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Prof Herman Wasserman

Professor of Media Studies

Herman Wasserman is Professor of Media Studies and Director of the Centre for Film and Media Studies at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He holds a doctorate from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, and worked as a journalist before starting an academic career. He has held positions at the universities of Stellenbosch, Sheffield, Newcastle and Rhodes. He has published widely on media in post-apartheid South Africa, including more than 60 articles in peer-reviewed journals and more than 35 book chapters. His books include the monographs Media, Geopolitics and Power: A View from the South (University of Illinois Press, 2018), Tabloid Journalism in South Africa (Indiana University Press, 2010, recipient of the Rhodes University Vice-Chancellor’s Book Award) and the edited collections Media and Citizenship: Between Marginalisation and Participation (with Anthea Garman, HSRC Press 2017), Chinese Media and Soft Power in Africa: Promotion and Perceptions (with Xiaoling Zhang and Winston Mano, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016),  Media Ethics and Justice in a Global Age (with Shakuntala Rao, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), Reporting China in Africa (Routledge, 2014), Press Freedom in Africa: Comparative Perspectives (Routledge, 2013), Popular Media, Democracy and Development in Africa (Routledge, 2011), Media Ethics Beyond Borders (with Stephen J. Ward, Routledge, 2010). He has been awarded the Georg Foster Research Award from the German Humboldt Foundation, held a Fulbright research fellowship at Indiana University in the US, has twice been selected as a fellow of the media ethics colloquia hosted by the University of Missouri,  has been a visiting professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, visiting researcher at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, and an invited speaker at conferences around the world, including the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences,  Helsinki, Moscow State University, Yale University, the Institute for Humanities at the University of Michigan, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs in Helsinki, the Forum for Media Development in Berlin, the Rwanda Media Commission and UNESCO in Nairobi.

Wasserman is Editor-in-Chief of the academic journal African Journalism Studies published by Taylor and Francis, and sits on the editorial boards of thirteen other international journals, including the Annals of the International Communication Association, of which he is an Associate Editor. He has served as external examiner for universities in South Africa, Ghana, Zimbabwe, India, Australia, Norway and the United Kingdom and has refereed for various local and international journals and major book publishers such as Oxford University Press, Indiana University Press, Sage, Routledge, Wiley-Blackwell and Cambridge University Press. He has acted as a reviewer for proposals submitted to various research programmes, including the South African Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa/Norway Research Co-operation Programme, the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Qatar National Research Fund. He is a past convenor of the specialist panel for the South African National Research Foundation (NRF)’s  Evaluation and Rating Procedure and former head of the International Communication Section of the International Association of Media and Communication Research (IAMCR). He currently holds a B1 rating by the National Research Foundation, denoting “Researchers who enjoy considerable international recognition by their peers for the high quality and impact of their recent research outputs”. He is an elected member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (Assaf) and of the South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF). He has participated in several international research collaborations funded by amongst others the European Union, the British Academy, the UK Economic and Social Research Council, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Academy of Finland, South African National Research Foundation and the Chiang-Ching Kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange in Taiwan. He is a founder member of the Global Media Ethics Roundtables that have met in Stellenbosch, Dubai, Delhi and Beijing.

He continues to act as an occasional journalist, and has contributed opinion pieces for media platforms such as the The Washington Post, Mail & Guardian, Daily Maverick, Africa is a Country and The Conversation.

Contact Details

(021) 650 3189