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Media Transformation Seminar

The Wits School of Literature, Language and Media (SLLM) invites you to this critical debate around transformation in the South African media.

Date and Time: 18 May 2016, 16h30

Venue: Wits Graduate Studies Seminar Room

Media Transformation Seminar flyer PDF

The debate will discuss whether vital transformation changes have in fact taken place in any meaningful way, and if so how and where they can be seen, and what consequences they have had.

Boloka and Krabill (2000) write:"We define the successful transformation of South African media as being achieved when it reflects, in its ownership, staffing, and product, the society within which it operates, not only in terms of race, but also socio-economic status, gender, religion, sexual orientation, region, language, etc. This is only possible if access is opened – again in ownership, staffing, and product –not only to the emerging black elite, but also to grassroots communities of all colours."

Taking their definition as a starting point, the seminar aims to discuss:

  • Issues of ownership, control, power, staffing, control, and policy
  • Whether the media has undergone 'true' transformation or merely engages in acts of racial tokenism
  • Whether and how the idea of transformation is used as a ruse for the politicisation of the media


Mr Lumko Mtimde is a former Chief Executive Officer of the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) and a former councillor of both the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) and the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA). He is the former Chief Director (Broadcasting Policy) of the Ministry of Communications.

Prof Jane Duncan is Professor of Journalism at the University of Johannesburg. Before taking up that post she held the Highway Africa Chair of Media and Information Society at the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University. Prof Duncan is a prominent media activist and former executive director of the Freedom of Expression Institute. She has three postgraduate degrees and has written widely on media policy and freedom. Mr

Sekoetlane Phamodi is a Black feminist activist who has his training in journalism and law. He has been involved in broadcasting and media advocacy for three years, leading public-interest interventions into legislative and policy reforms. His approach to broadcasting policy and practice is to locate them within a social justice framework that the public can meaningfully engage with. Phamodi coordinates the SOS: Support Public Broadcasting Coalition, which advocates for public broadcasting as a tool for social change.

Dr Mashilo Boloka is a former director of broadcasting policy at the Department of Communications. Dr Boloko co-authored, with Ron Krabill, the influential article 'Calling the glass half full: A response to Berger’s "Towards an analysis of the South African media and transformation, 1994-1999"'.

Dr Glenda Daniels has over two decades of experience as a journalist in the print industry and is currently a senior lecturer in Media Studies at Wits University. She is the author of Fight for Democracy: The ANC and the Media in South Africa and a co-author of the State of the Newsroom report, which includes findings about transformation, race and gender in the newsroom.