Department, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa

Communication rights has been an integral component of the human rights discourse for the longest of time (Hamelink, 1994; 2004a; 2004b, UNESCO, 1980; O’Siochru, 2005; CRIS, 2005; Alegre & O’Siochru, 2005). Approaches to the role of communications differ significantly across cultures, not least because communication rights encompass a multiplicity of rights. Compounding this conundrum is a persistent impasse regarding what communication rights entail in post-colonial contexts such as Africa, who should protect them, how and against whom, how existing rights relate to broader communication rights in a digital context. Jean d’ Arcy, is credited for making the first explicit reference the ‘the right to communicate’ in 1969 (O’Siochru, 2005). Back then proponents of the communication rights within the New World Information and Communication Order (NWICO) debate arena pivoted their demands around democratization of the global media system and a balanced information flow between the Global North and the Global South, which were crystalized in the 4Ds; Development; Democratization, Decolonization, and De- monopolization (Hamelink, 1994). African nations also expressed disquiet about increased homogenization of cultures, misrepresentation of minority cultures, media commercialism and concentration engendered. While communication rights and its more politicized variant, ‘the right to communicate’ had receded to the backburner after the ‘death’ of the NWICO debate, the new reality spawned by the digital revolution has re-ignited attention on a host of concerns which hark back to earlier demands by African nations to rethink the justness of the global media information distribution system. While many of the controversies associated with NWICO persist through discursive constructions that mimic earlier notions of the right to communicate, new issues, challenges, questions (and players) linked to interactivity, connectivity and inter-operability in the context of the digital environment have emerged (Musiani, et al 2009). A range of new human rights such as citizens’ right to access digital infrastructures such as the #DataMustfall campaign in South Africa in 2016 speak to the new and evolving expressions of citizenship in the context of digitality (Oyedemi, 2015). On the one hand, the open architecture of digital media has facilitated the subaltern to partake in national conversations and to assert their cultural identities. On the other hand, challenges of Internet connectivity and exclusionary business practices such astronomical prices of data and gadgets threaten prospects for inclusivity in the digital sphere. Serious concerns have also been raised questions about the spread of fake news, misinformation, disinformation and hate speech on social media networks and how these in turn subvert the rights of others and what legitimate regulatory measures can be implemented by the state without undercutting the rights of citizens. Balancing communication rights and other human rights within a digital environment is a delicate exercise, as some African governments, in their attempt to curtail the spread of fake news, hate speech and critical voices have either shutdown internet services (Mare 2020) or formulated restrictive regulatory mechanisms as witnessed in Uganda, Ethiopia, Nigeria amongst others (see Olaniyan and Akpojivi 2021). Also, concerns about intensification of commodification of information propelled by the dominance of neo-liberalism market have heightened demands for the right to self-expression and equal access to digital technologies and infrastructures courtesy in a context of an ever-increasing digital divide. The extent to which communication should be geared towards preservation of national identity and national development in Africa resonates with the NWICO discourse, but also connects with contemporary demands for decolonization of communication through protection of cultural diversity in a context where indigenous African cultures are increasingly marginalized while dissenting voices are jettisoned from public discourses (Article 19, 2003; Anawalt, 1994). The ever-expanding range of issues encompassed within the communication rights discourse, particularly within the African context where freedom of expression corporatization of the media coupled with state repression obfuscate understanding of what constitutes communication rights, who should protect them and how. This edited volume contributes to the understanding of the multiple dimensions of the communication rights discourse from an African perspective. We invite contributions that explore residual and emerging discourses around the content, conception, conversations, implementation, institutions and actors within the communication rights discourse. We are particularly interested in original contributions that tackle these issues using a broad range of theoretical and methodological approaches. The abstract must clearly state the objectives of the study, the theoretical framework and the methodological approaches to be deployed. Possible topics include, but are not limited to: 2

  • The human rights based approach to communication in Africa
  • Communication rights offline and online in Africa
  • Free-flow of information and communication rights
  • Freedom of expression as a communication right
  • The right to privacy, surveillance capitalism and communication rights
  • Social media and activism, clicktivism
  • Digital citizenship: rights and advocacy
  • Digital Activism and social movements
  • Internet shutdowns/censorship
  • Internet rights, universal access to the Internet
  • Politics of digital infrastructures
  • Communication rights and digital monopolies
  • Public Service media and communication rights
  • Media regulation and communication rights
  • Rights -based approach to journalism
  • Investigative journalism and communication rights
  • Communication rights for social bots
  • Mainstream Journalism and human rights
  • Media representations/misrepresentation and communication rights
  • Digital piracy and communication rights
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Citizen journalism as a human right
  • User-content comments and communication rights
  • Open access publishing and communication rights
  • Content Sharing, Wikis and communication rights
  • The Knowledge Movement and Communication rights
  • Language rights and the media
  • Communication Rights and Indigenous Knowledge Systems
  • Communication rights and decoloniality

Abstracts and biographies

Abstracts should be between 400 and 500 words.
Abstracts should be emailed as word to Tendai.Chari@univen.ac.za and


Biographies should not be more than 200 words

Length of Articles

Articles should not be more than 7000 words including references Reference Style: Harvard
Important Dates
Deadline for Accepting Abstracts: 15 December 2021 Notification for Accepted Abstracts: 31 January 2022

Deadline for Full Papers: 30 April 2022 Expected Date of Publication: 31 October 2022

Targeted Publisher: Routledge


Alegre, Alain and O’Siochru, Sean (2005) “Communication Rights”. In A Ambros, V Peugeot and D. Pimienta (Eds.) World Matters: Multicultural Perspectives on Information Societies, pp475-502. Caen: C&F Publishers.

Anawalt, C. Howard (1984) The Right to Communicate. Denver Journal of International Law & Policy, 13(2): 219-236.

D’ Arcy, Jean (1969) Direct Broadcast Satellites and the Right to Communicate. EBU Review, 118, 14-18. 4

Hamelink Cees and Hoffman Julia (2008) The State of the Right to Communicate. Global Media Journal, 7(13) 1-16.

Hamelink, Cees (2004) Did WSIS Achieve Anything at all? Gazette: The International Journal for Communication Studies, 66(3-4):281-290.

Hamelink, Cees (2004) Towards a Human Right to Communicate. Canadian Journal of Communication, 29: 205-212.

Mare, Admire (2020) State-Ordered Internet Shutdowns and Digital Authoritarianism in Zimbabwe. International Journal of Communication, 14: 4244-4263.

Musiani, Francesca, Pava Elena and Padovani Claudia (2009) Investigating Discourses on Human Rights in the Digital Age: Emerging Norms and Policy Challenges. International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR, Annual Congress on “Human Rights and Communication”, July 2009, Mexico: Mexico, pp359-378. Retrieved from https://hal-mines-paristech.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00448231.

Olaniyan, Akintola and Akpojivi, Ufuoma. (2021). Transforming Communication, Social Media, Counter-Hegemony and the Struggle for the Soul of Nigeria. Information, Communication & Society, 24 (3): 422-437.

O’Siochru, Sean (2005) Assessing Communication Rights: A Handbook. New York: CRIS. Oyedemi, Toks (2015) Internet Access as Citizen’s Right? Citizenship in the Digital Age.

Citizenship Studies, 19 (3-4); 450-464.
UNESCO (1980) Many Voices One World. UNESCO: Paris.

HR: The Centre for Film and Media Studies (CFMS) (UCT)

The Centre for Film and Media Studies (CFMS) in the Faculty of Humanities wishes to appoint a suitable candidate to help develop the Centre’s teaching, production and research in digital and mobile media studies, as soon as possible.


  • A relevant Master’s level qualification is a minimum requirement, while a PhD or significant progress to a PhD would be desirable.
  • Experience in teaching digital, social media, multimedia and/or journalistic production skills at undergraduate level.
  • Ability to teach across both practical and theoretical dimensions of our programmes.
  • Evidence of creative, practical and/or research engagement.


  • Supervision of creative and research projects.
  • Industry experience in digital, multimedia, journalism and/or social media production.
  • A record of creative practice in the field of digital media.
  • The ability to develop the Centre’s digital and mobile media curriculum and convene academic and creative courses in this area.
  • Active research interests in areas such as digital and social media studies, data journalism, internet studies, virtual reality, gaming, ethics and regulation of social media – as evidenced by conference attendance and/or publications and/or creative output.
  • Research and teaching interest in African feminisms.


The successful candidate would:

  • Be responsible for supporting web and multimedia production across production streams.
  • Lecture on digital and social media in the Media and/or Film majors.
  • Convene production and academic courses.
  • Supervise student projects and dissertations.
  • Contribute to research outputs in the Centre.

The 2021 annual cost of employment at Lecturer Level, including benefits, is R765 575

To apply, please e-mail the below documents in a single pdf file to Mr Ian Petersen at recruitment02@uct.ac.za

Please ensure the title and reference number are indicated in the subject line.

An application that does not comply with the above requirements will be regarded as incomplete.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and may be required to undergo a competency test.

Telephone:                 021 650 2163  Website:         www.hr.uct.ac.za

Reference number:    E210364      Closing date: 12 November 2021

UCT is a designated employer and is committed to the pursuit of excellence, diversity, and redress in achieving its equity targets in accordance with the Employment Equity Plan of the University and its Employment Equity goals and targets. Preference will be given to candidates from the under-represented Designated Groups. Our Employment Equity Policy is available at www.uct.ac.za/downloads/uct.ac.za/about/policies/eepolicy.pdf.

UCT reserves the right not to appoint.