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Campaigns

The education and training sub-committee has been the most consistently active in Sanef, tackling long-term projects and producing some concrete outcomes. The committee first dealt with the need for closer links between educators and industry, with conferences organised by the Rhodes University Department of Journalism and Media Studies in 1997 and 1998. The conferences looked at journalism for the new South Africa. In 2000, training came to the fore again over issues of race and falling journalism standards. At the time, Sanef resolved to conduct an audit of journalism skills. This arose from a concern about the quality and standard of journalism in South Africa, and a need to establish the extent of the problem and ways of dealing with it.

The purpose of this research was to conduct a situation analysis of journalism reporting, writing and accuracy skills among reporters with between 2 and 5 years’ experience. Fieldwork (consisting of news evaluations, questionnaires and interviews) was conducted at media sites in the country.

The survey aimed to obtain an accurate insight into what skills; training and the content thereof were included within journalism qualifications offered by South African training providers and private companies who offer in-house training. Juniorisation of the journalistic skills base was one of the key findings at the time.

Setting policy

Sanef’s 2000 annual general meeting initiated skills audits of working journalists and adopted this policy:

  • The purpose of education and training must be the improvement of journalism
  • Ongoing training is the right of every journalist
  • Training is a continuous process that should occur throughout a journalist’s career. It should not be seen as only for junior journalists or as being demeaning
  • Media training does not involve just technical or skills training, but should incorporate social/ethical/political components and be holistic

Unit Standards & National Diploma in Journalism NQFLevel 5

Sanef was active in lobbying to have the first Unit Standards in Journalism gazetted in 2003.

Sanef kept a close watch as the country set up a national qualifications framework (NQF), the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), national standards bodies, sector education and training authorities (Setas), standards-generating bodies (SGBs), the Print Media Advisory Committee, which became the Print Media Chamber, and the Film and Electronic Media Advisory Committee. In the process, Sanef influenced how journalism was represented in policy and on a practical level. For more information about Unit Standards and the Diploma in Sub-Editing and the Certificate in Practical Reporting, please vist the MAPPP-Seta website

Skills audits

Sanef conducted two national audits of journalism skills aimed at understanding where skills gaps existed.

Phase One, related to reporters, was completed in May 2002. In September that year, a follow up National Skills Indaba was held in Stellenbosch. This was aimed at developing training initiatives in response to skills deficits identified in Phase One of the audit.

Phase Two of the skills audit, relating to first-line news managers, was completed in May 2005. Documents relating to both skills audits can be read or downloaded in the publications section.

Sanef has published a number of training guides, which can be read and downloaded in the publications section.

Further, Sanef has collated a comprehensive list of large South African tertiary education institutions offering journalism courses as well as in-house cadet programmes offered by some media houses. Sanef does not offer bursaries or scholarships. The list is not an endorsement of any institution, but a tool to assist people interested in a career in the media.

The Media Management Certificate

The Media Management Certificate was offered for the first time in South Africa in 2014. Frayintermedia conceived and coordinated the programme on behalf of Wits Journalism and initiators Print and Digital Media South Africa (PDMSA), Sanef and the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).

The aim was to propel women in media to top leadership positions in the industry and, as such, it is offered exclusively to women participants.

Current projects

The FP&M Seta has signed a memorandum of agreement with SANEF with the aim to develop an occupational journalism NQF level 5 certificate. The role players in the development of the new certificate include: The Quality Council for Trades Occupations (QCTO) as the Quality Assuring Body; the Fiber Processing and Manufacturing (FP&M) Seta as the Assessment Quality Partner (AQP); and the Media Information and Communication Technologies (MICT) SETA is the Development Quality Partner (DQP). This also includes consultation from industry subject matter experts.

The FP&M Seta’s role is overseeing the development of assessment instruments and managing external integrated summative assessments of qualifications in the sector in which print media falls, Sanef was identified as the ideal AQP partner to see through the development, EISA and learning materials for the new qualification. The project has been divided in three implementation phases each with specific and defined milestones. The project phases include:

Phase 1: Development of Occupational Qualifications and Trades.
Phase 2: Development of External Integrated Summative Assessments (EISA) and data bank of assessment questions and model answers
Phase 3: Development of Learning Material to standardise across the sub-sector

The Sanef regional coordinators will be linking up with the Press Council to assist with training of the press code in newsrooms in the country.

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