Financial Journalism

Wits Journalism offers three courses in financial journalism. These can be taken as a certificate, at Honours or Masters level.


Finance for Communicators

Wits Journalism is pleased to offer a course in Finance for Communicators, geared to people working in government communications across all departments. It introduces participants to the workings of the economy and the language of finance and aims to provide a better understanding of the role of government in the economy in order to improve their ability to communicate economic, financial and business issues.

The course includes

  • Financial literacy, numeracy and statistics;
  • An overview of the key institutions shaping the economy;
  • Relevant terms;
  • Using the Internet to access information and data;
  • Economic and socio-economic indicators, like health, education, and unemployment.

The course is participatory and aims to equip participants with practical skills they can use.  It includes podcasts, videos and specialist presentations by representatives of key government and private sector institutions, from the Stock Exchange to the Reserve Bank.  Importantly, the course features practical writing sessions, with participants required to draft media statements using statistical data.

2-13 July 2018

Wits University

R8, 000



Introduction to Financial Journalism


This course is geared at journalists who wish to enter this field or want a better understanding of the workings of finance and the economy. The course can be thought of as financial journalism for non-financial journalists. The course material will include numeracy and financial literacy, and an overview of the key financial institutions. It will introduce the key financial terms and metrics used by working journalists, including those dealing with statistics, the economy and finance.

It will include sessions on using the Internet as a tool to access information and data. It will include news writing, with students being required to write up a number of stories using statistical, economic and financial data. The course also considers the role of the financial journalist in a modern economy and the debate between the relative roles of the public and private sectors in such an economy.

Representatives of key institutions such as the Reserve Bank, the JSE, National Treasury and StatsSA, as well as from the private sector, will be invited to address the class.

The course will be held over a two-week period between Monday, June 18, 2018 and Friday June 29, 2018, from 08h30-16h00. Introduction to financial journalism is being offered as a certificate course. The cost is R8 000.

Inquiries: Kevin Davie



Financial Journalism

This course is for any journalist who wants to conquer the language of business and finance. The course has a practical focus, students being required, for instance, to report on markets and companies in real-time. At the end of the course, journalists should understand basic principles/techniques of how to cover the economy. Areas covered include statistics, markets, companies, banking, central banking, trade and public finance.

The course has a strong emphasis on clear writing without the use of jargon. Financial journalism is offered in the first semester, on Tuesdays between 4.00 pm and 6.00 pm, from 5 February – 17 May 2018.

The coordinator is Kevin Davie (



The Story of Money

This course (13 weekly seminars over a semester) deals with at the emergence of money from the earliest settled times, to understand the basics of how economies work. The course traces the history of money and finance and including the development of modern banking. The basics of money, interest, credit, debt and indebtedness are interrogated and dissected and interrogated. The course also has a strong focus on developing writing skills.

Three participants, a prominent broadcaster, a senior editor at a leading online site and a business television presenter, sent personal notes on their reaction to the course:

“Thank you for the thought-provoking class, which I know has changed the way I see money and how I plan to report in the future.”

“Thanks. The class has been both fun and informative, and has changed the way I look at the world.”

“Really enjoyed this module. Has me rethinking everything.”

Other comments from the course evaluations include:
“The course was informative with a lot of new stuff to learn”
“We interact with money every day but have a poor understanding of what money really is and how it works.”
“Great structure to understand the history and development of writing and money.”
“Insightful take on money.”
“There was a lot of time for discussion and interaction which was valuable.”
“It was well organised with regular emails/communication about classes and what was expected.”

Topics tackled in the main required output, a 5,000-word essay, included the history of central banking in SA, a critique of the gold standard, black tax, financing costs for the poor, indebted South Africans, lobolo, student debt and stokvels.

Classes are held on Tuesdays at 4.00 pm to 6.00 pm at Wits Journalism from 16 July – 22 October 2019.  The cost is R8 000.