Community engagement as teaching

Because journalism is a very dynamic field, my approach to teaching includes creating opportunities for my students to visit newsrooms, interact with news media professionals and invite guest lectures to share about developments in this field. An example of this is an annual field trip for my Court and Crime Reporting course, where students visit an actual courtroom where they sit in on a case and then apply what they have learnt in the classroom in order to write a news report on the event. Another example is that I make arrangements for my students to attend the opening of the Western Cape Legislature annually in order for them to film, conduct interviews and write a TV news script on the event. Even when the pandemic hit in 2020/2021, I continued to find creative means for these interactions, coming up with a concept called the Speaker Series, an initiative that went on to be commended on the institutional website

Speaker Series

Speaker series empowers aspiring journalists

CPUT’s Journalism Speaker Series, which has featured some of South Africa’s top journalists and broadcasters, is inspiring the next generation to reach their goals.

Thus far the series, which is presented via an online platform, has featured Newzroom Afrika’s Athi Mtongana, Cape Talk’s Lester Kiewit, SABC’s Abra Barbier and eNCA /947’s Thembekile Mrototo.

Journalism lecturer, Sisanda Nkoala said she started the series as part of her audiovisual journalism courses as the Covid-19 pandemic meant that students could no longer go on field trips to newsrooms, as they had previously done.


Field trips

Third year students at the opening of the Western Cape Legislature as part of an assignment to compile an audio-visual news piece on a live event
Second year students at the eTV studios as part of a media engagement drive by the Independent Electoral Commission ahead of the elections
First year students at the High Court in Cape Town as part of the court and crime reporting course. The trip was to expose them to a court case and then have them write a radio news voicer on it.
Second year students at the SABC Parliamentary Bureau to expose them to a TV production context and for them to interact with the public broadcaster's journalists and editors

Guest lectures

SABC News Assignments Editor, Maxwell Maseko, gave a guest lecture to the first year audio-visual production class on producing and writing news for radio
Kfm Breakfast Show co-host, Sherlin Barends, gave a guest lecture to the first year audio-visual production class on her radio career
City of Cape Town media manager, Janine Willemans, gave a guest lecture to the first year mass communication and culture class on the relationship between journalists and PR practitioners
Western Cape Police spokesperson, Brigadier Novela Potelwa and the provincial head of the anti-gang unit, General Jeremy Vearey, gave a guest lecture to the first year court and crime reporting class on how journalists can build relationships with stakeholders in the criminal justice sector

Community engagement projects

IEC Engagement (2019)

The second year journalism students took part in a week long engagement with the IEC to manage the Western Cape media relations. This included working with media houses, political parties and members of the public on matters related with media around the running of elections.  They also monitored social media content for the IEC and compiled daily reports around this. The experience allowed them to apply concepts covered in the audio-visual production course, their political reporting course and the news writing course.

SABC Monitor Insert on student sentiments ahead of elections (2019)

A group of third year students and I produced an insert for the SABC Monitor Programme on elections and CPUT student sentiments ahead of the 2019 elections. The insert was aired on April 28, 2019.  The students involved were Cebelihle Mthethwa, Mandilakhe Dlula, and Ntsikelelo Langani.