Rhodes>JMS>Staff>Rod Amner

Rod Amner

Senior Lecturer, Writing & Editing, Education editor for Grocott's Mail
046 603 7123

BJourn, MA (Rhodes)


Room 229 Africa Media Matrix

Upper Prince Alfred Street


Postal address

School of Journalism and Media Studies

Rhodes University

PO Box 94

Makhanda 6140

Industry experience

1995-2001 Editor, Development News Agency 

1994-95 Sub-editor and senior journalist, Systems Publishers

1993-92 Editor/designer, distance learning materials, College of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Oxford, England

1991-92 Community media training officer, East Cape News Agencies

1990 Vice-president, South African Student Press Union


JMS1: Introduction to the media landscape and media ecologies, and Digital Storytelling

JMS3: Writing and Editing

Mentoring of PGDip and JMS4 students

Academic Editor of the Grocotts Mail experiental learning platform

Community engagement

2019-2020 Co-ordinator of the JMS3 Service Learning course (across specialisations) in partnership with Upstart, Awarenet, Lebone Centre, Project Read, Intsomi and Vulindlela.

2017-2020 Chairperson of the Awarenet Board, a local ICT training organisation that runs the Joza Youth Hub Open Lab, which provides internet access, software training, digital learner support materials, study guides, audiobooks, ebooks, etc.

2017-2019 Project co-ordinator for Human Rights Matters, a project which produces radio dramas, radio programmes and community learners dialogues on local human rights issues with Upstart, a citizen journalism programme based at three high schools in Makhanda, along with the Eastern Cape Communication Forum (ECCF).

2017-2018 Chairperson of the Joza Youth Hub, a consortium of five youth development NPOs operating out of a community centre in Joza.

2008-2019 A long-standing committee member of the civic organisation Friends of the Library, which provides support to seven libraries in the Makana District.

2017-2018 A founding member of the first Friends of the Library committee at the Community Library in Currie Street, the first to be established in a township library in the Eastern Cape.

2012-2019 Secretary of the Board of the Eastern Cape Communication Forum (ECCF), which provides in-house training and support for several independent community newspapers and radio stations in the province.

2013 Received Rhodes University Merit Award for community engagement work.

Professional involvement

2018-2020 Education editor Grocott's Mail

2015-2020 Board member Grocott's Mail

2011-2020 Ombud for Activate (official student newspaper, Rhodes University)

External examiner for Wits, UCT, UWC, Midrand University

Reviewer for African Journalism Studies and Communicatio

Research areas

Communicative ecology

Critical pedagogy of place

Journalism education

Journalisms: Public/Civic journalism, Constructive/Solutions Journalism, Engaged Journalism, Citizen Journalism

Research projects

2016-2018 Co-design and management of primary research for Makana Media and Mobile Survey (650 surveys).

2016 Katherine W Fanning Fellowship in journalism and democracy at the Kettering Foundation in Dayton, Ohio, USA: July-December.

2015-2017 Pedagogy of Place programme (funded by the NRF)

Research publications

2018 Amner, R and Garman, A. “Journalists as democratic communication professionals.” Media Development. Vol LXV 2. WACC: Toronto, Canada.

2018 Amner, R and Mpofu, N. “Doing things that make you feel valuable: Students’ experiences with a critical pedagogy of place in the journalism curriculum at a South African University.” Journal of Education Studies. Vol. 16, No. 1. University of Venda.

Journalism/media outputs

2019 “Hope for Makhanda”, Financial Mail.