Tap to Close  

 Tap to Close

Herman Wasserman

PROFESSOR (MEDIA STUDIES) AND DEPUTY HEAD OF SCHOOL

h.wasserman@ru.ac.za Room 107

BA (Hons), Hons.B.Journ., MA, D.Litt (Stellenbosch)

Herman's primary research interests are media ethics, global journalism and the intersections between journalism and popular culture. He is a former print media journalist, has authored and edited books on tabloid journalism in South Africa, popular media, democracy and development in Africa and global media ethics, and published widely in international journals. He edits the journal Ecquid Novi: African Journalism Studies and serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Mass Media Ethics, Australian Journalism Review, Communicatio and Journal of African Media Studies. He holds an Honorary Senior Lectureship at the University of Sheffield in the UK.

He is a convenor (2013-2014) and member (2012-2015) of the National Research Foundation (NRF) Specialist Committee for Communication, Media Studies, Library and Information Sciences for the assessment and rating of researchers (2012 -2015).

Herman holds a B2 rating by the National Research Foundation, awarded to researchers who enjoy considerable international recognition by their peers for the high quality and impact of their recent research outputs.

Herman heads the Research Unit for Media in the Global South (RU MIGS)

News

2013

Professor Herman Wasserman, Head of the International Communication Section of IAMCR, presented two papers entitled, “Comparing across continents: Journalists in South Africa and India” (with Jyotika Ramaprasad from Miami University) and “The meanings of citizenship: media use and democracy in South Africa” at the annual conference of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) held in Dublin, Ireland from 25 to 29 June.

2012

Elected as member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (Assaf)

Grant from the Academy of Finland for project “Media Systems in Flux: The Challenge of the BRICS countries” (research team member, Euro 686 000 over 4 years)

Grant from the Chiang-Ching Kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange (Taiwan) for research project “China’s Promotion of Soft Power in Africa: a study of emerging media and cultural relations between China and southern Africa” (Co-director of research programme. Collaborators: Prof Xiaoling Zhang, University of Nottingham, Dr Winston Mano, Westminster University. Total grant amount €50,000 over 2 years)

NRF Incentive Grant for Rated Researchers, R480 000 over 6 years

Rhodes University Research Committee Grant  for project “Tabloid Citzenship: Comparing Daily Sun and Isolezwe” (collaborator dr Musa Ndlovu, University of Cape Town, total grant amount R25 880)

2011

Vice-Chancellor’s Book Award, Rhodes University, for Tabloid Journalism in South Africa. R40 000 and medal.

Andrew Mellon grant for Humanities Focus Area, Rhodes University, on project ‘Media and Citizenship: Between Marginalization and Participation’. R1.5 million over three years. (co-directed with Anthea Garman)

NRF KIC Grant for international conference attendance, R15 000

2010

Herman Wasserman has been invited to deliver a keynote address at the workshop ‘Mobile phones: the new talking drums of everyday Africa?’, as part of the research programme “Mobile Africa revisited. A comparative study of the relationship between new communication technologies and social spaces” at the African Studies Centre, University of Leiden, Netherlands, in December 2010.

Herman Wasserman was selected as a fellow of the Media Ethics Colloquium “Who will watch the watchdog in the Twitter Age?” St Louis, Missouri, USA, April 2010.

Latest Research

Books

  • Rao, S.; Wasserman, H., Sahay, U. (Eds.) (forthcoming) Ethics Matter: Ethics and Justice in the Age of Media Globalization. Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  • Wasserman, H. (ed.) 2013. Press Freedom in Africa: Comparative Perspectives. London: Routledge.
  • Wasserman, H. (ed.) 2011. Popular Media, Democracy and Development in Africa. London: Routledge
  • Wasserman, H. 2010. Tabloid journalism in South Africa: True Story! Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
  • Wasserman, H. (ed.) 2010. Taking it to the streets: Popular Media, Democracy and Development in Africa. London: Routledge
  • Ward, S.J.A. & Wasserman, H. (eds.) 2010. Media Ethics Beyond Borders. New York: Routledge (originally published in 2008 by Heinemann, Johannesburg)

Book chapters:

  • Wasserman, H. & Richards, I. 2013. On the factory floor of the knowledge production plant: Editors’ perspectives on publishing in academic journals. In: Tomaselli, K.G. & Le Roux, B. (eds.) Peer review and Discrimination in Scholarly Publishing in South Africa (forthcoming)
  • Wasserman, H. 2013 (forthcoming) Media Theory in Africa, With Notes on Applications. In: Fortner, R. & Fackler, M. (Eds.) International Handbook of Media and Mass Communication Theory. Hoboken, NJ : Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Wasserman, H. 2013. (forthcoming). Discourses of Race in the Afrikaans press in South Africa. In: Mano, W. (Ed.). Racism, Ethnicity and the Media in Africa: Mediating difference in the Twenty-First Century. London: I.B. Taurus
  • Wasserman, H. & Mbatha, L. 2013 (forthcoming) Popular engagement with tabloid media: a Zambian case study. In: Willems, W. & Mano, W. (Eds.) From audiences to users: Everyday media culture in Africa.
  • Wasserman, H. & Jacobs, S. 2013. Media, Citizenship and Social Justice in South Africa. In: Pillay, U., Hagg, G.  & Nyamnjoh, F. (Eds.) State of the Nation 2011. Cape Town: HSRC Press. Pp. 333-354.
  • Wasserman, H. 2013 Media Ethics in a New Democracy:  South African perspectives on freedom, dignity and citizenship. In: Ward, S.J.A. (Ed.) Global Media Ethics. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. Pp 126-145.
  • Wasserman, H. & Garman, A.  2013. Being South African and belonging: the status and practice of mediated citizenship in a new democracy. In: Walthrust-Jones, N. and Vemuri, S.R. Diversity and turbulences in Contemporary Global Migration.  Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press. (978-1-84888-187-7)
  • Wasserman, H. 2012. Towards A Global Journalism Ethics Via Local Narratives: Southern African Perspectives. In: Ayish, M. & Rao, S. (Eds.) Explorations in Global Media Ethics. London: Routledge
  • Wasserman, H. 2012. The Presence of the Past:  The Uses Of History In The Discourses of Contemporary South African Journalism. In: Conboy, M. (Ed.) How Journalism Uses History. London: Routledge. Pp. 79-93
  • Ward, S.J.A. & Wasserman, H. 2012. Toward an open ethics: implications of new media platforms for global ethics discourse . In:  Babcock, W.A. (Ed.). Media Accountability: who will watch the watchdog in the Twitter age? London: Routledge
  • Wasserman, H. 2011. Tabloid journalism and media pluralism. In: Berger, G. (Ed.) 2011. Media in Africa: Twenty Years after the Windhoek Declaration on Press Freedom. Cape Town: Media Institute of Southern Africa Pp. 120-121
  • Wasserman, H. 2011. Media. In: Johnson, K. & Jacobs, S. (Eds.) Encyclopedia of South Africa. Boulder, Co: Lynn Rienner (encyclopedia entry) 196-19
  • Wasserman, H. 2011. Whose ethics are they, anyway? In: Hyde-Clarke, N. (Ed.) Communication and Media Ethics in South Africa. Cape Town: Juta Press. Pp. 9-24
  • Wasserman, H. 2011. Identification in transformation: an overview of media discourses. In: Olorunnisola, A. & Tomaselli, K.G. (eds.) The Political Economy of Transformation of the South African Media. Creskill, N.J: Hampton Press. Pp. 117-132
  • Wasserman, H. 2010 The Search for Global Journalism Ethics. In: Meyers, C. (Ed.) Philosophical Approaches to Journalism Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pp. 69-83
  • Wasserman, H. & De Beer, A.S. 2010. Glimpses through the windowpane: A South African perspective on universal media ethics. In: Fortner, R.S. & Fackler. P.M. (eds.) Ethics and Evil in the Public Sphere: Media, Universal Values & Global Development. Festschrift for Clifford Christians. Creskill: Hampton Press

Journal Articles

  • Wasserman, H. & Maweu, J 2013. The tension between ethics and ethnicity: examining journalists’ ethical decision-making at the Nation Media Group in Kenya. Submitted to Journal of African Media Studies
  • Wasserman, H. & Garman, A. 2013. The meanings of citizenship: media use and democracy in South Africa. Submitted to Social Dynamics.
  • Wasserman, H. 2013. South Africa and China as BRICS partners: media perspectives on geopolitical shifts. Submitted to International Journal of Press/Politics
  • Voltmer, K. & Wasserman, H. 2013. Values in context: Journalists’ interpretations of press freedom in new democracies. Submitted to Global Media and Communication
  • Wasserman, H. & Maweu, J. 2013. The Freedom to be Silent? Market Pressures on Journalistic Freedom at the Nation Media Group in Kenya. Submitted to Review of African Political Economy.
  • Wasserman, H. 2013. Die media, demokrasie en burgerlike deelname: ’n etiek van luister. (The media, democracy and civic participation: towards an ethics of listening) Litnet Akademies.10(2). Online: http://www.litnet.co.za/Article/die-media-demokrasie-en-burgerlike-deelname-n-etiek-van-luister
  • Wasserman, H. 2013. Journalism in a New Democracy: The Ethics of Listening. Communicatio 39(1): 67-84
  • Wasserman, H. & Garman, A. 2012. Speaking out as citizens: voice and agency in post-apartheid South African media. Communitas 17: 39-58
  • Wasserman, H. & Mbatha, L. 2012. Tabloid TV in Zambia: A reception study of Lusaka viewers of Muvi TV news. Journal of African Media Studies 4(3): 275-291
  • Steenveld, L., Strelitz, L, Wasserman, H. 2012. Research Review: School of Journalism and Media Studies, Rhodes University. Journalism Studies 13(3):463-473
  • Wasserman, H. 2012. China in South Africa: the media’s response to a developing relationship. Chinese Journal of Communication 5(3):336-354
  • Wasserman, H. 2011. Towards A Global Journalism Ethics Via Local Narratives: Southern African Perspectives. Journalism Studies 12(6): 791-803
  • Wasserman, H. 2011. The Presence of the Past:  The Uses Of History In The Discourses of Contemporary South African Journalism. Journalism Practice 5(5): 584-598
  • Wasserman, H. 2011. Mobile Phones, Popular Media and Everyday African Democracy : Transmissions and Transgressions. Popular Communication 9(2) : 146-158.
  • Wasserman, H. 2011.  Global Journalism 2.0. Beyond panoramas. Communicatio 37(1): 100-117.
  • Ward, S.J.A. & Wasserman, H. 2010. Towards an Open Ethics: Implications of New Media Platforms for Global Ethics Discourse Journal of Mass Media Ethics25(4):275-292
  • Wasserman, H. 2010. Political journalism in South Africa as a developing democracy – understanding media freedom and responsibility in the relationship between government and the media. Communicatio special issue: Journalism in the Global South: South Africa and Brazil 36(2):240-251.
  • Wasserman, H. 2010. Freedom’s just another word? Perspectives on the media freedom and responsibility in South Africa and Namibia". International Communication Gazette 72(7): 567-588
  • Wasserman, H. 2010. ‘We’re not like that’ Denial of racism in the Afrikaans Press. Communicatio 36(1):20-36

Conference presentations

  • Wasserman, H. & Ramaprasad, J. 2013. Comparing across continents: Journalists in South Africa and India. Annual conference of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR), Dublin, Ireland. June.
  • Wasserman, H. & Garman, A. 2013. The meanings of citizenship: media use and democracy in South Africa. Annual conference of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR), Dublin, Ireland. June.
  • Wasserman, H., Garman, A., Malila, V., Oelofsen, M. 2013. Making meaning of citizenship: citizens’ use of the media in South Africa’s democratic evolution. Colloquium ‘Media and Citizenship: Identity Politics, Politicized Identities And The Question Of Belonging. University of South Africa, Pretoria, February.
  • Wasserman, H. 2013. Echoes of Levison: press freedom, regulation and ethics in South Africa Invited presentation to Association for Journalism Education, UK. Newcastle University, June. (presented via Skype)
  • Wasserman, H. 2013. Invited respondent at conference ‘Mobile Africa Revisited’. Control and Navigation: People Searching to Reach their Goals in an Ever More (In)Flexible World.  Afrika Studiecentrum,  Universiteit Leiden, the Netherlands. February 2013.
  • Wasserman, H. 2012. South Africa and China as BRICS partners: media perspectives on geopolitical shifts. Invited keynote address, Conference ‘The Future of Global Communication and Journalism’ Tsinghua University, Beijing, December.
  • Wasserman, H. 2012. Media self-regulation: democratic ideals and contextual challenges. Fourth National Dialogue on Media Development, ‘Investing in Media to Enhance Democratic Governance’. Kigali, Rwanda. 27-28 November.
  • Wasserman, H. 2012. South African media: local contests and global shifts. Seminar ‘How Emerging States are Re-Shaping the Global Order’. Finnish Institute of International Affairs. Helsinki, Finland. 13 November.
  • Wasserman, H. 2012. South Africa’s membership of BRICS: media perspectives. Invited to present as part of roundtable on media in BRICS countries, Moscow Readings conference, Moscow State University, Russia, November.
  • Wasserman, H.  2012. Journalism in a new democracy: the ethics of listening. Inaugural lecture, Rhodes University. http://eprints.ru.ac.za/3548/
  • Wasserman, H. 2012. Invited to present and act as discussant on extended session “Innovating in Journalism Studies: New Theoretical and Methodological Approaches”. Other two invited panellists were Howard Tumber (City University, London) and Barbie Zelizer (Annenberg School, University of Pennsylvania), both editors of Journalism: Theory, Practice, Criticism. International Communication Association, Phoenix, Arizona, USA. May.
  • Wasserman, H. 2011. China in Africa: The Media’s Response to a Developing Relationship. Invited paper at conference ‘China in a Global Context’, The University of Nottingham in Ningbo, China. May.
  • Wasserman, H. 2010. Keynote address at workshop Mobile phones: the new talking drums of everyday Africa?’, as part of research programme: Mobile Africa revisited. A comparative study of the relationship between new communication technologies and social spaces, African Studies Centre, University of Leiden, Netherlands. December.
  • Wasserman, H. and Ward, S.J. 2010. “Tweeting the Fifth Estate: Implications of New Media Platforms for Global Media Ethics”. Presented (in absentia) as fellow of Ethics 2000 Colloquium “Who will watch the watchdog in the Twitter Age?”, St Louis, Missouri, USA, April.
  • Wasserman, H. 2010. Of glasses half full: exploratory notes towards the role of new media technologies in democratic politics in South Africa. New Media|Alternative Politics: Communication Technologies and Political Change in the Middle East and Africa. Cambridge, UK. October.
  • Voltmer, K. & Wasserman, H. 2010. Contested freedom. Re-defining the boundaries of media freedom and media responsibility in four new democracies. Paper presented at the European Communication Research Association, Hamburg, Germany. October.
  • Wasserman, H. 2010. Zooming in to the local and out to the global: towards critical-culture global journalism studies in South Africa. South African Communication Association annual conference, University of Johannesburg. October.
  • Wasserman, H. 2010. Global Journalism 2.0. International Association for Media and Communication and Research, Braga, Portugal. July
  • Wasserman, H. 2010. Roles, responsibilities and relationships: Perspectives on political communication in South Africa and Namibia. International Association for Media and Communication and Research, Braga, Portugal. July
  • Wasserman, H. 2010. Global Journalism 2.0. World Journalism Education Congress. Grahamstown, South Africa.
  • Wasserman, H. 2010. The meanings of social responsibility: African perspectives on global ethics. Global Media Ethics Roundtable, Zayed University, Dubai, UAE. March.
  • Wasserman, H. 2009.  Global Infotainment and the Politics of the Everyday: Reading South African tabloids. Invited paper, Talk Show Democracy Conference, Institute for Humanities, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA, 2009.
  • Wasserman, H. 2007. Do We Need Global Media Ethics? Keynote address, Global Ethics for Media in the 21st Century Conference, Kasoma  Media Foundation, Lusaka, Zambia.  August.
  • De Beer, A.S. & Wasserman, H. 2004. A fragile affair: an overview of the relationship between the media and state in post-apartheid South Africa. Presented as Fellow of Ethics 2000 Colloquium “Media, Ethics and Politics”, School of Journalism, University of Missouri, USA. April.