The main aim of this project is to investigate and gain insight, through a six-month study, the disruptions and opportunities to everyday mainstream news production wrought by the global outbreak of Covid-19 in three selected countries—South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Botswana. In the history of newsroom evolution, every disruption brought to the journalism profession has conversely been accompanied by opportunities which newsrooms are known to have exploited hitherto. This project seeks to investigate and understand the disruptions and opportunities to everyday mainstream news production brought by the global outbreak of Covid-19 in three selected countries. It seeks to do this by investigating newsroom practices and configurations in 12 selected newsrooms across the three countries. We focus on four newsrooms (two print and two television stations in each country). The project will, therefore, focus on five specific objectives: (1) Understand and gain insight into how Covid-19 has affected everyday news-gathering and production routines in selected broadcast and print media outlets in selected newsrooms across three countries; (2) provide a comprehensive description and analysis of the scale and nature of disruption and opportunities created in newsrooms across the three countries; (3) examine how journalists and media houses perceive the level of public trust from the audience; (4) understand how mainstream media organizations and journalists have responded to disinformation practices rampant in the news around the outbreak; (5) draw lessons on journalism and global crisis from other countries and examine how these can lead to better interventions.
Associate Professor, Journalism, Film and Television, University of Johannesburg
Lecturer, Midlands State University
Associate Professor and Head of School, University of Johannesburg
Senior Lecturer and Head of Department, University of Botswana
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Johannesburg