September 21, 2020

Media and Citizenship

Mellon Project Focus Area


Anthea Garman

Anthea Garman

Anthea Garman teaches writing and editing and media studies in the School. She has been at Rhodes since January 1997. Before coming to Rhodes she was a journalist at The Rand Daily Mail, The Cape Times, The Sunday Times and The Witness (where she was an assistant editor). She also worked for African Enterprise in Pietermaritzburg. She is the editor of Rhodes Journalism Review and co-ordinates the annual Think!Fest, the public lecture series of the National Arts Festival.

Anthea was awarded the 2011 Vice Chancellor’s Senior Distinguished Teaching Award (Rhodes University), and was the Clive Menell Fellow at Duke University, North Carolina (October/November 2000).

She was also a PhD fellow in the Constitution of Public Intellectual Life in South Africa Research Project directed by Prof Carolyn Hamilton in the Graduate School for the Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand (2004-2008). Her Phd research on Antjie Krog as post-apartheid public intellectual is now being edited for publication by UKZN Press.

Since 1997 Anthea has taught newswriting, writing and editing and print publication skills across the degrees taught at Rhodes from first year to fourth year and including the Postgraduate Diploma course. She has also worked with final year BJourn student journalists in the Grocott’s Mail newsroom. She has taught media studies courses at honours and master level (at Wits University in 2004 and 2005), and at first year level and supervises masters and doctoral theses. See

Herman Wasserman — collaborator at UCT

Prof Herman Wasserman
Herman Wasserman

Herman Wasserman is head of Film and Media Studies at UCT. He holds a doctorate from the University of Stellenbosch, and has worked as a newspaper journalist before starting his academic career. He has publish widely on media in post-apartheid South Africa. His books include the monograph Tabloid Journalism in South Africa (Indiana University Press, 2010; winner of the Rhodes Vice-Chancellor’s Book Award) and the edited collections Press Freedom in Africa: Comparative Perspectives (Routledge, 2013), Popular Media, Democracy and Development in Africa (Routledge, 2011), Media Ethics Beyond Borders (with Stephen J. Ward, Routledge, 2010). He has taught at the Universities of Stellenbosch, Newcastle and Sheffield, and is still an honorary senior lecturer at the University of Sheffield. He has held a Fulbright research fellowship at Indiana University in the US, and has twice been elected a fellow of the media ethics colloquia hosted by the University of Missouri.

Herman edits the academic journal African Journalism Studies published by Taylor and Francis, and sits on the editorial boards of eight other international journals. He served as external examiner for universities in South Africa, Ghana, Zimbabwe, India, Australia and the United Kingdom and has refereed for various local and international journals and major book publishers such as Sage, Routledge, Wiley-Blackwell and Cambridge University Press. He has acted as a reviewer for proposals submitted to various research programmes, including the South African Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa/Norway Research Co-operation Programme, the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Qatar National Research Fund. He is currently the convenor of a specialist panel member for the South African National Research Foundation (NRF)’s Evaluation and Rating Procedure. He continues to act as an occasional journalist, by writing opinion pieces for media such as the Mail & Guardian, Daily Maverick and China Daily. email

Vanessa Malila — Postdoctoral Fellow

Vanessa Malila
Vanessa Malila


Vanessa was appointed postdoctoral research fellow in the project after undertaking her PhD at the University of Leeds which she was awarded in 2012. Her PhD focused on the role of the media as stakeholders in communications policy in Kenya and gave her the opportunity to examine the media and globalisation within an African context.

Her current research focus is on young South African’s and the relationship they have with the media in South Africa, and how that influences their political, civic and personal identities. Through examinations of media representation, citizenship identity and youth engagement she has begun to generate a body of work on the way in which young people in South Africa are regarded in the media, regard the media and use the media as part of their socialization and politicization process 20 years into a democratic South Africa. Writings from her research with the project can be found at:

Doctoral students

Marietjie Oelofsen
Marietjie Oelofsen

Until March 2012 Marietjie Oelofsen was an advocacy and curriculum development specialist at African Democracy Institute Idasa. She has wide-ranging communication experience in the media and the non-governmental sector. She worked as a journalist for more than 10 years before joining the NGO and development sector. In 2008 Marietjie was a Fanning Fellow in Democracy and Media at the Kettering Foundation in Dayton, Ohio, US. She completed an MPhil (cum laude) in Journalism with a focus on media, democracy and development at the University of Stellenbosch. Oelofsen’s PhD proposal has been accepted by the Faculty of Humanities’ Higher Degrees Committee and she is currently working on her theoretical framework and literature review. Her particular interest is the potential of journalists to facilitate a different understanding of the political role of citizens in self-government. Her research will examine the assumption of democratic process as a culmination of productive output (work) by citizens, journalists and political representatives. Her study will explore notions of professionalism and professional identity among journalists, the character of democratic process including and beyond current normative models and the nature of citizenship particularly as it manifests in active response to common and public concerns.

Rod Amner


Rod Amner worked as a writer, sub-editor and editor for a range of news agencies, newspaper and magazines for more than 10 years before joining the School of Journalism and Media Studies as a lecturer. A former editor and director of the Development Media Agency, he has a long-standing interest in the theory and practice of alternative ‘journalisms’, including public/civic journalism, development journalism and participatory/citizen’s journalism. He received a distinction for his Master’s research into a public journalism experiment conducted by the Daily Dispatch newspaper in East London and is currently researching and testing alternative approaches to public life and education reporting for his PhD.


Chengetai Chikadaya



Chengetai Chikadaya is a PhD candidate focusing on community media and municipal reporting. She is also the co-ordinator of the Eastern Cape Communication Forum (ECCF) an organisation based in the Rhodes School of Journalism and Media Studies which works towards a strengthened local media sector where community journalists can provide balanced and fair reporting on more citizen oriented topics. Concurrently, through its training and capacity building of civil society, students and community members, it hopes to stimulate better citizen engagement and active participation in democratic processes.



Muvzo headshot
Mvuzo Ponono

Mvuzo Ponono is a Xhosa man from the Eastern Cape. His research interests are audience studies, public sphere and citizenship studies. He hopes that all this learning will one day benefit and improve the lives of township people; a group that is his primary focus. In 2014 he graduated with a MA degree; his thesis examined the influence of a township family context on the interpretation of a health education television programme. His current PhD research titled, Centralising the  ‘second public’: an ethnographic study of the interpretation of news media by a township public, will follow suit and focus again on meaning making in the township. He hopes to uncover the ways in which the idea of multiple public spheres can be used to bring to the fore marginalised communities.

Azwihangwisi Mufamadi 2
Azwi Mufamadi

Azwihangwisi Mufamadi is a proud Venda man, born and raised in the former Venda in Limpopo Province.  He is a journalist, media producer, researcher and freelance writer. He is currently reading for a Doctorate with the Media and Citizenship: Between Marginalisation and Participation Research Focus Area at Rhodes University’s School of Journalism and Media Studies. His research interests include media and social movements, media and identity formation, media and NGOs, the role of media in political participation and how citizens use the media to shape their citizenship identities. He can be reached by email on


Masters Students

Ray Hartle
Ray Hartle



Ray Hartle is a journalist with the Daily Dispatch in East London. He has previously worked with The Herald and Evening Post in Port Elizabeth and in corporate communications in both the private and public sectors, including stints at the Coega Development Corporation and the University of Cape Town. He completed a BJourn at Rhodes University and later did a joint honours degree in journalism and sociology, also at Rhodes. He has been a visiting fellow in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University.




Meli Ncube



Meli M Ncube, is from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. He spent his academic formative years at UCT’s Film and Media Centre doing Film and Media Production (Radio) and did his honours in Media Theory and Practice. His interests are in community media and development and his research focus for his MA is in social media, particularly Twitter, and how it is used by youth in matters of personal, social and national interest.



Hancu Louw



Hancu Louw is in his second year of a practice-led MA doing research into community and public journalism.  Having specialised in Writing and Editing during his undergrad degree in the RU JMS School, he regards himself as a journalist/researcher, the former guiding and shaping his research inquiry. His key research interest is the relationships between journalists and the people that they serve and interact with on a daily basis.


Cathy Gush



Cathy Gush is the co-ordinator of the Lebone Literacy Programme in Grahamstown and is studying towards her MA in Journalism and Media Studies on a part-time basis. Her research combines an investigation of home literacy practices with the production of media, within a development support communication framework.  She is a writer for Rhodos, the Rhodes alumni magazine and has also served as a teaching assistant for third and fourth year journalism students at Rhodes.


Welcome Lishivha
Welcome Lishivha

Welcome Lishivha did his honours and bachelor of arts degrees at the University of the Witwatersrand where he majored in media studies and anthropology. His honours research project was an inquiry into queer theory and queer culture through an ethnographic study of The Factory Bar, a male only nude bar in Johannesburg, investigating this place particularly as form of a ‘Counter Public’. Now in the second year of his MA, he is analysing the citizenship constructions of South African youth through the annual edition of the Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans. Welcome hosts a current affairs talk show on Rhodes Music Radio called The Bottom Line and he is also Editor in Chief for OppiTV.  Welcome is determined to make the most of this year, and plans to include podasts and links to video clips in his work for OppiTV and RMR that contribute towards the project of thinking through citizenship and participation.


Carissa photo
Carissa Govender

Carissa Govender is a practice-led MA student and has been a part of the School of Journalism since 2011, having completed both her BA in Journalism and her BA (Hons) here. By taking the production route during her MA she hopes to combine academic research with creative journalistic methods. Having been actively involved in student and residence life on campus, as well as various community engagement projects, she has a strong interest in the student culture at Rhodes University and what influences a sense of community and citizenship. While researching ideas around media, citizenship and participation with the Mellon project, she hopes to use the same ideas to look at how notions of institutional and student culture are articulated in the student media, and how social media can facilitate discussion and a greater understanding of students’ participation in or exclusion from university culture.

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