Top-level class praises Rhodes University digital media course

By Mbalenhle Buthelezi                                                                                                                                

MAKHANDA, South Africa - A diverse class of digital media leaders has highly praised the digital media management short course they attended recently at Rhodes University’s Sol Plaatje Institute (SPI) for Media Leadership.

The aim of the five-day “Essentials of Digital Media Management” course was to provide a range of digital strategies and insights, as well as practical skills, that equip participants to make direct and immediate interventions in their respective jobs.

Toby Gedze, a Lab Manager at the Rhodes University Community Engagement’s Social Innovation Hub, said the course was highly effective and introduced the participants to several digital platforms and applications they can use to strengthen their communications and engage with their audiences.

Thandiwe Matyobeni, who also works at Social Innovation Hub, said: “The course has reignited a drive towards creating content and a new inclination to improve the quality of mobile content creation. It has also provided fascinating insights into digital media which will inform my future studies and research as digital media is my field of interest.”

The course was relevant to the diverse group of participants who engage with different audiences on various digital and social media platforms. The group of participants included communications and public relations officers, lab managers and web administrators.

The topics that focused on multimedia content creation using mobile devices, social media and email newsletters were the most popular among the participants.

Ryana Johnson, a Media, Communications and Advocacy Officer at the Rhodes Restoration Research Group in the Department of Environmental Science at Rhodes University, commented:

“This is a very high-quality learning product. I have been working in the field of facilitation and adult education for some time, and being a student myself can be frustrating. This course is well designed and presented, and left me feeling empowered, stimulated and inspired.”

Many of the participants found value in the practical exercises and working in teams to share their knowledge and experiences with colleagues.

The course was jointly led by Steve Kromberg and Michael Salzwedel, who are experts in the digital industry and specialise in communication strategies, digital media management, online business models, wearable technology and digital media ethics.

Christopher Matobagi from North-West University added that his colleagues would also benefit immensely from the elements of the course he will share with them.

The SPI runs a basket of other certificated professional media management and media business courses (please visit www.ru.ac.za/spi/) and offers the only formal postgraduate qualification in media management in Africa and the developing world.

The postgraduate course, currently offered on a one-year fulltime-basis although there are plans to also simultaneously roll it out as a distance course, has graduated more than 500 of these top-level aspirant media leaders since 2004, when this qualification was established.

Most of these postgraduates today occupy senior positions in the media in Africa and internationally. Many of these students have graduated with master’s degrees in South Africa and overseas within one academic year, often notching distinctions, which they largely  attribute to the valuable knowledge and understandings gained on the SPI’s Postgraduate Diploma in Media Management, which is pegged at the honours degree level.

For more information on the SPI’s courses, please contact the Institute’s Course Co-ordinator, Mbali Buthelezi, at m.buthelezi@ru.ac.za, or call her on 046 603 8949.

 

 

Last Modified: Thu, 19 Mar 2020 15:23:32 SAST

South African grassroots media grapples with innovation

By Mbalenhle Buthelezi

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Editors, journalists and managers of South African community media houses recently spent a week debating and seeking solutions to challenges confronting the industry at a time of heightened innovation in the sector.

The participants were attending a five-day “Essentials of Print Media Management” course that is offered by the Sol Plaatje Institute for Media Leadership at Rhodes University. The accredited course was organised in collaboration with the Association of Independent Publishers (AIP) and it  took place in Johannesburg from 10-14 June 2019.

The course was for print media managers who are looking for an opportunity to improve their businesses by getting the latest practical and research-based knowledge and understandings that contextualize, explain and analyze the rapidly changing print media sector and how this sector could embrace new ways of doing work and survive increasing market turbulence.

Among the subjects dealt with on the course were leadership and management of print media firms, advertising and marketing, managing editorial departments and news content, managing circulation and distribution, the importance of editorial independence and media ethics for media’s sustainability, and managing the budget. These modules were taught by both industry experts and academics, blending both practical knowledge and experience with the latest research on media trends.

Participants stated that they found all the modules to be engaging and highly relevant to their different situations. One participant described how the course provided him with tips on “how to take our publication forward with practicality”.

Lerato Sekgobela, Editor of Discover Limpompo magazine, commented: “The course is going to improve the way we run our operations and reposition our magazine.”

For Annetta Mangxaba, Operations and Administration Manager at Dizindaba Media, all aspects of the short course we useful. However, she said one of the most useful take-aways from the course was how to implement new and better distribution methods in a rapidly transforming print media sector.

The AIP is a South African organisation that advances the interests of local grassroots media in the country. It comprises newspapers, magazines, newsletters and online publications which are all owned by local communities.

The SPI runs a basket of other accredited professional media management and media business courses (please visit www.ru.ac.za/spi/) and offers the only formal postgraduate qualification in media management in Africa and the developing world.

It has graduated more than 500 of these top-level postgraduates since 2004, when this qualification was established. Most of these media management postgraduates today occupy senior positions in the media in Africa and internationally.

The SPI has also trained more than 5,000 media workers from across Africa on its accredited and certificated short courses since the Institute’s launch in 2002.

For more information about the SPI’s short courses, please contact the Institute’s Course Co-ordinator, Mbali Buthelezi, at m.buthelezi@ru.ac.za, or call her on 046 603 8949.

                                                                                    ENDS. 

Last Modified: Wed, 03 Jul 2019 09:49:52 SAST