Coordinating Team

Prof Herman Wasserman

Herman Wasserman is currently the Chair of the Department of Journalism at Stellenbosch University.

Short bio

Herman works as an independent consultant in his capacity as Director of the Institute for Media Analysis in South Africa (Imasa). Herman has published widely on media in Africa. His books include Tabloid Journalism in South Africa (Indiana University Press), Media, Geopolitics, and Power (University of Illinois Press) and Media, Conflict and Democracy in Africa (Oxford University Press). His latest book is Disinformation in the Global South (co-edited with Dani Madrid-Morales), published in 2022 (Wiley-Blackwell). He is a Fellow of the International Communication Association and an elected member of the Academy of Science of South Africa. His awards include a Fulbright fellowship and the Georg Foster Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany. Wasserman is Editor-in-Chief of the academic journals African Journalism Studies and the Annals of the International Communication Association, Associate Editor of Communication Theory and International Communication Gazette and sits on the editorial boards of several other international journals. He has consulted for, amongst others, the World Health Organization, UNESCO, Deutsche Welle Akademie, Digital Public Square, Africa Check, the Center for International Media Assistance and serves on the scientific committee of Reporters without Borders.

Dr Meli Ncube

Meli Ncube is currently a postdoctoral research fellow, who holds a PhD in Media Studies from the University of Cape Town (UCT).

Short bio

Meli Ncube holds a PhD in Media Studies from the University of Cape Town (UCT). His scholarly journey has been marked by a steadfast commitment to examining the impact of social media on democracy in Africa, with a particular emphasis on Zimbabwe. Currently, he serves as a postdoctoral fellow within the Department of Journalism at Stellenbosch University. In this role, Meli’s research delves into the multifaceted realm of disinformation, exploring its profound effects on journalism and the erosion of trust in media. His work is especially focused on uncovering innovative strategies within investigative journalism that can effectively combat disinformation in diverse African contexts.

At the film school AFDA, he assumes the role of an instructor, imparting valuable knowledge on research methods that seamlessly intersect with the dynamic world of film production. He shares his expertise as a research consultant for Internews, contributing to initiatives that advance our understanding of media dynamics and digital freedom. Among his notable achievements, Meli has authored a UNESCO handbook that serves as an invaluable community media directory. This resource is instrumental in the planning and execution of advertising, distribution, and marketing strategies for community media outlets across the southern African region.

Research interests:
Disinformation and journalism, investigative journalism and countering disinformation, social media, and democracy in Africa

Ajibola Amzat

Ajibola is currently the Africa editor for the Center for Collaborative Investigative Journalism (CCIJ)

Short bio

Ajibola previously worked for The Guardian newspaper, the flagship of Nigerian print journalism, and the   International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) in Abuja. Amzat is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism in New York, United States, Rhodes University, South Africa, and the University of Lagos, Nigeria.