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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 monograph Tabloid Journalism in South Africa (Indiana University Press, 2010) and the edited collections 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 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 and an invited speaker at conferences at 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 eleven 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 and the United Kingdom and has refereed for various local and international journals and major book publishers such as 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)’sEvaluation 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 B2 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 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, by contributing opinion pieces for media such as the Mail & Guardian, Daily Maverick, Africa is a Country and China Daily.

Current research interests and areas of supervision are:

Media in the Global South (including China-Africa media relations) Global Media Ethics Media, Transition and Democratisation.


Contact Details

herman.wasserman@uct.ac.za

(021) 650 3189

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