Herman Wasserman is a Professor of Media Studies in the Centre for Film and Media Studies at the University of Cape Town. He holds a doctorate from the University of Stellenbosch, and has worked as a newspaper journalist before starting his academic career. He has published widely on media in post-apartheid South Africa. His books include the monograph Tabloid Journalism in South Africa (Indiana University Press, 2010; winner of the Rhodes Vice-Chancellor’s Book Award) and the edited collections Reporting China in Africa (forthcoming, Routledge 2014), Press Freedom in Africa: Comparative Perspectives (Routledge, 2013), Popular Media, Democracy and Development in Africa (Routledge, 2011) and Media Ethics Beyond Borders (with Stephen J. Ward, Routledge, 2010), amongst others.
He has published or co-published more than 55 scholarly articles in peer-reviewed journals and more than 35 scholarly book chapters.
Prof Wasserman’s previous appointments were at the Universities of Stellenbosch, Rhodes, Newcastle and Sheffield. He has held a Fulbright research fellowship at Indiana University in the US, has twice been elected a fellow of the media ethics colloquia hosted by the University of Missouri, was a guest lecturer at Tsinghua University in Beijing and an invited speaker at Yale University in the US, the Africa Study Centre in Leiden, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs in Helsinki and the Forum for Media Development in Berlin.
Prof Wasserman edits the academic journal Ecquid Novi: African Journalism Studies published by Taylor and Francis, and sits on the editorial boards of nine other international journals. He has served as external examiner for Universities in South Africa, Ghana, Zimbabwe, India, Australia and the United Kingdom and has refereed for various local and international journals and major book publishers such as Sage, Routledge, Wiley-Blackwell and Cambridge University Press. He has acted as a reviewer for proposals submitted to various research programmes, including the South African Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa/Norway Research Co-operation Programme, the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Qatar National Research Fund.
Prof Wasserman convenes a specialist panel for the South African National Research Foundation (NRF)’s Evaluation and Rating Procedure. He currently holds a B2 rating by the National Research Foundation, denoting “Researchers who enjoy considerable international recognition by their peers for the high quality and impact of their recent research outputs”.
He heads the International Communication Section of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR), and is an elected member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (Assaf) and of the South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF). He has participated in several research collaborations funded by amongst others the European Union’s FP7 framework, the British Academy, the UK Economic and Social Research Council, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Academy of Finland, and the Chiang-Ching Kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange in Taiwan. He is a founding member of the Global media Ethics Roundtables that have met in Stellenbosch, Dubai, Delhi and Beijing.
He continues to act as an occasional journalist, by writing opinion pieces for media such as the Mail & Guardian, Daily Maverick and China Daily.