Why study Media Studies?
Media Studies is concerned with the organisation, processes and effects of traditional and new media. Students will learn to critically analyse the media and learn about the structure of communications industries and the relations between media, culture and power. In addition, students will be exposed to theories, debates and discussions about the role of the media in society as well as to ways of analysing the operations of the media, media products and media consumption by audiences. A Media Studies major would be useful for students who would like to work in media research, communication policy and regulation, media management, government communications, audience and media research, market analysis, social media and media planning.
Since 2008, the Department of Media Studies has taken a multi-pronged approach to stimulate and boost quality research. This includes the following:
-submission of several successful grant applications within the University of the Witwatersrand for research at both departmental and individual levels (SPARC, Carnegie, Ad-Hoc, Mellon)
-securing of several external funding grants from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC, Canada) for a project on "Radio, Convergence and Development" and the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) for a project on "ICT Policy and New Media Cultures in Southern Africa"
-encouraging joint research among staff and also between staff and post-graduate students
-introduction of a bi-weekly seminar series on rotating media themes, the Topics in Media and Cultural Studies Roundtable
Our immediate future plans include:
-working towards establishing a journal on media and cultural studies in Africa
-inviting international scholars who can mentor and inspire staff and post-graduate students in the Department to conduct quality research
-identifying prominent scholars for appointment as visiting/honorary research associates
-holding an annual conference on Media in Africa (the first of which was held in February 2012)