The field of communications is an inherently broad one and contains many different fields of speciality. To address this, SACOMM has established different interest groups. The purpose of the interest groups is to allow platforms for focussed discussions relating directly to a particular field of the communication sciences, whilst still operating within SACOMM.


President: Prof Elnerine (WJ) Greeff, University of South Africa.
Elnerine Greeff is an Associate Professor in Organisational Communication at the University of South Africa (Unisa) where she co-coordinates the advanced research project module for Honours students and teaches organisational communication theory, marketing communication, advertising and public relations. For her tuition work, Elnerine receives Unisa’s Excellence in Teaching award in 2016. Elnerine is an internationally published researcher whose research interests hinge principally on internal organisational communication, specifically as it pertains to diversity in employee populations. Her research in the mining and construction industries of South Africa, specifically, sees her engage acutely with the social and economic issues that accompany internal safety communication. On the back of this, Elnerine received NRF (National Research Foundation) rating in 2017. Her research culminated in various research reports, policy documents and safety system documentation for top-ranking organisations within these industries, as well as accredited research publications. She has been a member of SACOMM since 2008 and a senior member of the Academy of World Business, Marketing and Management Development since 2016.

Deputy President: Prof Tanja Bosch, University of Cape Town
Tanja Bosch is an Associate Professor of Media Studies and Production in the Centre for Film and Media Studies at the University of Cape Town, where she also holds the position of Deputy Dean of Research and Postgraduate Affairs. She teaches journalism and multimedia production, social media, radio studies and research methods at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Her first book, Broadcasting Democracy: Radio and Identity in South Africa, was published by the HSRC Press in 2017. She is currently working on a second monograph titled Social Media and Everyday Life in South Africa (Routledge, forthcoming 2020). Dr Bosch has published widely in the field of radio studies in South Africa; and is currently emerging as one of the few academics locally publishing in the area of social media activism, with her work on #RhodesMustFall and #FeesMustFall.

MEDIA STUDIES AND JOURNALISM – Prof Zandi Carol Lesame, University of Limpopo
Prof Lesame teaches Media and Communications Studies at the University of Limpopo (UL) and the University of South Africa (UNISA Masters &Doctoral Research Supervision). She specialises in teaching (and conducting research on) Communication and Media Studies subjects such as Communications Policy, Broadcasting, Film Studies, Gender and the Media, Research Methodology, as well technology issues such as aspects of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and Digital Divides issues. Prof Lesame is a seasoned academic who has lectured at several South African universities including the Universities of Fort Hare (UFH), UNISA, Tshwane Univeristy of Technology (TUT) and the UL. She has worked with several overseas Universities in research collaboration and co-authoring of academic works. She has managed Communication Science or Media Studies and Journalism academic activities (such as developing new Curricula, mentoring academics, Reviewing New Curricula of different Universities, Reviewing Journal articles for Accredited Journals, Managing Research Committees from Department to Faculty level, Organising Subject Conferences and so on), and is active in promoting the role of Women and young emerging Scholars in academia. Prof Lesame is Shadow Director of the School of Languages and Communication Studies at the UL. She joined SACOMM in the early 1990s while lecturing Communication Studies at the UFH. She has written (edited) four books and several Journal articles. She has acted as a Virtual Research Funding reviewer for the National Research Foundation (NRF) for many years and as External Examiner of M&D theses for a few universities, including UNISA, University of Johannesburg (UJ), Wits University (Wits) and the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). Prof Lesame has supervised several MA and PhD candidates. She produces current research articles and books as a consequence of her active status in conducting research in niche communication areas. She won three research awards and has a rich academic background having studied in South Africa and abroad, and taught at diverse universities.

SCREEN STUDIES – François Smit, AFDA Johannesburg
François Isak Smit holds a Master of the Arts in Arts & Media Management form the Salzburg University Business School in Austria. He studied towards a BA in Contemporary German Literature and Dutch Philology at the Freie Universität Berlin. He has been on the Executive Committee of the Southern African Communications Association – SACOMM / Screen Studies, since 2015. He was appointed National Coordinator for South Africa for the International Public Television Screening Conference (INPUT) in 2016. He is a founding member of the Culture and Arts Network – CAN, and the //WOODRUFF Artist Collective. Currently, François is the Head of Postgraduate Studies at AFDA, Johannesburg.

CORPORATE COMMUNICATION – Prof. Mehita IqaniUniversity of the Witwatersrand
Mehita is Associate Professor in Media Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand. She is the author of Consumer Culture and the Media: Magazines in the Public Eye (2012, Palgrave), Consumption, Media and the Global South: Aspiration Contested (2016, Palgrave & UKZN Press) and Garbage in Popular Culture: Consumption and the Aesthetics of Waste (forthcoming with SUNY Press) and the author of numerous journal articles on consumer culture and its articulations with race, class, and gender. She is an Associate Editor of the journal Consumption Markets & Culture and on the editorial board of the International Journal of Cultural Studies. She is also co-chair of the Gender & Communication section of the International Association for Media and Communications Research. She has co-edited four volumes: Consumption, Media & Culture in South Africa: Perspectives on Freedom and the Public (2016, Routledge, with Bridget Kenny), Media and the Global South: Narrative Territorialities, Cross-Cultural Currents (2019, Routledge, with Fernando Resende), African Luxury: Aesthetics and Politics (2019, Intellect, with Simidele Dosekun), and Media Studies: Critical African and Decolonial Approaches (2019, OUP, with Sarah Chiumbu). her current research interests are exploring the cultural politics of luxury and waste in relation to theorising consumer cultures in the global south. She received her PhD in 2009 from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

COMMUNICATION STUDIES – Dr. Sandra Pitcher, University of Kwazulu-Natal
Dr Sandra Pitcher is a lecturer in the Department of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg Campus). She has been a SACOMM member since 2008, and a member of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) since 2011. In 2014, during SACOMM’s 40th anniversary conference, she was awarded best paper for her work entitled: “Moulding the Myth: An analysis of Zapiro’s representation of Nelson Mandela 1994-1999”.  She is a dedicated teacher and teaches modules in Media Studies, Cultural Studies, Corporate Communication, Journalism, Television Studies and, when the need arises, Film Studies; thus being awarded UKZN’s College of Humanities Best Emerging Teacher in 2016, and gaining experience in oenology as a result of her cross-disciplinary teaching responsibilities.  However, she is also a passionate researcher whose primary research interests rest in new media, television studies, journalism and media ethics (with a special focus on the concept of Ubuntu).  She has published regularly, and presented more than 25 papers at both local and international conferences over the last 10 years. She also acts as a reviewer for a number of journals and book publishers, most notably Communicare and SAGE Publishers. In addition to this, Dr Pitcher is an external examiner (both at undergraduate and postgraduate level) for a number of universities around South Africa, including Wits, UJ and NMU. She is currently supervising more than 15 postgraduate students, and over the last three years – since becoming a full-time lecturer – graduated six MA students (two of whom received cum laude for their dissertations), and numerous Honours students.

Dr Rofhiwa Felicia Mukhudwana is a senior lecturer at the Department of Communication Science, University of South Africa (Unisa). Dr Mukhudwana graduated with a BA, Hons and Masters of Arts (with merit) from the University of Witwatersrand in 2007. She worked at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) (2007-2009) and the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) (2009-2013). In 2015, she completed her PhD with the Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences at the University of Pretoria (UP) specialising in Communication Management. Rofhiwa is passionate about government communication, political communication, decolonial studies, foreign policy and black feminism. She formed part of an advisory team in consultation with the GCIS for the Media Landscape Review and trains outgoing diplomats on International communication at Dirco. She also peer reviewed an African book on political communication titled: Perspectives on political communication in Africa (by Mutsvairo B & Karam B, 2018) – and peer reviews for academic journals such as Communicatio. Rofhiwa made the Mail and Guardian 200 in 2018.

COMMUNICATIONS ADVOCACY AND ACTIVISM – Prof Glenda Daniels, University of the Witwatersrand & Prof viola candice Milton, University of South Africa

Glenda Daniels is an associate professor in Media Studies at Wits University, Johannesburg where she teaches courses on Media, Politics and Democracy. She is also a media freedom activist, and a feminist, who holds a PhD in Political Studies (Wits). Daniels worked as a journalist for over 20 years for various newspapers and magazines including: Weekly MailWork in ProgressMail & GuardianThe StarThe Weekender, among others. Today she contributes to The Conversation, Daily Maverick and The Media Online. Her academic monograph Fight for Democracy: The ANC and the Media in South Africa (Wits Press, 2012) has been referred to as the first book in post-apartheid SA that analysed the media and the ANC’s relationship using a radical democracy and psychoanalytical theoretical approach. She is also co-author of the book: Glass Ceilings: Women in South African media houses 2018 (Gender Links, 2018). Daniels has held various activist leadership positions from her undergrad days at Wits in the late 1980s when she served on the executive of the Black Students Society and SANSCO. More recently before her position at Media Studies, she was lead researcher and author of the State of the Newsroom South Africa project at Wits Journalism, 2012-2014, which has set the research template for the now annual publication, documenting the disruptive changes in the media landscape today. Her last stint in the newsroom was at amaBhungane in 2011 as advocacy co-ordinator where she was an elected member of the first national committee of the Right2Know campaign. She was recently on the board of the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism.  Since 2014 she has served on the council of the South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) holding the position of chair of the Diversity and Ethics committee. She is also a member of The Press Council of SA.

viola candice milton is a media studies researcher and lecturer in the Department of Communication Science at the University of South Africa. Her research focuses on the negotiation of media policy in South Africa as well as issues of media, citizenship and identity. viola is responsible for  “The Media Policy and Democracy Project’s” focus on Media Policy in the Public Interest which focusses primarily on public service broadcasting (PSB) in South Africa.  She is a management committee member of the Support Public Broadcasting Coalition (SOS). The Coalition is committed to, and campaigns for, broadcasting in the public interest. In addition, viola runs a project with Dr Winston Mano (Director of the Africa Media Centre at the University of Westminster), that theorises the practice of PSB in the Southern African region from an Africanist perspective. viola most recently co-authored New Voices Over the Air: The Transformation of the South African Broadcasting Corporation in a Changing South Africa with P. Eric Louw and has two forthcoming co-authored books focusing on PSB in South(ern) Africa.

The interest group convenors for SACOMM Emerging Scholars are Ms Sylvia Skhosana, University of South Africa and Mr Collen Chambwera, University of Johnnesburg.
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Collen Chambwera, University of Johnnesburg.
I am in my 3rd year PhD studies at the University of Johannesburg, School of Communication, Department of Communication Studies. I have been a member of SACOMM since 2017. My current research interests include news production, financial journalism, social media and journalism practice, and media policy in relation to media freedom and freedom of expression in the age of heightened audience participation.

Sylvia Nomsa Skhosana graduated with a BA in Media Studies, Drama & Film, and BA Hons in Media studies from the University of Witwatersrand in 2016, and is currently pursuing her Masters in Communications Science with the University of South Africa. She started as a tutor with the Wits University Media studies department (2016-2018) and worked as a contractor for Varsity College, Sandton teaching Business Studies and Public Relations (2018). She is currently a Juniour Lecturer for the public relations and media studies streams within the Department of Communication Science at the University of South Africa. Her field of academic research and interests range from media representation and identity, to social media activism, popular culture, with a passion for decolonial studies.

As an emerging scholar, who is also a first-generation graduate, her ethos on scholarship and education extends beyond the confines of the classroom. Recently, she started a podcast that facilitates unconventional and nuanced conversations about the socio-political, and inequality issues in South Africa. She seeks to collaborate with community-centered initiatives to build her confidence as a socially responsible researcher.

For Emerging Scholars, she aims to promote a culture of intellectual engagement, equitable information sharing of opportunities for emerging scholars, experiences in institutions, research, and publishing. In collaboration with the co-convener, and the executive, she wants to encourage and promote co-authorship amongst emerging scholars and the grooming of academics and researchers who are not removed from the social responsibility to their students and more especially their communities.