The Postgraduate Diploma in Media Management (PGDip in Media Management) is an intensive, year-long fulltime programme accredited at the honours degree level (NQF Level 8) by South Africa’s Qualifications Authority (SAQA). The programme is offered annually by the Sol Plaatje Institute for Media Leadership at Rhodes University.
The course is the only formal qualification in media management in Africa and the developing world, having been launched in 2004. It provides an insider view of how successful and sustainable media organizations operate in rapidly changing and discontinuous contexts that mark our media landscape today.
The programme develops the strategic knowledge, understandings and work competencies which media managers and leaders need to apply to run media organizations in the public, commercial and community sectors sustainably and ethically in the ‘age of participatory and transient journalism’.
It focuses on the management of people, media markets and media audiences, the role and place of digital and social media technologies in the multi-platform media industry and what all of these mean not just to the industry but to our globalising world. 2 2 The programme focuses on outcomes-based learning and fast-tracks graduates into mid-level media management positions by giving them an edge in terms of their work competencies and applied knowledge of the media industry in Africa and internationally.
Below are the eight core modules of the PGDip in Media Management, which is popularly known at Rhodes University as the PDMM):
- Media Management Contexts, Policy and Institutions: This introductory and overarching module assesses the role of media in society and the critical issues media managers need to consider regarding democratisation and how regulation, policy and policy issues, staff diversity, gender and transformation impact the operations of a media organization.
- Media Management and Leadership: This module provides a firm grounding in leadership and management theories and develops the skills and attitudes required to effectively motivate and manage teams of media professionals in a way that promotes performance in the workplace. The module also incorporates a focus on skills needed in the areas of change management, decision-making and strategic planning.
- Human Resources Management: This module provides an overview of the different theoretical and practical issues involved in human resource planning and development at a media organization. The module covers core human resource management functions and deliverables such as staff planning and policy development, job analysis, recruitment, performance management, motivation, training, mentoring, coaching and discipline.
- Managing Markets, Audiences and Advertising: This module provides an understanding of media markets and the strategic and analytical skills needed in ensuring media products achieve optimum penetration in competitive markets. It covers the knowledge required to conduct, commission or analyse appropriate research and the fundamentals for positioning, marketing and promoting media products.
- Financial Management and Media Economics: This module addresses the economic and financial fundamentals of running a sustainable and profitable media organization – and to do so ethically. It covers budgeting, cost controls, revenue generation, as well as strategies for fundraising and accessing financial support. It provides participants with the financial planning, budgeting, monitoring and reporting skills that are required to ensure an organization meets its fiscal goals
- Managing Media Content: The module introduces participants to different approaches to content management and provision in the print, broadcast, and converged media industries. The module investigates topics such as media product development, niche packaging, convergence, and programming trends that are emerging in today’s digital, multi-platform media. It explores strategies for marrying audience needs with advertisers’ demands, using both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies.
- New Media and Convergence: This module explores different ways in which media organizations use digital and other emerging media platforms to add value and utility to existing products. It focuses on different models of convergence, online content provision and the use of cellular technology as well as the impact that these emerging technologies are having on established media.
- Media Distribution and Circulation: This module addresses the pivotal strategic role that a distribution and circulation department plays in a multiplatform media enterprise. The module is designed to enhance participants’ understanding of imperatives that drive distribution and circulation of news services and products, as well as introducing them to a range of strategies for effective sales management and distribution, pricing, subscriptions, and sales team management.
For further information: Please check details on the website of the Sol Plaatje Institute (SPI) for Media Leadership (www.ru.ac.za/spi) at Rhodes University. Or email Sibo Mbengashe, the Administrative Co-ordinator of the course, at email@example.com. You could also contact the Marketing Co-ordinator, Mbali Buthelezi (firstname.lastname@example.org).