The Wits Radio Academy is a new centre of training, research and public engagement in the field of radio. Based at the University of the Witwatersrand, the academy aims to make a special contribution to the development of radio in South Africa and beyond, with a particular focus on community radio.
The academy is based in the Kagiso Media Training Centre, which it shares with the university’s campus station, Voice of Wits 90.5. On the edge of campus, and in the heart of Braamfontein, the centre is within easy reach of the major radio and other media groups that have made Johannesburg the country’s – possibly the continent’s – media capital.
The academy and station are institutionally separate, but work closely together: the station speaks to the campus and the surrounding areas, wh
ile the academy works with, through and alongside the station to offer training and other services to the broader industry.
Teaching focuses on thoughtful engagement with ideas and issues, while also emphasising the practical skills that practitioners need. Student volunteers, some of whom are on the Wits journalism programme, produce news bulletins for the campus station, and some later move into internships with major radio stations – a first step into a career.
Short-term courses are also designed to include practical work through the station and with other partner stations. Internships in other fields are also available.
The academy aims to serve all sectors of the radio industry: community, commercial and public. Although it grew out of the journalism programme, it offers courses in all fields, from marketing to management, presentation to programming.
Based at Wits, the academy is well placed to bring the intellectual resources of one of the country’s pre-eminent universities to bear on the challenges and opportunities facing radio in the 21st Century. In concrete terms, this means researching areas like the factors affecting the provision of news on local radio, or the ways in which radio stations are – and can – use the Internet.
The academy finds innovative ways of making this research available to the industry and broader public.
The academy has an advisory panel, consisting of eminent people from a range of sectors of the industry.
The Wits Radio Academy is active in a number of areas. We offer
- The Advanced Radio Certificate, a one-year programme, offered in two-week modules, aimed at people with experience in radio, particularly community radio. Click here for further details.
- Honours and masters degrees specialising in radio, offered full or part time. Click here for further details.
- The academy is building a research focus, focusing on the challenges and opportunities facing radio in the 21st Century. More details under the Media Observatory.
- We also host an annual international conference, Joburg Radio Days, held in early July every year. Click here for further details.
- Community radio support: The academy has developed the Health Check tool to establish the health of community radio stations and offers support through its Station Advisory and Mentoring Service.
- The academy’s Programming Hothouse develops and produces innovative radio programmes in a range of areas, for broadcast on VoW 90.5, online and through partner stations. Click here for further details.
Find us on the 9th floor of University Corner, on the corner of Jan Smuts and Jorissen Streets in Braamfontein.