Job Details

  • Reference number: IRC85541
  • Province: Gauteng
  • Type of engagement: Permanent appointment
  • Posted: August 9th

Background to Position

Wits Journalism has established itself as a leader in professionally-orientated journalism teaching, research and public engagement, with activities that include post-graduate teaching for both aspirant and working journalists; research; hosting conferences, grant and award schemes; support for investigative, community and other journalism as well as media innovators.  Programmes include the Wits Justice Project, the Africa-China Reporting Project; the Wits Radio Academy; the Citizen Justice Network and Jamlab. The centre’s vision for further growth includes plans to grow

• academic research,

• its footprint on the rest of the continent and

• a focus on digital media and innovation

Brief Description                             

The newly established Wits Centre for Journalism is looking to appoint a Director to take overall responsibility for implementing its strategy and vision. This means taking responsibility for building the centre’s academic project, as well as overseeing the programme and administrative work to ensure the continued relevance and leadership of the centre, previously the Department of Journalism, in the fast-changing media and journalism environment. The director answers to the Head of the School of Literature, Language and Media. We are looking for an individual with both academic and professional stature who is able to share and develop the vision for the centre and lead a diverse, active team.  The appointment will be for an initial 5-year period that may be renewed.

*The University is committed to employment equity. Preference may be given to appointable applicants from the under-represented designated groups in terms of the relevant employment equity plans and policies of the University. Designated groups as defined in the Employment Equity Act 55 of 1998, as amended, means black people, women and people with disabilities.

Job Description

  • Develop and implement the Wits Centre for Journalism’s strategic vision, ensuring it is innovative and responsive to a rapidly evolving academic and professional environment;
  • Lead the academic project, overseeing the centre’s teaching offerings and research activities;
  • Guide the development of the centre’s programmatic work, working with the Head of Programmes;
  • Engage in teaching, research and advocacy in the field of journalism;
  • Represent the centre in a range of public and other contexts and maintain sound relationships with a range of stakeholders;
  • Lead and direct fundraising efforts and ensure good donor relationships;
  • Provide financial oversight, working with university structures to ensure sound practices, accountability and compliance with university policy, working with the Head of Operations;
  • Manage the centre’s staff, both full-time and part-time, working with the Head of Operations and section co-ordinators.

Inherent Criteria

  • Applicants should hold a PhD, and have a record of peer-reviewed research work commensurate with the seniority of the position (preferred) or be able to show equivalent professional output and publication. The formal academic rank for the individual who is eventually selected for the position shall be determined by the university in accordance with its rules and policies;
  • A strong professional profile and significant experience, including at least 5 years in practical journalism and experience at senior newsroom levels;
  • S/he must show a track record of leadership and innovation and the ability to develop and implement the centre’s vision;
  • The successful applicant will have an excellent understanding of the unfolding media and journalism environment;
  • Applicants should have teaching experience;
  • S/he must have managerial competence. Experience in raising funds and managing donor relationships, the ability to represent the centre in multiple forums and experience in developing networks, collaborations and partnerships;
  • Flexibility, adaptability, people skills, organised, attention to detail, enthusiasm, ability to innovate

Application Requirement

  • Letter of motivation
  • A detailed CV and the names and contact details of three referees (including e-mail addresses).
  • Applicants must clearly specify on the application form at what level they wish to be appointed.
  • Internal employees are invited to apply directly on Oracle by following the path: iWits  Self Service application Apply for a job

  • External applicants are invited to apply by registering a profile on the Wits ‘irecruitment’ platform located at and submitting the application.

Enquiries Only: Professor Dan Ojwang (e-mail:

About University of the Witwatersrand

The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, is a multi-campus South African public research university situated in the northern areas of central Johannesburg. It is more commonly known as Wits University or Wits.