Rhodes>JMS>MTN Chair of Media and Mobile Communications

MTN Chair of Media and Mobile Communications

The aim of the Chair is to understand, and to help change, the relatively slow uptake of cellphones by both mass media and users for purposes of mass communication (as distinct from interpersonal communication). Relatively little research and development has been done in regard to this matter in the African context. What is lacking therefore is knowledge about technical as well as social challenges, what kinds of content and interactivity are likely to engage prosumers, and what constitutes a sustainable model. The Chair is an innovative initiative to assist media practitioners facing convergence in South Africa and in other African countries.

The project entails developing broad knowledge and skill through both teaching and research, at under-graduate and post-graduate levels, in the area of convergence between media and mobile communications. It also involves project management of initiatives in this area.

In particular, to fulfil its objectives, the MTN Chair of Media and Mobile Communication:

  • works with colleagues in the School to ensure maximum synergies in teaching, research and outreach;

  • oversees projects such as the development of a mobile web CMS for hyper-local news services and advertisement;

  • researches, and supervises post-graduate research into, among others, new media, social media, m-services and localisation, particularly among young adopters and within a Living Lab approach;

  • publicises results of relevant research at the Highway Africa conference and other high-profile academic forums, both nationally and internationally;

  • participates in and organises workshops and seminars on relevant topics.


Prof Lorenzo Dalvit

Prof Lorenzo Dalvit is currently the MTN Chair of Media and Mobile Communication in the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University. His previous experiences include heading the ICT Education Unit in the Rhodes Education Department, coordinating research and ICT for the SANTED programme in the African Language Studies Section of the Rhodes School of Languages and conducting research into multilingualism and ICT for the Telkom Centre of Excellence in the Rhodes Department of Computer Science.

He holds a Laurea in Sociology from the University of Trento (Italy), a MA in Applied Linguistics and a PhD in ICT Education from Rhodes University. He took additional undergraduate credits in Economics, Computer Science and isiXhosa as a second language and is currently completing a PGDHE at Rhodes. His areas of academic interest range from sociolinguistics to software development under the common thread of improving social and economic participation for members of marginalised groups. He spear-headed projects in software localisation, educational collaboration and software development.

In the School of Journalism and Media Studies, Prof Dalvit teaches an exciting new course in new media as part of the MA programme and a course on mobiles in Africa at Honours level. He supervises MA and PhD students and conducts research on hyper-local and mobile media, social media, m-services and mobile for development (M4D). He is particularly interested in exploring the economic, social and political implication of mobile devices using a living lab approach. He has published and presented extensively at both national and international level across a wide range of disciplines.

Last Modified: Wed, 15 Jan 2020 14:16:46 SAST