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The School

Rhodes University School of Journalism and Media Studies (JMS), which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2022, is internationally renowned as Africa’s pre-eminent media education institution and one of the finest in the world. This success is due to our strong research record, our holistic approach to teaching, our involvement in the local Makhanda communities and our associations and links with media organizations.


Our School has attracted funding from the Mellon Foundation, SANPAD, OSF, OSISA, NRF, MTN, Discovery Health and others, for research in digital media; mobile communications; media freedom; health journalism; youth, media and democracy; media and citizenship; media and decoloniality; media management; and media sustainability.


Our holistic approach to teaching combines media theory with hands-on application, imparting insight, knowledge and world-class skill sets. This integration of intellectual study and media production produces graduates who have the technical abilities to contribute to the media industries and also apply their minds to the bigger picture of the constantly developing role that media plays in society. JMS graduates develop both critical thinking and superb technical prowess. It is no wonder then that some of Africa’s most respected media scholars and industry practitioners are JMS alumni, working in and out of newsrooms and institutions around the world, from major publications and respected broadcasters to start-ups and new forms of digital media production.

We offer six qualifications:

  • a BA majoring in Journalism and Media Studies (three-year major)
  • a Bachelor of Journalism (four-year degree)
  • three types of Post-graduate Diploma: in Journalism and Media Studies, in Media Management (in residence and at distance) and in Economics Journalism (of which there is also a part-time version)
  • an Honours degree
  • three types of Master’s degree (by thesis alone, by course work plus thesis and a practice-based coursework plus thesis), and
  • a doctorate

We operate from the purpose-built Africa Media Matrix on Rhodes University campus with seminar rooms, laboratories and studios housed with the building. 

Community engagement

Established in 1972 as the first liberal institution of its kind in the country, the School of Journalism and Media Studies quickly established a name for itself. In the 1980s, the School consciously abandoned its practice-based approach to incorporate the critical intellectual work that has since become its hallmark. If the intellectual work at that time was directed against apartheid and the media structures that supported it, our orientation today is towards social justice and the media’s role in the realization of our Constitutional vision: “to heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights; [and] lay the foundations for a democratic and open society…’’ Our projects within the Makhanda community include a relationship with the UpStart Youth Development project, a strong association with the community radio stations Radio Grahamstown and RMR, and with Grocott’s Mail which has been bought by Rhodes University to become an integrated community newspaper and teaching vehicle for local journalism. 

The School is also home to a number of projects:

CueMedia is a School journalism project involving daily online news, audio and television programming which runs (funding permitting) during the annual National Arts Festival.

Grocott’s Mail, the oldest continually produced newspaper in the country, is owned by Rhodes University and housed within the School. The newspaper (online and on paper) offers vac work and internships to students as well as collaborations on special projects.

The Highway Africa Centre is dedicated to the development of African journalism and hosts the largest annual media conference of journalists, editors and media managers on the continent.

The Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM) is a governance monitoring organization whose activities feed into the curriculum offered to students on issues such as national, provincial and local government reporting.

The Sol Plaatje Media Leadership Institute is the School’s media management training arm, providing a Postgraduate Diploma in Media Management and short courses in various facets of media management and journalism.

The South African Reserve Bank Centre for Economics Journalism aims to improve financial, economic and business journalism in South Africa and on the continent. It offers a postgraduate diploma in economics journalism and short courses.










Last Modified: Tue, 21 Dec 2021 09:09:13 SAST