- The Sol Plaatje Institute (0.14 MB)
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The Sol Plaatje Institute (SPI) for Media Leadership offers a range of professional, accredited and certificated media management short courses for practising media managers from across Africa. So far, more than 2,500 participants have attended these courses since the launch of the SPI in 2002.
The Institute also designs customized courses that address a media company’s identified training needs (e.g. strategic management; management of talent in media industries; financial management for media, marketing and advertising in competitive media markets; etc.) and accredits these courses through Rhodes University.
This course focuses on recent and emerging developments in the digital media sector that have had a significant impact on the media industry in different parts of the world. We specifically explore the impact of the digital and social media on Africa’s traditional media and explore the essential concepts in managing a multi-platform media firm, especially now that increasing numbers of Africans have increased and cheaper access to high speed bandwidth.
Participants learn from the experiences of each other as they exchange views on what they do in their own media firms. Participants are also exposed to case studies of successful online and mobile strategies by newspapers and other media and we give the attendees tools to assess whether these could be adopted in their own media organizations.
The following modules are offered on this course:
Overview of the development of digital media
A brief historical overview of the digital media sets the context for the course. Current trends in Internet access and the development of broadband infrastructure across the African continent are reviewed, exploring the implications for media companies.
Digital media business models
Participants learn about different ways of generating revenue in the online environment, with a particular focus on news media. “Conversion funnels” are demonstrated as a planning and monitoring method. The revenue-generation strategies of selected online news media sites are reviewed.
Mobile media business models
Mobile access to the Internet is gaining momentum at a rapid pace, along with the availability of cheap smartphones. The mobile phone has a number of unique characteristics that pose specific challenges and create unique opportunities for media organizations. The session examines the difference between mobile applications and mobile websites and specific ways of generating revenue in the mobile environment.
Case study and group work
Participants select appropriate case studies, pool their knowledge and conduct independent research to examine how selected media companies use online and social media and how this is monetized.
Big data: collecting, using and selling data
Recent exposes have highlighted the challenges and commercial opportunities posed by wide scale data gathering and mining of massive data sets. In addition to the obvious privacy issues, “big data” opens the doors to unprecedented commercial opportunities. The session explores how media companies can collect and analyze data in cost-effective and ethical ways, enabling deep audience engagement and building communities of users.
Analytics and conversion analysis
The power of free web analytics tools is demonstrated. Participants explore how analytics can be used, for example, to understand who is accessing your online media, their demographics, what devices they are using, where your traffic comes from and what content is most popular or least popular and why.
Journalism and social media
Participants discuss the opportunities and dangers of using social media, using their own case studies and examples provided by the course facilitator. Various applications for managing a variety of social media platforms are reviewed.
Application and web development
Participants discuss the importance of placing audiences at the centre of web and software development and review the user-interfaces of selected media applications and websites. Innovative methods for managing complex projects are demonstrated in practice, with participants collaborating to develop new project ideas.
New trends in digital journalism
Examples of innovative media applications and websites are presented, exploring how new technologies enable new forms of multimedia and interactive journalism.
Useful tools for digital journalism
Examples of cutting-edge journalism using new applications and hardware are demonstrated and discussed.
Cross-media content management
Participants discuss convergence, looking at ways of producing “converged media” and various strategic models for transforming traditional media companies. Particular attention is paid to organizational culture, skills, content management systems and physical space.
Emerging trends in digital technologies
Participants explore the future of digital technology, examining emerging trends and their implications for media companies.
Legal and ethical issues in the online environment
An introduction to legal and ethical issues foregrounded by digital media, with a particular focus on intellectual property and defamation. Participants discuss how media organizations can manage legal risks in the online and social environment.
New ideas group work
Groups prepare presentations for new mobile “news and information applications” built around their market’s needs and preferences.
Sessions on this course are led by industry and academic experts. We do offer the option of running the course in-house at your organization, which eliminates the cost of travel and accommodation for participants. Please note that an in-house course will only take place if there are 16 or more participants attending the course. Participants who successfully complete the course assignment will receive a Rhodes University certificate of competence in the Essentials of Digital Media Management.
- Course participants are to settle payment 10 days before the course commences.
- Course fees in 2018 are R17,000 per participant including learning materials, daily lunches and teas.
- Accommodation and travel costs are for participants’ own accounts.
- Course sessions start at 8:30am and end at 5pm each day; tea is served from 10:30 to 10:45am and from 3.30pm to 3:45pm and lunches from 1pm to 2pm.
- Cancellations received later than 7 days before the programme commences will be liable for 50% of the fee and non-arrivals will be charged the full fee.
- For more details on all courses, please contact Nomfundo Sobukwe at email@example.com or call her on +27-46-603-8949. You could also visit the SPI's website at www.ru.ac.za/spi/ for more details on these courses and other offerings.
- The number of participants is limited. Registration will not be confirmed without payment at least 10 days before the course commences.
Please make payments by direct transfer to the Rhodes University’s Bank Account:
First National Bank
Branch code: 210717
Account code: 621 4550 3076