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Publications

Ncube, Meli. 2017. A Directory of Community Media and Advertising Trends in Southern Africa. Paris: UNESCO.

Click here for full text:A Directory of Community Media and Advertising Trends in Southern Africa. Paris: UNESCO.

Media Clusters

Dugmore, H. & Mavhungu, J. 2011. Media Clusters: Spatial Agglomeration and Content Capabilities: Media industry clustering in South Africa: prospects for economic development and spatial configuration. UK: Edward Elgar

Johanna Mavhungu, researcher at the Sol Plaatje Institute for Media Leadership, Rhodes University and Professor Harry Dugmore, former MTN Chair of Media and Mobile Communications recently completed a chapter in Media Clusters: Spatial Agglomeration and Content Capabilities edited by internationally acclaimed Professor of Media Economics and Management Robert G. Picard. The chapter explores the missed opportunity of developing a media strategy, on the success and infrastructure developed for the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup recently held in South Africa.

Download the full chapter: Media Industry Clustering in South Africa

More Publications

Mdlongwa, F. & Letlhaku, M. (eds.). 2010.  Harnessing Africa's Digital Future. 

This anthology of essays, stories and testimonies by heads of Africa’s leading media vividly brings out the ubiquitous nature, power and influence of emerging digital media channels on our lives and how Africa is tapping into these channels to better serve their markets and be better informed by them.

Click here for full text :

Bloom, K.  & Mavhungu, J. 2009. Successful “New Media” business models: Case studies of independent commercial print media in South Africa

This research explores business models and convergence strategies of sustainable independent print media in South Africa. It examines the way traditional media houses sustain their business activities and maintain professional and quality reporting standards whilst developing new profitable products to meet consumer needs. A significant shift in the media industry in the form of new media and online platforms necessitates traditional media around the world to design new product offerings that meet market needs and, ensures that media houses keep up with competition. South Africa is not unique in this regard; multimedia – online publications and social networking platforms are growing.

Convergence is a critical factor in South African newsrooms, and as mentioned by media management scholars like Robert Picard, it also presents a significant challenge and an opportunity in the way the newspaper industry operates. Human resource management, staffing and skilling of employees are affected, as well as market access to technology, market size, economies of scale and the economic health of the country and the business. Media convergence is an economic strategy in which communications companies seek financial benefit by making the various media properties they own work together. The SPI undertook case study research of three print media houses in 2009 and produced a snapshot of media convergence experiences from South Africa.

Click here for full text: Successful "New Media" Business Models

Mavhungu, J. & O’Shea, C. 2009. Formative Target Audience Research: A Case Study of Five Community Radio Stations in South Africa

This research project is borne out of the necessity to make listenership research accessible to community media. Listenership and audience research is customarily an expensive exercise and thus out of reach for small community radio stations.  Most also lack the time and expertise to do audience research in a systematic, rigorous way.

The Sol Plaatje Institute for Media Leadership (SPI) conducted the research with five community radio stations, with the aim of demystifying and encouraging greater use of formative target audience research.  The SPI envisaged assisting radio stations to translate research findings into action. The insights of the research process and final findings can be used for marketing purposes to advertisers as well as making informed programming decisions.

The research showcases the experiences and lessons of the five community radio stations that attempted to conduct listenership research and those that have not. It features their challenges and successes – in this way the SPI hopes other community radio stations will learn from these experiences and that this report will inform their choices and decisions when considering research. 

Click here for full text: ‌Formative Target Audience Research: A case study of five community radio stations in South Africa

Tracey, T., Mavhungu, J., Du Toit, P. & Mdlongwa, F. 2009. Training Needs Assessment of Independent Newspaper Managers in South Africa

The following report details the results of an investigation conducted by the Sol Plaatje Institute for Media Leadership (SPI), funded by the MDDA, into the business training needs of independent community newspapers in South Africa. The research is intended to equip managers to run successful and sustainable newspaper businesses within the competitive and time consuming context of the community print sector. Through exploring what business skills are needed in the sector - gathering the opinions of the independent community newspaper sector in general, experienced managers of newspapers, and managers of newspapers that have recently started, an overall picture of these training needs can be constructed.

Further opinions from trainers of media practitioners are intended to assist in understanding the business training needs of the sector and how best training can be delivered. Managers are often unable to leave the business for extended periods to receive training, and this is a need that must be considered in structuring courses.

Click here for full text:Media Management Training Needs Assessment within the SADC Region Training Needs Assessment of Independent Newspaper Managers in South Africa

Mdlongwa, F. (ed). 2009. Doing Digital Media in Africa: Prospects, Promises and Problems

This is an anthology on how African media companies are embracing and experimenting with digital media to increase their audience reach and income. The book is published by Rhodes University’s Sol Plaatjie Institute for Media Leadership (SPI) and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and is edited by SPI Director Francis Mdlongwa.

The book captures some of the important presentations made by African media leaders at the seventh Africa Media Leadership Conference held in Uganda’s capital Kampala in 2008 under the theme of   “Doing Digital Media in Africa: Prospects, Promises and Problems”.  Some of the articles in the book are from media experts who did not necessarily attend the conference but were specifically asked to make contributions because of their expertise in this field.

The contributors offer informative ideas, experiences and innovations from across the continent on how Africa can prepare itself for the challenges of a redefined journalism and media business in the age of discontinuity.

As Mdlongwa notes:  “The scramble is now on -- the scramble to rapidly find new ways of doing business in a media-scape that also offers unprecedented opportunities to those who embrace change.  And to do this quickly and without certainty or compass.”

The Africa Media Leadership Conference was launched by the SPI and KAS in 2002 to offer CEOs and editors-in-chief of Africa’s media firms a unique platform where they could network at the highest level and take decisions on crucial media management and leadership issues affecting their companies across the continent. The conferences are held each year in a different African country.

This book is a valuable resource to journalism and media management practitioners, trainers and students looking for some Africa-specific insights on digital media issues.

 Click here for Full Text :Doing Digital Media

Rau, A., Du Toit, P., Kabeta, J. & Mavhungu, J. 2008. Media Leadership: Strategies from Southern Africa

In the SADC region, the capacity to train and groom promising leadership and management candidates is limited.  One way to address this is for experienced leaders to pool and share their knowledge.  To this end the Sol Plaatje Institute for Media Leadership (SPI) and the Southern African Institute for Media Entrepreneurship Development (SAIMED) co-hosted a Leadership Lekgotla -- a space where leaders meet to share experiences, discuss important issues and gather solutions. 

The three-day event -- funded by the Netherlands Institute for Southern Africa (NIZA) -- was held in Johannesburg in August 2007. Twenty delegates from print and radio sectors in Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe explored themes such as leadership styles, managing people, editorial ethics and problems they encounter and how they resolve them. 

Information gathered from focus groups, two-person teams, storytelling, brainstorming, key speakers and plenary sessions are captured in a book now available throughout the region. The aim is to draw on the collective experiences of people with a proven track record in media leadership, and assemble a range of principles, ideas, techniques and strategies to guide, assist and, importantly, inspire Africa’s current and budding media leaders.

Click here for Full text: Media Leadership: Strategies from Southern Africa

International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX). 2007Media Sustainability Index (MSI).

An initiative of the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX), the Media Sustainability Index provides research-based information on the state of the media throughout the African continent. 

Leading media specialists in each country were recruited to rate the strength and sustainability of media in their countries according to multiple indicators within five broad objectives. These objectives measure the degree of free speech protection; professional journalism; plurality of news sources; business management; and supporting institutions. The indicators and objectives reflect criteria widely accepted as constituting a healthy, effective, economically sound and independent media industry.

The SPI’s contribution to this valuable project was to conduct the research in Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

Click here for Full text:

Mdlongwa, F. (ed). 2007Revenue Generation for Robust African Media: Practical Ideas, Experiences and Innovations of Frontline Managers

This book, edited by SPI Director Francis Mdlongwa, is an anthology of essays, stories and testimonies of Africa’s top media leaders who are re-shaping and strengthening Africa’s fledgling media companies and organisations.

Their real-life stories are an inspiration to all who work and desire to see a democratically vibrant and economically successful Africa, which plays a part in forging a more equitable, just and fairer world in the emerging Information Age.

This compilation has been culled from nearly 30 presentations made by African media owners and senior editors at the sixth Africa Media Leadership Summit Conference held in Cape Town, South Africa, in August 2007. The conference series are an annual event sponsored by Germany’s Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Foundation and staged by Rhodes University’s Sol Plaatje Institute for Media Leadership.

Click here for the PDF of the book: Revenue Generation for Robust African Media

Milne, C., Du Toit, P., Rau, A. & Mdlongwa, F. (2006). Media Management Training Needs Assessment within the SADC Region: A Qualitative Study.

Based on the assumption that good media management will lead to enhanced media freedom, the SPI – funded by the Netherlands Institute for Southern Africa (NIZA) - conducted this investigation into priority training needs for media management, as identified by media leaders and managers across eight countries in the SADC region -- Botswana, Malawi, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Angola, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

The research serves to inform the training offerings of the SPI and other media training institutions in the region.

Click here for Full Text: Media Management Training Needs Assessment within the SADC Region

Milne, C., Rau, A., Du Toit, P. & Mdlongwa, F. (2006). Key Editorial and Business Strategies: A case study of six independent community newspapers.

This in-depth qualitative study – funded by the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) -- explores six small, successful and independent community newspapers in South Africa: KZN Community Newspaper; Southern and Soweto Globe; North Coast Courier; Eastern Free State Issue;  Ikhwezi News;  and the Limpopo Mirror.

The research probes the many challenges that owner-managers face and publicises a broad range of key business and editorial strategies they use to navigate their publications to success.

Click Here for Full Text: Key Editorial and Business Strategies

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Last Modified :Mon, 24 Apr 2017 11:03:58 SAST