EOBM course brings broadcast media from far and wide in Africa

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By Ettione Ferreira

The EOBM (Essentials of Broadcast Management) course brought participants from as far as Ethiopia to explore management in broadcast media.  The course was held at the Sol Plaatje Institute from 20 to 24 June 2016.

Lebogang Kotsi, executive producer and assistant music compiler at Ofm in Bloemfontein, joined the course for professional development. The highlight for him was advertising and sales, “I never really paid attention to it before,” he says. Kotsi started his career at a campus radio station during his studies towards a journalism and media studies degree. After his first job as a journalist intern, he started at Ofm in 2012 as a night time producer and later on went onto the breakfast show until getting promoted to his current position.

Learning about the new trends in the media industry is part of the structure of the EOBM course to keep it updated with the current digital environment. Hardin Gurupira, production manager at Ibex Solutions, felt that this was one of the most important parts of the course for him, he says, “the course has been eye-opening for me, showing something new to improve.” Gurupira was the studio manager for Standard Global Communications in 2012 and later became head of production at Star FM where he was, “responsible for designing and upholding of the sound design of the station as well as monitoring all on air personalities,” he says. In 2015 he joined Ibex Solutions for the position he currently holds.

The leadership and ethics course showed a positive response from participants as some learned about management skills for the first time. “I can better myself as manager…I learned a lot of aspects about my work,” Kabelo Mosothoane says about the course. This was the first managerial course Mosothoane took since joining management. Mosothoane started at Radio Lesotho in 2003 as news reader and later sports producer and presenter. He was later promoted to head of programmes which is the position he holds today.

Etsegenet Mekuria came all the way from Ethiopia to do the EOBM course. Mekuria finished her under graduate studies at Addis Ababa University in Management and Public Administration. She later obtained a post graduate degree in Business Leadership from the University of South Africa. She became the financial and administration department manager at Adey Tensae Media and Entertainment PLC which hosts the Ethiopian radio station, Sheger FM 102.1 Radio. Mekuria decided to gain knowledge about management in the media industry and to share different country experiences by joining the EOBM course. “I’m far away from home but it’s been very comfortable,” she says. She found the different media atmosphere refreshing in South Africa, “the media is very influenced by the government, even private media. Here the media is very independent,” she explains. To her the course helped her to understand the media industry more and also helped her gain a few skills, “(it gave me skills) in order to communicate with the media better,” Mekuria says.

The next EOBM short course will run from 24 to 28 October this year. For more information about the short courses offered at the SPI contact Zusipe Batyi – z.batyi@ru.ac.za or visit the webpage (hyperlink “visit the webpage” to http://www.ru.ac.za/spi/studying) for dates and information.

Passion for journalism at SPI newspaper management course

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By Ettione Ferreira

GRAHAMSTOWN, South Africa – The Essentials of Newspaper Management (EONM) course run by the Sol Plaatje Institute (SPI) for Media Leadership at Rhodes University drew participants from several African countries, with many of them saying they had come not only to learn but to share their knowledge and experiences with colleagues.

The course took place from 30 May to 3 June.

Oteng Chilume, from the Botswana Gazette, started in the media industry in 2010 when he became a radio show host and training assistant co-ordinator. Chilume was not always involved in the media as he started his career as research assistant in 2001 and went on to become an English and social studies teacher in 2008.

“I always had a passion for journalism and have always been interested in current affairs,” he says, noting that this had led him to join the media full-time in 2014 as Head of News and later in 2015 as Chief Sub-Editor of the Botswana Gazette. The EONM course was the first time Chilume entered a media course.

Other participants have been involved with the media for longer. One such participant is Ceasar Zvayi from Zimbabwe who started his career in 2004 as a senior political reporter for the largest daily newspaper in Zimbabwe, The Herald.

He showed great potential and was promoted only a year later to political editor. In 2009 he was promoted to deputy editor before stepping up the ladder once again in 2013 to become the editor. He currently still holds this position and leads a staff of 65 reporters and editors in his twelfth year in journalism. He decided to join the course to gain better managerial skills and found the course very useful. “I leave a much richer person…we dealt with a diverse collection of colleagues…it was very worthwhile,” he says.

The course provided insights into advertising and marketing, human resources management, as well as media leadership and management, among other modules.  “I’ve been enlightened in specifically human resources management,” said Joseph Mwenda, deputy managing director and news editor of The Post in Zambia.

Mwenda has been a journalist since 2005 and has worked in different positions, including  being on the entertainment desk, sports desk, photography desk and the political desk, before being promoted to news editor, a position he still holds today. Mwenda says: “Being a journalist, you usually focus on the editorial and with this course you can focus on their (staff) personal and professional needs.”

The night editor of The Star in Johannesburg, Mapaseka Mogotsi, felt that the course sharpened her leadership skills. “I’m more into the editorial part but want to be able to lead them and empower them…I’ve learned as a leader you don’t have to take your views as final view.”

Mogotsi especially enjoyed the module on leadership and ethics as well as learning more about how branding and advertising teams work differently to editorial. Mogotsi joined the media industry in 2001 when the Independent Group advertised for trainee black subeditors. In 2002 she was appointed full-time at The Star and went on to become night editor in 2008. “Since my appointment, I have proven myself as an industrious employee and manager able to manage complex and multiple tasks that are necessary to produce a quality newspaper,” she says.

PDMM applications for 2017 now open

2017 students’ applications for the Postgraduate Diploma in Media Management at the Sol Plaatje Institute for Media Leadership, Rhodes University, now open
Be a media manager
The Sol Plaatje Institute for Media Leadership, a part of the School of Journalism and Media Studies, offers the Postgraduate Diploma in Media Management (PDMM). The purpose of this diploma is to prepare students with the knowledge and skills required to perform mid-level management positions within public, corporate or community media organisations.

After completing the diploma, students will be able to:
• Demonstrate an understanding of management paradigms and assess their application and impact on media organisations
• Demonstrate an informed knowledge of the theoretical and practical understandings of the relationship between media organisations and society, and the impact of policy and regulations systems in Southern Africa

• Draw on models of economic analysis and planning to conduct budgeting for media enterprises
• Understand and conduct core human management functions
• Apply theories of media marketing in a given context and an understanding of the relationship between the advertising industry and media enterprises
• Identify strategies for ensuring appropriate content and distribution decisions in relation to a media organisation’s strategic business objectives
• Conduct small scale research in an area of media management; and
• Critically reflect on work experiences in media environments.

For further details on the curriculum, please visit the website of the Sol Plaatje Institute (SPI) for Media Leadership at www.ru.ac.za/spi/. Prospective candidates can also phone SPI Administrator Buli Mangali (b.mangali@ru.ac.za) on +27-046-603-8851.
Admission requirements
Candidates would normally be expected to have completed an undergraduate
Degree from a recognised university. However, consideration is also given to applicants with extensive media experience. Candidates must usually apply before 30 November of the preceding year of study. Application forms can be obtained and submitted to the Student Bureau, who can be contacted on: 27(0)46 603 8276 or via email on registrar@ru.ac.za.

A CV, an academic transcript and a letter of motivation must accompany the application. Entry onto the diploma is competitive and is limited to a maximum of 25 students.

Africa’s media management institute launches crowd-funding appeal

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Picture Credit: Start Up Nations.

Rhodes University’s Sol Plaatje Institute (SPI) for Media Leadership has launched a crowd-funding appeal to raise scholarships for African postgraduate students who study media management and leadership at the Institute based in South Africa.

SPI Director Francis Mdlongwa said the appeal was also aimed at raising funds for an expansion of the academic offerings of the Institute, the only university-level institute in Africa and the developing world which runs high-level business and editorial courses and training programmes for media managers and leaders from across Africa.

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Why subscriptions are the future of journalism

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Photo by H. Armstrong Roberts / Getty.

By Ernst-Jan Pfauth

With the rise of adblockers, platform dependency, and Facebook’s and Google’s dominance on the mobile ad market, the need for publishers to invest in the relationship with their readers is more important than ever.

Instead, many a media outlet is opting to sell “branded content”. Also referred to as “native ads”, this form of advertising not only threatens a publication’s editorial independence, it also harms its relationship with readers. And while they’re at it, one journalism site after another is killing the comments section, locking out readers’ voices instead of investing in building a community of contributing readers and journalists.

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Africa’s emerging media leaders: the Class of 2016

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Picture Credit: Rhodes University, a photo of the clock tower.

The 2016 Class of the Postgraduate Diploma in Media Management (PGDip in Media Management) at the Sol Plaatje Institute (SPI) for Media Leadership at Rhodes University once again resembles a small United Nations of Africa.

Previous classes of this honours degree-level course, the only formal qualification in media management in Africa and the developing world, have come from many African countries and, in one instance, the SPI had a student from France.

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SPI graduate shines at Facebook in British capital

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Carin Lee (left) and Olona Tywabi (right).

By Olona Tywabi

Meet Carin Lee, a 2006 graduate of Rhodes University’s Sol Plaatje Institute (SPI) for Media Leadership.

Carin now works as the London head of Client Solutions for the Global Accounts Team of the international  ‘people’s’ network Facebook, handling brand accounts of companies such as Unilever. She has been with Facebook for seven years.

Carin loves what she does because it involves interacting and liaising with partnerships of top global advertising companies on how to use the Facebook platform to build their own brand and also help them overcome business challenges globally.

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