State of the Newsroom 2021: Corruption and Malawi’s media – how deep does it go?

May 28, 2021

This inaugural issue of State of the Newsroom: Malawi focuses on corruption in the media in Malawi. With a third of the country’s budget lost to corruption each year, what can the media do about it? How does political influence impact on reporting corruption, and just how widespread are the first-hand reports of corruption amongst journalists in the Malawian newsroom?

Investigative journalist Vitus-Gregory Gondwe was in conversation with:
– Tereza Temweka Ndanga (Chairperson of the Media Institute of Southern Africa MISA-Malawi)
– Edyth Kambalame (Editor at Nation Publications Limited)
– Gracian Tukula (Contributing author to State of the Newsroom Malawi)



#MidweekWebinars | Year 2 of teaching under Covid: Lessons and plans

March 24, 2021

It’s almost exactly a year since the first cases of Covid-19 emerged in Africa, and journalism schools quickly had to pivot to new ways of working. Who would have thought that we would be entering a second year of working in this way? It seems a good time to compare notes again, and see what we have learned and are planning.

Are j-schools able to maintain quality with very limited opportunities to do practical journalism? Will we ever go back to normal? What are the positives? What new skills do journalism teachers need? Are there opportunities to make better use of the growing network of African journalism teachers, to access resources, new tools, virtual lectureships or similar?

Prof Monica Chibita, Faculty of Journalism, Media & Communication, Uganda Christian University; Prof Marion Walton, Centre for Film and Media Studies, University of Cape Town; and Zoe Titus, from the Namibia Media Trust were in conversation with Prof Franz Krüger, Head of Wits Journalism.



#MidweekWebinars | Innovation in fact-checking in Africa

November 25, 2020

The South African news media has had a tough few years. Declining newspaper sales, shrinking newsrooms, a problem with media ethics, and a struggle to sustain new media markets, all featured in 2019. And things have only worsened during the Covid-19 pandemic.

 This State of the Newsroom looks at the state of play in 2019, the key issues faced in that year, and steps tentatively into 2020 to look at the impact of the pandemic on our news media.

 During this webinar, Nechama Brodie, author, Media academic and analyst;  Kathy Magrobi, Director of Quote This Woman+; and Sbu Ngalwa, Chairperson of the South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) and Newzroom Afrika’s political editor discussed the challenges that lie ahead for the South African newsroom. What can be expected? What will be left behind?



#MidweekWebinars | Investigating the Investigators

October 21, 2020

This eighth Midweek Webinar is on Investigating the Investigators A discussion around Anton Harber’s So, for the record Behind the headlines in an era of state capture.

Harber’s new book tackles his colleagues and peers with a deep-dive into the highs and lows of recent South African journalism. Does this expose journalists to attack? Is he giving fuel to those who would tear us down? UP Vice-Chancellor and media studies scholar Tawana Kupe and Press Ombud Pippa Green join Harber to discuss media criticism and self-criticism.


#MidweekWebinars | Innovation in fact-checking in Africa

July 13, 2020

Fact-checking organisations in Africa have been working around the clock over the past several months to debunk and tackle the damaging spread of misinformation and fake news surrounding covid-19. These organisations have also had to adapt to the changing times, the new normal, in combating fake news and misinformation. How have these organisations adapted to these challenging times? What innovative methods did they have to adopt in order to remain ahead of the curve? What can independent media and other fact-checking organisations do to enable/foster a culture of accuracy in the long-term?

Acting project co-ordinator and web editor for Jamlab, Tshepo Tshabalala discussed this topic and more with Ebele Oputa, Programme Officer/Consultant, Partnerships at Dubawa; Eric Mugendi, Managing Editor at PesaCheck ; and Lee Mwiti, Chief Editor for Africa Check.

Find Eric’s presentation and fact-checking tools used by PesaCheck and also a list to numerous starter kits recommended by Ebele. 

​#MidweekWebinars | Is Covid-19 creating a media divide? Navigating reporting on China and Africa

June 3, 2020

Media coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic has played a crucial role across the globe providing practical information, holding government accountable, requiring responsible behaviour from citizens and influencing perceptions. This webinar unpacked the implications of different narratives in media coverage of the pandemic, particularly in the context of Africa-China relations; assess the role of journalists in reporting on the pandemic; and consider tools for reporting and fact-checking.

Eric Olander, host of the China Africa Project and Podcast, online partner of the Africa-China Reporting Project facilitated the discussion with Jeremy Goldkorn, editor-in-chief and podcast host, SupChina; Professor Zhang Yanqiu, Deputy Dean of the Institute of Community with Shared Future and Director of the Africa Communication Research Centre at the Communications University of China, Beijing Oluwamayowa Tijani, COVID19 fact checker AFP Fact Check.

The webinar was hosted by Wits Journalism and the Africa-China Reporting Project.

#MidweekWebinars | Teaching journalism under covid

May 13, 2020

Along with the institutions they belong to, journalism schools have had to give up their usual methods of teaching in the light of the Covid-19 crisis. It is particularly difficult to teach practical skills to students remotely, and under circumstances when doing reporting carries particular risks. How are j-schools adapting to the pandemic? The job market is shrinking further as the news media suffer devastating economic blows – what does this mean for students’ future prospects? How do professional development courses need to change? Journalists’ relationship with audiences is changing, and we have to rethink the role of journalism as such. What are the implications for all kinds of journalism education?

Head of Wits Journalism, Franz Kruger unpacks this question and more with Dinesh Balliah, Career-entry programme co-ordinator at Wits Journalism, Johannesburg Dr Nancy Booker, Director of Academic Affairs, Graduate School of Media and Communications, Aga Khan University, Nairobi and Jeff Jarvis, Leonard Tow Professor of Journalism Innovation, Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, City University of New York.

#MidweekWebinars | Covid-19’s impact on media actors, civic space and human rights

May 6, 2020

As the pandemic sweeps through countries, access to information is critical in efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19. However, some governments have enforced restrictions on both digital and traditional media such as Internet restrictions and shutdowns of newspaper outlets, television and radio stations which prevent many people from accessing vital information about how to protect themselves against the virus.

Head of Wits Journalism, Franz Kruger unpacks this question and more with Muthoki Mumo, Sub-Saharan Africa representative of the Committee to Protect Journalists Africa; Paul Mulindwa from Civicus; Julius Ocungu with Uganda Radio Network and Ayadamola Owoseye from Premium Times in Nigeria. 

#MidweekWebinars | Reporting the Covid crisis

Apr 29, 2020

Journalists around the world are grappling with the biggest story of their lifetimes. The task raises many challenges: how to deal with a highly complex subject where even the experts don’t have all the answers?

Head of Wits Journalism, Franz Kruger unpacks this question and more with Chiara Carter, editor of the Daily Dispatch; Muthoki Mumo, Sub-Saharan Africa representative of the Committee to Protect Journalists and Katy Katopodis, news director of Newzroom Afrika.

#MidweekWebinars | The virus: will it kill journalism too?

Apr 22, 2020

Is this the end of the road for journalism as we know it, or are there opportunities to find new, more durable models?

Head of Wits Journalism, Franz Kruger unpacks this question and more with Mail and Guardians editor Khadija Patel, deputy chief executive for the Media Development Innovation Fund, Mohamed Nanabhay and economics editor at the SABC, Thandeka Gqubule.

#MidweekWebinars | The virus, fake news and journalism 

Apr 15, 2020

How should journalism respond to the explosion of fake news during the coronavirus pandemic?

Mahlatse Mahlase, Chair of the South African Editor’s Forum & Editor for Eyewitness News in South Africa; Lee Mwiti – Africa Check chief editor and Dr Claire Wardle, director at First Draft News chat to Wits Journalism head, Prof Franz Kruger about these issues and more.