Francis Mdlongwa is head of Rhodes University’s Sol Plaatje Institute (SPI) for Media Leadership. He joined the SPI -- Africa’s only university-level institute which trains graduates and editors in media leadership and management – in 2004.
Mdlongwa distinguished himself as an international desk editor, bureau chief and senior roving international correspondent of Reuters, the world’s leading news agency, which employed him in several world capitals, including London, Nairobi and Harare, in the 1980s and 1990s.
He broke the story of the 1991 overthrow of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and covered Africa’s civil wars and peace in diverse countries stretching from Sudan and Ethiopia in the North to Angola and Lesotho in the South. He reported on landmark elections in the 1990s which ushered in multi-party democracy in countries such as South Africa, Malawi and Kenya.
Mdlongwa has headed several African media. He has been Group Editor-in-Chief of Associated Newspapers, publishers of Zimbabwe’s Daily News, which was banned by the government in 2003; he was Editor-in-Chief of the Financial Gazette, an authoritative financial newspaper based in Harare, for nearly a decade; and he was head of news and current affairs at Channel Africa, the external news service of the Johannesburg-based South African Broadcasting Corporation.
He is a media consultant who has run journalism and media management training programmes in the former Eastern Bloc nations of Serbia and Montenegro, and in many African countries such as Botswana, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and Zimbabwe, working on behalf of the International Research & Exchanges Board based in Washington, DC, and the Reuters Foundation.
For four years since 2004, he taught journalism courses such as news and features writing; news analysis and editorial and opinion pieces; and economics, business and financial reporting at Addis Ababa University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Between 2009 and 2010, he led a team of international academics which designed and established the first media management training programme in the Middle East. Based at Cairo University – Egypt’s oldest university -- the programme was taught by several international academics, including Mdlongwa. He holds an MBA in Global Management from Durham University in the United Kingdom.
Selected Academic Publications:
- Mdlongwa, F. 2019. Times of despair, times of awakening. IN: Mdlongwa, F. (ed.). Entrepreneurial Journalism in Africa: Opportunities, Challenges, and Risks for Media in the Digital Age. Johannesburg: Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, pages 7-16. Available from: https://www.ru.ac.za/media/rhodesuniversity/content/spi/documents/Chapter_
- Mdlongwa, F. (ed.). 2019. Entrepreneurial Journalism in Africa: Opportunities, Challenges, and Risks for Media in the Digital Age. Johannesburg: Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. Available from: https://www.ru.ac.za/media/rhodesuniversity/content/spi/documents/Entrepreneurial_
- Mdlongwa, F. 2018. Address to delegates at the official opening of the 13th summit of the World Media Economics and Management Conference in Cape Town on 7 May 2018. (Available at: https://www.ru.ac.za/spi/latestnews/13thsummitoftheworldmediaeconomicsandmanagementconferenceincapetown.
- Mdlongwa, F. (ed.). A Directory of Community Media and Advertising Trends in Southern Africa. Paris: UNESCO. Available from: https://www.ru.ac.za/media/rhodesuniversity/content/spi/documents/Directory_of_community_media.pdf
- Mdlongwa, F. 2013. Foreword. IN: Mavhungu, J. and Picard, R.G. (eds.) Media Management in the New Age: How managers lead media in Southern and Eastern Africa. Grahamstown, South Africa: Sol Plaatje Institute for Media Leadership.
- Mdlongwa, F. 2011. Want viable African media? Train your managers. In Berger, G. (ed.) Twenty years after the Windhoek Declaration on Press Freedom, pages 89-90. Windhoek: MISA.
- Mdlongwa, F. & Letlhaku, M. (eds.). 2010. Harnessing Africa's Digital Future. Johannesburg: Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. Available at:http://www.kas.de/wf/doc/kas_20724-1522-2-30.pdf?101006140444
- Tracey, T., Mavhungu, J., Du Toit, P. & Mdlongwa, F. 2009. Training Needs Assessment of Independent Newspaper Managers in South Africa. Available at: Media Management Training Needs
- Assessment within the SADC Region Training Needs Assessment of Independent Newspaper Managers in South Africa
- Mdlongwa, F. (ed.). 2009. Doing Digital Media in Africa: Prospects, Promises and Problems. Johannesburg: Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. Available from: https://www.ru.ac.za/media/rhodesuniversity/content/spi/documents/Doing_Digital_Media.pdf
- Tracey, T., Mavhungu, J., Du Toit, P. & Mdlongwa, F. 2009. Training Needs Assessment of Independent Newspaper Managers in South Africa.Available from: https://www.ru.ac.za/media/rhodesuniversity/content/spi/documents/SPI
- Rau, A.; Dutoit, P.; and Mdlongwa, F. 2008. Positioning independent community media: Findings from a case study of six small South African newspapers. Available at: file:///C:/Users/enjo081/Downloads/RauMilneduToitMdlongwa.2008.Positioning_independent_community_media.
- Mdlongwa, F. (ed.). 2007. Revenue Generation for Robust African Media: Practical Ideas, Experiences and Innovations of Frontline Managers. Johannesburg: Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. Available from: https://www.ru.ac.za/media/rhodesuniversity/content/spi/documents/kas_13964-1522-2-30.pdf
- Milne, C., Du Toit, P., Rau, A. & Mdlongwa, F. 2006. Media Management Training Needs Assessment within the SADC Region: A Qualitative Study.Available at: https://www.ru.ac.za/media/rhodesuniversity/content/spi/documents/Key%20
- Milne, C., Rau, A., Du Toit, P. & Mdlongwa, F. 2006. Key Editorial and Business Strategies: A case study of six independent community newspapers. Available from https://www.ru.ac.za/media/rhodesuniversity/content
- Mdlongwa, F. 2006. Red pepper, hot topic. Rhodes Journalism Review 26, pages 46-47.
A few selected non-academic publications:
- Mdlongwa, F. 2018. Mugabe’s ‘kiss of death’ sealed Chamisa’s poll defeat. Published on 7 August 2018 in Daily Maverick, South Africa. Available athttps://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2018-08-07-mugabes-kiss-of-death-sealed-chamisas-poll-defeat/
- Mdlongwa, F. 2017. View from a newsman: ‘God’s son’ ends Mugabe’s ruinous reign of four decades. Published on 24 November 2017 in The Media Online, South Africa. Available at http://themediaonline.co.za/2017/11/view-from-a-newsman-gods-son-ends-mugabes-ruinous-reign-of-four-decades
- Mdlongwa, F. 2017. Africa joins global strategists to chart future of media and journalism. Published on 7 November 2017 in journalism.co.za, South Africa. Available at http://journalism.co.za/africa-joins-global-strategists-chart-future-media-journalism/
- Mdlongwa, F. 1998. Zimbabwe Presses Land Reforms. Africa Recovery,Volume 12, No.3, New York: United Nations Publications.
Last Modified: Tue, 06 Aug 2019 16:35:17 SAST