PhD candidates (2022)
Lesley Lehlohonolo Mofokeng
Research title: Reimagining Sol Plaatje: Investigating the contribution of the pioneering newspaperman to the history of journalism in South Africa.
Research description: The study seeks to locate Sol Plaatje in the history of journalism in South Africa. It investigates his forms of journalism, his role in the creation of publics and how African nationalist thought influenced the trajectory of his journalism.
Research title: A study of journalistic practice and news construction at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)
Research description: The study explores the construction of news and journalism practice at the South Africa Broadcasting Cooperation (SABC). In particular, the study examines the institutional processes and values involved in selecting what is included or excluded in the SABC news broadcasts from a Public Service Broadcasting (PSB) point of view.
Research Title: Using ‘digital diplomacy’ to achieve foreign policy goals: case studies of Kenya, Australia, and the United States
Research description: ‘Digital diplomacy’ is a relatively new concept, which could be traced to the early 21st century. This project aims to fill existing research gaps by conducting an examination of how countries utilise ‘digital diplomacy’ to achieve their foreign policy goals through social media. It utilises three country case studies: Kenya as a small power, Australia as a middle power and the US as a great power. This project examines how these countries utilise the affordances of social media, specifically Twitter, to gain tactical and strategic advantages in international relations. The case studies were deliberately chosen to represent countries with a different status in the international system, to analyse whether ‘digital diplomacy’ helps to level the playing field between those with few and many resources.
Research title: Wading through the embers of a smouldering newsroom: Has the pursuit of commercial and political interests damaged The Star, one of South Africa’s pre-eminent newspapers?
Research description: The research examines whether, and to what extent, the pursuit of political and commercial interests since the takeover of The Star by Sekunjalo Investment Media has contributed to the downfall of one South Africa’s preeminent newspapers.