Working journalists in the Honours Mid-Career and Masters programmes are expected to produce research that relates to ongoing issues in journalism and the operations of the media. Through their research, they critically examine what is well-known to them from their years of professional experience, or isolate a particular area for in-depth analysis. Much of the work that they do provides useful information about South Africa and Africa’s media industry, brings a new perspective to debates about the media, or makes a contribution to journalism studies.
Student research is generally undertaken within one of the research projects, although Masters students may choose an individual topic. Honours students work on defined themes in groups.
Masters students research reports or theses are available through the university library, which has an electronic database of all dissertations produced from 2006. The database can be searched by keyword from the university library website, or you can browse theses by subject heading, below.
Critical political economy (including the impact of advertising on news media)
Helen Ueckermann, 2006: The impact of income-generating strategies at newspapers: a study of Geld
Michael Tsingo, 2009: The impact of commercialism on community: a case study of coverage of the Alexandra Renewal Project by two commercially-owned newspapers
Muchena Zigomo, 2010: Investigating the commercial community press: the influence of commercial factors in audience selection by Caxton Community Newspapers
Susan Stos, 2009: Chequebook journalism: a South African picture
HIV/AIDS and the media
Carol Muchendu, 2008: Sourcing of HIV/AIDS treatment news: A case study of selected South African print media
Samantha Keogh, 2006: The Rand Daily Mail and the 1976 Soweto riots: an examination of the tradition of liberal journalism in South Africa as illustrated by the Rand Daily Mail coverage of the Soweto Uprising on June 6, 1976.
Media and public debateKenichi Serino, 2009: The origin of ideas in the 'Paper for the People': research into how the Sunday Times chooses topics and commentators for its opinion pages
Alan Finlay, 2009: Making space: the counterpublics of post-apartheid independent literary publishing activities (1994-2000)
Rebecca Kahn, 2010: Oop vir interpretasie: an examination of the South African media's take-up and representation of the music of Fokofpolisiekar
Greg Rule, 2006: Interactivity and democracy in online media, a case study
Darryl Rule, 2008: Cultural reporting and the production of cultural reviews in selected South African newspapers : A case study of jazz music and musicians
Wilhelmina Luimes-Sindane, 2008: Women making headlines: influences of women editors on newsroom socialisation and the news agenda
Research projects that are available in print only in the thesis section of the Cullen Library, Wits University:
Shameela Essack, 2002: Watching Big Brother South Africa: an analysis of its popularity (PN 1992.8.R4 ESS)
Catherine Duncan, 2003: The evolution of the photographic message : The Star 1975-1995 (TR 820 DUN)
Louise Bennetts, 2004: Changes in the ownership structure of the South African print media industry during the period 1990-2003 (PN 5477.O9 BEN)
Peter Mataba, 2004: The coverage of the 2003 Iraq war and the reproduction of anti-American sentiments by South African newspapers : case study : the Sunday Times and Mail & Guardian. (PN 4784.W37 MAT)
Mkululi Sikosana, 2003: The role played by the Zimbabwean press in covering political issues in 2002 : a case study of the reporting of the presidential elections by the leading daily newspapers, The Herald and The Daily News (PN 4748.R4 SIK)
Jacqueline Steeneveldt, 2006: Negotiating spaces : the role of media in perceptions of identity among Ethiopian migrants in Johannesburg : a focus on consumption patterns (HV 4013.S7 STE)
Nina Bhaktawar, 2002: Open democracy in South Africa : an analysis of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (2000) in relation to the media and access to public records. (PN 4748.S7 BHA)