This years presenters and speakers include:

Iman Rappetti – Master of Ceremonies Senior news anchor eNCA and host of Power 98.7 talk show #POWERTalk

Sisonke Msimang – Keynote Writer and Columnist

Fran Unsworth – Keynote Director of the World Service Group, BBC

Dinesh Balliah Lecturer, Digital and Social Media, Wits University Deputy Public Advocate, South African Press Council

Vinayak Bhardwaj – Africa Check

Nechama Brodie – Head: Training, Research & Information, Africa Check

Wallace Chuma – Lecturer, Center for Film and Media Studies, University of Cape Town

Hannah Clifford – Program Manager, Journalists for Human Rights

Tim Cohen Editor – Business Day

Paula Fray – Deputy Ombudsman, online media, Press Council Managing Director, frayintermedia

Laura Grant – Independent media consultant

Ferial Haffajee – Business News Publisher, Bloomberg

Cornelis Jacobs – Consultant, Co-Founder of Storytegic

Lester Kiewit – Parliamentary Correspondent, eNCA

Thuto Gaasenwe Lesedi –  Poet

Yavi Madurai – Managing Director, Black Box Theory

Mia Malan – Editor, Health, Mail and Guardian Founding Director, Bhekisisa, Mail & Guardian Health Journalism Centre

Asmaa Malik – Ryerson University

Mapi Mhlangu – News Head, eNCA

Dario Milo – Law Partner, Webber Wentzel

Reggy Moalusi  – Editor-in-chief, The Daily Sun and The Sunday Sun

Palesa Morudu – Managing Director, Cover2Cover Books Director, Clarity Editorial Columnist, Business Day.

Akin Omotoso – Filmmaker

Tanya Pampalone – Independent editor and writer

Khadijia Patel – Executive Editor, The Daily Vox

Pontsho Pilane – Reporter, Mail & Guardian

Verashni Pillay – Editor-in Chief, Mail & Guardian

Krivani Pillay  – Executive Producer – SAfm Current Affairs, SABC News

Micah Reddy – Right 2 Know

Julie Reid – Researcher, Department of Communication Science, University of South Africa (UNISA)

Seamus Reynolds – Director of Operations, Menell Media Exchange, Acting Managing Director, eAcademy Managing Editor, eNCA

Quaz Roodt – Poetry and Creative writing Facilitator, University of Johannesburg/Likwid Tongue

Amy Selwyn – Co-Founder of Storytegic Consultant, Menell Media Exchange

Kwanele Sosibo – Mail & Guardian

Joe Thloloe – Executive Director, Press Council of South Africa


Dinesh Balliah

Deputy Pubic Advocate, South African Press Council and Digital and Social Media Lecturer,  University of the Witwatersrand

Dinesh Balliah is a digital and social media lecturer in the Department of Journalism at the University of the Witwatersrand. She is also the deputy public advocate for the South African Press Council and handles complaints related to online members of the council. Dinesh is currently studying towards a doctorate in journalism and media studies.

Twitter: @DineshBalliah

Vinayak Bhardwaj

Vinayak is a researcher at Africa Check. He is also a volunteer member of the Right2Know Campaign. Previously he worked as programme manager of Open Society Foundation for South Africa on freedom of information and expression.

Nechama Brodie

Head of Training, Research & Information, Africa Check

Nechama Brodie is a veteran journalist, best-selling author, and the head of training and research at Africa’s only independent fact-checking organisation, Africa Check.

Twitter: @africacheck

Wallace Chuma

Senior lecturer, Centre for Film and Media Studies, University of Cape Town

Wallace Chuma is senior lecturer in the Centre for Film and Media Studies, University of Cape Town. He holds a PhD from the University of the Witwatersrand, and degrees in English and Communication Studies from the University of Zimbabwe.

Dr. Chuma is a former journalist and editor in Zimbabwe, and spent time at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, in Pennsylvania in the United States, as Alfred Friendly Press Fellow. He co-edited Media Policy in a Changing Southern Africa, and authored several peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters. He also regularly writes for The Media magazine (South Africa), African Agenda (Ghana) and Mandag Morgen (Norway).

Chuma is also former Vice Chairperson of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe Chapter, and currently sits on the board of The Media Centre (Zimbabwe). In 2015, he spent time at Harvard University as a Mellon Mandela Fellow, at the institution’s Hutchins Centre.  Chuma’s research covers media policy and regulation, political communication, media framing and political economy of the African media.


Hannah Clifford

Journalists for Human Rights

Hannah Clifford is a Program Manager with Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) – Canada’s leading media development organization. She works collaboratively on the Indigenous Reporters Program, based in Canada, while also managing JHR’s upcoming project in South Africa focusing on entrepreneurial journalism. Her background is in international development and cross cultural programming, working primarily in the Upper East Region of Ghana before coming to JHB.


Tim Cohen

Editor, Business Day

Tim began his journalism career on Dome newspaper, the official student newspaper of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, whose production schedule was largely dependent on the availability of beer. He graduated to the last outpost, The Natal Witness, which was fuelled by tea, but was subsequently lured to the coffee-infused domain of Business Day. At Business Day, he was political correspondent, finance editor, London correspondent and editor at large, among a variety of other posts. It was probably the coffee. In 2013 he became editor of the Financial Mail. He became editor of Business Day in March 2016.

Twitter: @tim_cohen


Paula Fray

Deputy Ombudsman, South African Press Council and Managing Director, Frayintermedia

Paula Fray has worked in media for more than three decades as a journalist, editor, trainer and media manager. She is currently the managing director of the pan-African media training organisation, Frayintermedia which she founded in 2005. The organisation has trained journalists, media leaders, civil society organisations, government officials and corporate leaders during its decade-long existence.

The immediate past-regional director for Inter Press Service Africa, Fray has a strategic focus on deepening media skills with programmes ranging from specialist reporting, investigative journalism to newsroom and media leadership.

Frayintermedia’s training ranges from the highly-regarded Narrative Journalism Conference in South Africa, to long-term training programmes focusing on raising women’s profiles in critical media coverage such as health and agriculture, to annual fellowships and short, targeted skills workshops.

She has wide-ranging consultancy and project management experience for corporate, government and non-government organisations. She has served as a mentor for organisations such as e-Health and the Media Development and Diversity Agency. She mentors Aspen Leadership Fellows and women leaders on behalf of the African Womend’s Development Fund. Paula is also a trustee of Media Monitoring Africa and served on the board of Brand South Africa until March 2016.

Fray graduated with a BJourn degree from Rhodes University and has a Woman and Law Certificate from UNISA. A recipient of the prestigious Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University, she served on the Nieman Foundation Advisory Board from 2009 – 2013. In 2015, Print and Digital Media South Africa made her a Print and Digital Media Fellow in recognition of her contribution to the print and digital industry.

Twitter: @paulafray


Laura Grant

Independent media consultant

Laura Grant is an independent data journalist who isn’t scared of spreadsheets and loves experimenting with ways to tell stories. She used to be associate editor of digital and data projects at the Mail & Guardian, where she wrote data-driven stories, made interactive visualisations and infographics, and experimented with digital story-telling tools. She also designed the M&G’s ipad edition.

Twitter: @LauraJGrant


Cornelis Jacobs

Consultant, Co-Founder of Storytegic

Cornelis has worked in/with social media and marketing for most of his professional career. He sees it as a healthy obsession. He is an entrepreneur at heart. Most people will describe him as having an entrepreneurial spirit that translates into a “can-do” attitude. This attitude has led Cornelis to join Storytegic after several years spent working in first the legal services and then the software industries, and also in broadcast media. To our clients Cornelis brings experience from his work with social networks, Internet start-ups, bigger marketing departments and from the design world. Cornelis is the Design Director for News Xchange.

Twitter: @cornelisjacobs


Lester Kiewit

Parliamentary Correspondent, eNCA

Lester has been with the channel since 2008 covering everything from local and national elections, gang war, to riding rollercoasters for news reports. After graduating from the Cape Town’s Peninsula Tech, Lester joined 567 CapeTalk’s Eyewitness News team. After four years he joined the eNCA team in Cape Town.

He’s covered major South African stories like the death and funeral of former President Nelson Mandela, the visit to South Africa by US President Barack Obama, and in recent times the Fees Must Fall Protest by students throughout the country. Even though Lester is a serious news man, his sense of humour and sharp wit often lightens even the gloomiest of constitutional crises which in South Africa is almost every week.

Twitter: @LesterKK


Thuto-Lesedi Gaasenwe


Thuto-Lesedi Gaasenwe is a upcoming artist from a small town called Mafikeng in the North West Province. The 18-year old started acting when she was 10, taking the leading role of Cinderella in her school play. In 2009, she joined the Mmabana Sports and Arts & Culture Foundation where she studied drama. Since then, she has since been in a number of productions and participated in Arts Festivals.

Her love for poetry began early. She has been part of the annual National Zwakala Festival at the Market Theatre, where she began performing in a production that she co-wrote. Later she performed at school events, festivals and local poetry sessions.

In 2015, during the Fees Must Fall protests, she wrote a poem called “Dear Mr President” which is a heart felt plea that not only touched hearts but sparked controversy as well; that poem reached almost 300k views on Facebook and over 80k views on Youtube and landed her numerous interviews including one on East Coast Radio and an article by the eNCA.

Thuto is now doing her first year studying civil engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand. She has recently released a new video titled “Chronicles of the Girl”. She believes in breaking barriers which is what she intends to do with her passion for the arts and love for structures.

Twitter: @_ThutoVEN


Bongani Madondo


Bongani Madondo is a non-fiction writer, biographer and amateur film-maker. He spends time in Johannesburg, Cape Town and the Eastern Cape. His books include Hot Type: Artists, Icons & God-Figurines (2007) and I’m Not Your Weekend Special: Portraits on the Life+Style & Politics of Brenda Fassie (2014) and Sigh the Beloved Country: Braai Talk, Rock-n-Roll and other Stories (2016). Madondo has contributed monographs and lectures on the politics of style, film and rock & roll at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, and at Haus Kulturen der Welt in Berlin. His work has appeared in publications such as The New York Times, Transition, Internazaionale, Sunday Times Lifestyle, Rolling Stone, Noted, Man, True Love, Readers Digest, Marie Claire and Elle.

Twitter: @bonganimadondo


Yavi Madurai

Managing Director, Black Box Theory

Yavi Madurai connects with over a million people through social media each month, and has trained and lectured to over 5000 people in her 12 years of Social Media experience.

She is a global keynote speaker, trainer, blogger and consultant in Digital Marketing and Social Media for both South African and global organisations. She is the Founder and MD of Black Box Theory, a South African based consultancy, specialising in ‘Digital strategies for a digital world’.

Yavi has over 21 years Marketing and Communications experience, almost 15 years in Digital Marketing, and 12 years of Social Media experience. She has personally assisted multinationals, large SA corporates and countless others to understand and drive their Online Reputation Management and how to maximise the benefits of Social Media that does not conform to the rules of traditional marketing and advertising. She is probably known best as ‘the Media’s’ Social Media expert, by being a regular contributor for eNCA, SABC Africa, and PowerFM, to name a few.

As the lead Digital Strategist for her company Black Box Theory (or BBT), she has led projects for online marketing programs in Social Media marketing strategies, Online PR, Web Design, Web Development, Search Engine Optimisation, Pay per Click Advertising and Online Marketing Campaigns for B2B and B2C global multinationals, corporates, professional small to medium size businesses, media houses, and advertising agencies alike.

In her technical professional capacity, Yavi operates as a Management Consultant specialising in this field, which obviously sets her apart from other Digital and Social Media experts, because she looks at Social Media as a strategic organisational imperative. From a personal perspective, she is passionate about Social Media, and sees herself as an advocate, because she believes that it is the game changing industry for the future of business in decades to come, because it represents the authentic voice of the people – the customers buying products and services. Her favourite saying is “for years we have said that ‘the customer is king, with Social Media, the customer finally wears the crown”. She is also a coach and mentor to many executives in their respective fields, and also consults in the area of Online Personal Branding for C-levels and Directors for over 5 years. Through her own developed model, the BBT Tetrad, she has helped global executives build, grow and protect strong online reputations for both their own brands and those they are custodians of.

Twitter: @YaviMad & @BBT_ZA

Mia Malan

Director, Bhekisisa, the Mail & Guardian’s Health Journalism Centre


Mia Malan is the founding director of Bhekisisa, the Mail & Guardian’s health journalism centre and the M&G’s health editor. Prior to starting up Bhekisisa in January 2013, Mia was a Knight Health Journalism Fellow in South Africa.

Mia began her journalism career at the SBC, where she worked as a radio and television health correspondent. She later established the first health journalism programme of the international media development organisation, Internews Network, in Kenya, which she ran for three and a half years before moving to the Internews head office in Washington, DC, where she served as a senior health journalism advisor. During this period, she helped to implement the training curricula she developed in Kenya in several other countries, including Nigeria, Ethiopia, India, Haiti and Thailand.

Mia has won numerous awards for her work, including the Standard Bank Sikuvile Newspaper Journalist of the Year in 2015, the Discovery Health Journalist of the Year award in 2013 and 2016.

Mia has a master’s degree in science journalism from the University of Stellenbosch and taught health journalism in the journalism and media studies department at Rhodes University in Grahamstown. She was a Reuters Foundation Medical Journalism Fellow at Oxford University in 2001.

Twitter: @miamalan

Asmaa Malik


Mapi Mhlangu

News Director, eNCA

Mapi is currently a head of the country’s most watched 24-hour news channel, eNCA and a Bloomberg Ali Media Fellow.

Her life is lived between the world of her childhood in KwaZulu-Natal – a world of close family which operates almost entirely in isiZulu and is centred on family life – and the adult world of business in Johannesburg, a melting pot of languages and people, ways of being and ways of thinking, where people of her generation are trying to build the future of South Africa. Decisions she makes have consequences in both the public spaces and her private life. She is accountable to herself, her colleagues but most importantly she is responsible to the core values of journalism: truth, accuracy, and accountability.

Her career in journalism began in 1998 when the then SABC KwaZulu-Natal Assignment Editor, Ami Nanackchand, dared her to stop being an armchair critic, and to start reporting. She had joined the SABC the year before as a technical intern, after completing her national diploma at Natal Technikon, now the Durban University of Technology in theatre technology and broadcast media.

As a television reporter, she covered the violent political conflict that wracked Richmond in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, interviewing self-confessed warlord and former ANC politician Sifiso Nkabinde. She also followed former President Thabo Mbeki’s election campaign in the same province in 1999.

Three years later she relocated to Johannesburg to work as a senior producer for SAfm. In 2008 she left the SABC and became part of the team that launched CNBC Africa in Johannesburg. She joined eNCA in 2010, and in 2013 she was appointed as channel cirector for eNCA.

Twitter: @NgiphiweMhlangu


Dario Milo

Partner, Webber Wentzel

Dario Milo is a partner in the Dispute Resolution Practice at Webber Wentzel where he leads a team that focuses on corporate and tax dispute resolution, auditing and accounting regulatory work, and media and information law.

Dario is also a qualified solicitor of the High Court of England and Wales and a visiting associate professor at the University of the Witwatersrand where he teaches media law, access to information law and privacy law. He is also the author of Defamation and Freedom of Speech, published by Oxford University Press and A Practical Guide to Media Law, published by Lexis-Nexis.

His expertise has been recognised by various international research organisations including Chambers Global (Media & Broadcasting), Legal 500 (Dispute Resolution) and Who’s Who Legal (Technology, Media & Telecommunications, Regulatory Communications).

He has acted for the media in numerous high profile cases, including the defamation case brought by President Jacob Zuma against the cartoonist Zapiro, and has been lead attorney in many of the media freedom cases decided by the South African courts. Dario frequently appears for clients in Parliament, the BCCSA, the Films and Publications Board, ICASA and the ASA. Dario has B.Com, LLB and LLM degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand. He also has LLM and PhD degrees from University College London.

Twitter: @Dariomilo


Reggy Moalusi

Editor-in-chief, Daily Sun and Sunday Sun

Reggy is the editor-in-chief of both the Daily Sun and Sunday Sun in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Daily Sun is South Africa’s biggest daily newspaper and the Sunday Sun is the leading celebrity tabloid newspaper.

Reggy started his journalism career in 2002 as a trainee journalist at the Mail & Guardian.  After completing this internship, he joined the Sunday World as a reporter, where he was nominated as a best consumer journalist of the year and was later named by the Trade and Industry Department as the best Young and Upcoming Journalist in consumer and business reporting.

On leaving the Sunday World, Reggy joined the now defunct Nova as a general reporter.

When Nova closed in 2006, he was transferred to the Daily Sun where he reported on politics, current affairs and general news. He has since held several positions within the Daily Sun, these include night news editor, news editor, senior assistant editor and acting editor.

He has a BA Honours in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of the Witwatersrand and other certificate qualifications from Stellenbosch University and the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark.

Twitter: @rmoalusi


Palesa Morudu

Palesa Morudu is managing director of Cover2Cover Books, director at Clarity Editorial, and a columnist at Business Day.

Twitter: @palesamorudu


Sisonke Msimang: Keynote Speaker


Sisonke Msimang is a writer whose work focuses on gender, race and democracy.  In addition to writing a regular column for the Daily Maverick, Sisonke’s work has appeared in the New York Times, Newsweek, the Guardian, The Huffington Post and the Christian Science Monitor; she has been quoted and cited by the BBC, Al Jezeera and a range of other news outlets.  Sisonke was a Yale World Fellow in 2012, an Aspen Institute New Voices Fellow in 2014, and a Ruth First Fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2015.  She is the editor of a forthcoming anthology on gender and sexuality in Africa, and has just completed a book on identity and belonging.

Twitter: @sisonkemsimang


Akin Omotoso

Akin Omotoso studied drama at the University of Cape Town. He won the Standard Bank Young Artist Of The Year in 2007. Television work includes directed on A Place Called Home (for which he won Best Director at The South African Film and Television Awards). Akin has produced and directed four feature films including God Is African and the award winning Man On Ground (official selection to Toronto and Berlin and AMVCA Best Director). His new film is the box office hit romantic comedy Tell Me Sweet Something. He is currently in post production on his next film, Vaya.

Twitter: @PunchNCream


Alastair Otter

Head of Editorial Innovation, Independent Media’s IOL

Alastair Otter is part hack, part hacker. As a journalist he has worked for a range of publications both in print and online, including The Star, MyBroadband and Business Report. He was previously the editor of Independent Media’s IOL and is now head of editorial innovation. As a hacker Alastair works with a range of tools including the likes of D3.js and Angular.js to create visualisations out of large datasets.

Tanya Pampalone

Writer and Visiting Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand

Tanya Pampalone is a contributing writer for US News & World Report and edits non-fiction for Pan Macmillan South Africa. She is also currently teaching creative non-fiction and digital story-telling at the University of the Witwatersrand, as well as editing various media projects including a series with Africa Check and an oral story-telling project with the African Centre for Migration and Society.

Tanya was previously head of audience development and strategic partnerships for The Conversation Africa, the executive editor of the Mail & Guardian, where she oversaw longform journalism as well as select series and special editions, and was the managing editor of Maverick and Empire magazines before they evolved into the Daily Maverick. From 2011 to 2014, Tanya lectured on media ethics and editorial independence at the Sol Plaatjie Institute at Rhodes University in Grahamstown. In 2012, she won South Africa’s top journalism award, the Sikuvile, for creative writing and was a finalist in the feature writing category. In 2013, she was selected as the Menell Media Fellow at Duke University and, in 2016, was a judge for the Bookmarks. She holds a BA in journalism and a MFA in writing from the University of San Francisco.

Khadijia Patel

Executive Editor, The Daily Vox

Khadija Patel is a co-founder of The Daily Vox and an executive editor of the project. She previously worked at The Daily Maverick for three years, and before that published a community magazine that was distributed nationally. Khadija has been published by Al Jazeera, The Guardian and Quartz. At the Daily Maverick, Khadija was the chief foreign affairs writer. Barack Obama described Khadija as “fearless journalist” during his visit to South Africa in 2012. Since 2015, Khadija has been a research associate with WISER (Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Witwatersrand) and is currently completing her first book.

Twitter: @khadijapatel


Pontsho Pilane

Reporter, Mail & Guardian

Pontsho is a news journalist at the Mail & Guardian. She debuted as a journalist at The Daily Vox, where she primarily wrote about gender and race. She is part of Feminist Stokvel, a group of six women who have come together with the aim of addressing the many social issues that uniquely face black women in South Africa, especially those that speak to how black women are represented in our public imagination. She holds two degrees in Media Studies from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Twitter: @Pontsho_Pilane


Verashni Pillay

Editor-in-Chief, Mail & Guardian

Verashni Pillay is the editor-in chief of the Mail & Guardian, South Africa’s premier independent investigative publication. She has worked at various periods as a senior reporter, covering politics and general news. She also specialises in media management and relishes the task of putting together the right team to create compelling and principled journalism across multiple platforms. She led the online editorial team of the Mail & Guardian from November 2009 till September 2013, and has consulted in digital journalism and social media management. She loves innovative story-telling, the likes of which won her the inaugural CNN African Journalism digital award in 2012 among others. She wrote a popular weekly column from 2010 – 2015. Other interests include issues of race, gender and faith in South Africa.

Twitter: @verashni

Krivani Pillay

Executive Producer, SAfm Current Affairs, SABC News

Krivani (better known as Kriv) Pillay is an award-winning, journalist with 15 years of news broadcasting under her belt. At the age of 16, Krivani met former President Nelson Mandela at the United Nations in New York. Madiba read an essay she had written and encouraged her to pursue a career in journalism. That was a life changing moment for Krivani and she hasn’t looked back.

Krivani completed a bachelor of journalism at Rhodes University in 2000 and has a diploma in European Journalism and Literature at Hogeskool van Utrecht in the Netherlands. Krivani was part of a Fulbright scholarship to the US in the 2001 and in 2006 was awarded a diploma in advanced broadcasting at the prestigious Thomson Foundation at Cardiff University in Wales where she completed her practical component at BBC in Bristol. She is currently awaiting results of her aster’s degree from Rhodes University.

Krivani’s newsroom journey started in 1999 where she completed an internship with Special Assignment. After graduating, she moved to the SABC in KwaZulu-Natal where she worked as a field reporter, current affairs producer and anchor on Lotus FM. She was then head hunted to host SAfm’s PM Live show for five years before moving to the station’s Midday Live show, which she not only presented but also produced.

In 2005 Krivani was the recipient of the Vodacom Journalist of the year award, in the category of Editor’s Choice.  In 2011 Krivani won the Vodacom Journalist Award for a Radio Feature (North/South Region).

In June 2012 she joined Highveld Stereo as the morning desk editor and anchor for Eyewitness News on the Breakfast Express, and 13 months later she moved to E-news Channel Africa (eNCA), starting off as a senior sub editor and rising to news editor. In February 2015, Krivani re-joined the SAfm team. This time she takes up the position of executive producer.

Twitter: @krivpillay


Iman Rappetti: Master of Ceremonies

Senior news anchor, eNCA, and host of Power 98.7 talk show #POWERTalk

Iman has spent many years as a journalist covering stories all the way from Mashad in Iran, to Marikana, South Africa. She has worked for the SABC, Business Day, Talk Radio 702. Iman is happiest when telling stories that reveal both the hardships and triumphs of communities around South Africa. She enjoys having real and frank discussions about what needs to be done to take the country forward. She is also unflinchingly focused on holding power to account, whether it’s a mining boss that’s failed on a commitment to develop local communities, or a politician who talks a good game but who leaves their constituents behind. She has interacted with celebrities, senior politicians and though leaders, including Richard Branson, Oprah, Jacob Zuma, Thabo Mbeki and Michelle Obama but insists that it is always the conversations with communities at the coal face of suffering that are the most powerful and provocative. Those are the interactions that keep her head and heart focused on the job of activist journalism.

Twitter: @imanrappetti


Julie Reid

Academic, University of South Africa Department of Communication Science

Based at the Department of Communication Science at the University of South Africa (UNISA) and specialising in media studies, Reid’s research interests include semiotics, visual culture, and the topics of media and communications policy and regulation. She is a project leader for the Media Policy and Democracy Project – an inter-university collaborative research initiative aimed at promoting participatory media policy-making in the public interest. Reid is a long-time activist for media freedom and communications rights, and sits on the Media Freedom and Diversity sub-committee of the Right2Know Campaign.

From 2013 to 2015 she served as the president of the South African Communication Association, and currently heads its focus group on communications advocacy and activism. Reid has published widely on the topics of semiotics, visual studies and media regulation, and writes opinion pieces for various newspapers, magazines and online news media, mostly on media politics and issues of communications rights in South Africa.

She is the editor and co-author of the book Looking at Media: An Introduction to Visual Atudies (Pearson, 2013). Reid has spoken on several global platforms, and taken part in various international research projects, including for UNESCO, within the fields of media freedom, and media policy and regulation.

In both 2013 and 2014 she was recognised as one of the Top 40 under 40 in the media industry in South Africa by the Media Magazine, and in 2014 as one of the Mail & Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans, for her work as a columnist, a researcher of media policy and her activism.

Twitter: @jbjreid


Seamus Reynolds

Seamus has been hacking through the broadcast journalism jungle for nearly 20 years.
He’s currently eNCA’s Managing Editor, tasked with driving systems and processes, newsroom efficiencies, and innovation. Part of his experiments in transforming the 24-hour television news channel towards a pro-digital culture, is a mobile journalism bootcamp for 12 interns.
Having pushed the training agenda for many years, Seamus has recently been appointed Acting Managing Director of the eAcademy, a two-year-old training facility aimed specifically at developing skills within the media industry.
As if he doesn’t have enough on his plate, Seamus also manages to be the Operations Director for MMX.
Right now, he can’t figure out which is his favourite hobby – craft beer, travelling, or watching documentaries.

Twitter: @SeamusReynolds


Quaz Roodt

Poetry and Creative Writing Facilitator, University of Johannesburg/Likwid Tongue

Richard Quaz Roodt is a poet, activist and organizer. For the last seven years he has facilitated a creative writing and poetry class for the University of Johannesburg. He frequently hosts literary and sexual health talks with prisoners and young men and is also involved in numerous social outreach programs around Johannesburg.

Quaz’s poetry and essays have been published and translated in various South African and international anthologies, journals, magazines and newspapers. In 2009 he published his 1st collection of poetry: The Orange book Vol2. He has performed his poetry at various international festivals in Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Botswana Brazil as well as in all nine provinces of South Africa. He has released five audio projects, the latest in 2015 titled: The Incurable Likeness of Beings. Quaz also appears in numerous documentaries and short films. He Blogs at

Twitter: @QuazRoodt


Amy Selwyn

Consultant, Co-Founder of Storytegic

A native of West Hartford, Connecticut (USA), Amy has lived in New York, London, Rome and New Hampshire (USA). She says her nomadic roots are genetic in nature: her mother’s family hailed from Spain, resettled in Istanbul and ended up in Lithuania before heading to America. Amy holds degrees from Cornell University (BA) and New York University (MBA), and she counts some of the most prestigious news brands among her former employers, including The New York Times, The Associated Press and the BBC. Amy is the managing director of News Xchange, a prestigious international news event sponsored by the European Broadcasting Union.  Obsessed with well-told stories, Amy founded Storytegic in 2004 and is a frequent speaker on brand storytelling, especially for news organizations.

Twitter: @amyselwyn


Joe Tholoe

Executive Director, Press Council of South Africa

Joe Thloloe has been executive director of the Press Council of South Africa since February 2013. Before that he was the Press Ombudsman for five years.

Thloloe has been in the media industry for more than fifty years, starting in 1961 on the World newspaper. He has also worked for the Golden City Post, Drum, the Rand Daily Mail, Post Transvaal, and Sowetan, where he was deputy editor. He has also been editor-in-chief at SABC Television News and at e-tv.

Thloloe has been honoured with an iKhamanga in Silver Award by President Jacob Zuma. He also received an honorary doctorate in laws from Rhodes University in 2011 and another in literature from the University of the Witwatersrand this year. In 2012 he was honoured with the Nat Nakasa Award for courage and integrity in journalism by the South African National Editors’ Forum, Print and Digital Media South Africa and the Nieman Society of South Africa.

Among other awardsm Thloloe has received the Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University, the Louis Lyons Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism, as well as the Alan Kirkland Soga Lifetime Achievers Award at the Mondo Shanduka Awards in 2008. Thloloe was also given a Lifetime Achiever Award at the Vodacom Journalism Awards in 2013.

Twitter: @buddyinpress


Fran Unsworth: Keynote

Director of the World Service Group, BBC

Francesca Unsworth was appointed director of the BBC World Service Group in December 2014. In this role she leads the BBC’s global news services – BBC World Service, BBC World News and – as well as BBC Monitoring, and chairs the BBC’s international development charity, BBC Media Action. The BBC’s global news services have a weekly audience of 265m. Fran also acts as deputy to the director of News and Current Affairs and sits on the BBC’s Executive Team.

Fran began her journalistic career at the BBC in 1980 and has previously held high-profile roles including acting director of news and current affairs and head of newsgathering.