ITWeb - a training ground for new media students

Guy Martin and Kathryn McConnachie, third-year journalism students at the Rhodes School of Journalism and Media Studies, are the winners of the ITWeb Journalism Bursary for 2010.

Guy Martin and Kathryn McConnachie, winners of the ITWeb Journalism Bursary for 2010
ITWeb, the business technology media company, launched the bursary programme in 2009 to enable talented journalism students to gain experience and training in the online media environment, along with fully paid-up fourth year tuition fees.

Last year's winners have worked full-time for ITWeb since January - Tallulah Habib in the team of ITWeb's social media site, My Digital Life, while Farzana Rasool is a news journalist for ITWeb's main news portal.

The 2010 winners will intern at ITWeb during their final-year vacation. Upon completion of their fourth year of studies, they'll both start a one-year employment contract at ITWeb as new media journalists.

Ranka Jovanovic, ITWeb's editorial director, says: “The media environment is at a crossroads - while the traditional media players are experimenting with charging for online content to stop the erosion of subscribers, professional online-only media players face competition from bloggers and other new entrants into the Web and mobile media space. As most newsrooms are shrinking, ITWeb believes in investing in fresh new talent that combines excellent journalism skills with clear understanding of new media trends.”

ITWeb, which posts technology news as it breaks and provides in-depth tech trends analysis and commentary, needs journalists with a keen interest in technology - both as the subject matter and as the means of dissemination of information, adds Jovanovic.

“Media companies in transition lament the paucity of new research, storytelling, social media and development skills,” says Jude Mathurine, Head of Rhodes University's New Media Lab. “However, few actively upskill current staff or invest in the next generation of journalists to transform analogue newsrooms to digital, integrated communication agencies. ITWeb sees its journalism bursary is an investment and part of a relationship with journalism education that itself needs assistance to keep pace and develop learners to lead the changes sweeping our industry.

“Our first bursary programme has already proven successful in practice as both our last years' winners are already fully functional journalists in what can be a daunting B2B tech environment. We are pleased that we have identified a new crop of talent, skill and interest in Guy and Kathryn. It's exciting to be in a position to finance their new media specialisation year of studies.”

About ITWeb
ITWeb is South Africa's leading technology-focused publisher, with media products and services that span across online, print and events.

Since its launch in 1996, ITWeb has grown from a small online pioneer to a technology-focused publishing house that dominates its sector. It employs over 100 people in Johannesburg and Cape Town, with almost 50 percent of staff in editorial functions.

ITWeb operates a daily technology news portal, publishes three print titles and a series of annual publications, hosts conferences and forums, and owns related businesses within the information technology space. It is recognised as the most trusted voice in South African IT publishing and is the first port of call for an audience that ranges from IT professionals to CEOs to tech enthusiasts.

About Rhodes School of Journalism and Media Studies
Rhodes School of Journalism and Media Studies (JMS) is internationally known for its academic programmes and wide-ranging media projects. The degrees and courses offered aim to produce thoughtful and imaginative media practitioners, and the school integrates intellectual study with the production of media.

The New Media Lab
The New Media Lab (NML) was started in 1995 to educate journalists to develop and interrogate the use of digital technologies as platforms and tools for public communication. NML offers students insight into the application of new media technologies and arms learners with intellectual skills to work in the digital media milieu.

14 Apr 2010 16:12


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