Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Emerging scholar on the rise

MOTIVATED: Sisanda Nkoala MOTIVATED: Sisanda Nkoala

Emerging scholar, Sisanda Nkoala, has been awarded an Early Career Conference grant by the Association of Commonwealth Universities to present two papers at the International Association for Media and Communications Research’s (IAMCR) 2021 conference.

The IAMCR is the preeminent worldwide professional organisation in the field of media and communication research and the theme of this year’s conference, which will be held online, is: Rethinking borders and boundaries.

Nkoala, a lecturer in the Media Department, said the first paper she will be presenting is based on her ongoing research on South African television news reports on crime and justice called “Crimes Against Children: Evaluative Language and News Reports on Sentences”.

“This study explores how South African television news reports on sentence proceedings in criminal cases involving violent acts against children and is part of my PhD study.”

The second paper will be co-presented with her colleague in the journalism programme, Dr Trust Matsilele, and looks at the impact of Covid-19 on journalism education.

Nkoala was also recently selected as one of about 62 emerging researchers to participate in a data science summer school being run by the University of Pretoria and was awarded a scholarship to participate in this summer school.

“All of this has been through a competitive process of writing an application and providing evidence as to why, as an emerging researcher, I am deserving of these opportunities based on the work I am currently doing, and a track record of publication and other scholarly engagement. “

This work includes the publication of two book chapters so far this year, with a further two outputs (journal article and book chapter) due out at the end of May.

 The two book chapters that have been published this year are titled “A Rhetorical Analysis of Televised and Digitised News Reports on Economic Matters” and “An analysis of the content, discourse and programming strategies of South African business radio shows”. The second book chapter is also co-authored with Dr Matsilele.

 The other two publications due out look at journalism education. The first, a book chapter, relates to the use of multilingualism in journalism education, and the second, a journal article, looks at how the early South African Black Press, as a multilingual resource, can be used as an instrument to decolonise journalism education.

“ Both of these studies, I believe, are important in the ongoing conversation that the institution and higher education as a whole is having around how to meaningfully transform and draw on African pedagogies to add to existing knowledge in different fields. Through them, I have been able to bring in the voices of students and get their perspectives on some ways in which this can be achieved.”

 “I am really encouraged by these opportunities because as an emerging scholar, they affirm that the work I have been doing is meaningful and makes a contribution to my field. It also inspires me to continue working diligently and collaborating with colleagues. Finally, it is because of opportunities such as the RIFTAL funding I received to run my study on multilingualism and journalism education, that I have managed to get these outputs, so I am particularly grateful to Fundani, and sincerely commend the unit for all of the work that it does to encourage innovation in teaching and learning.”

Written by Ilse Fredericks

Email: Frederickskennediji@cput.ac.za