For Prof Guy Berger (December 2010)
Professor Berger served as head of the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University, South Africa, 1994-2010.
He is active in media training and press freedom networks in southern Africa, and was twice elected as deputy chair of the South African National Editors Forum, (2002-4). He has also represented SANEF on the Mappp-Seta, an industry training body. By February 2009, he had written 40 books and chapters therein, published 50 journal articles, and delivered almost 200 conference presentations.
Berger conceptualised and drove the development of the Africa Media Matrix, the new home of the School as of 2006. He also initiated the New Media Lab at Rhodes and the Sol Plaatje Media Leadership Institute. In 2010, he oversaw the hosting of the 2nd World Journalism Education Congress at Rhodes University. He has secured five funded chairs in the School of Journalism. In 2000, he won a Fulbright scholarship to the USA to research "African journalism training in an age of globalization and the Internet". In 2001/2, he secured a Fulbright Alumni Initiative Award. In 2003, he oversaw the acquisition of the community newspaper Grocotts' Mail as a novel training platform for students and a service to the local community.
He has a PhD from Rhodes University (1989), and his research covers: media coverage of poverty; multi-media and new media issues; media policy issues; the impact of media training; South Africa's alternative press; African media and democracy; and race and the media.
His media experience includes editorship of New Era magazine and South weekly newspaper in Cape Town. He also set up Afravision - a television production/-distribution company based in London. In 2003, he was made an associate of the World Technology Network in recognition of his work in improving journalism on the continent through championing the annual Highway Africa conference, marking its 15th year in 2011.
Berger was appointed a fellow of the industry body, Print Media South Africa,
and was awarded the Nat
Nakasa prize by the SA National Editors Forum, Print Media SA and the
Nieman Foundation South Africa. He is convenor of the Mondi
Shanduka Newspaper Journalism Awards, and also serves as a judge on the
Caxton Newspapers Journalism Awards, and the Telkom
ICT Journalist of the Year Awards.
He speaks English and Afrikaans and is currently learning isiXhosa. He was jailed as a political prisoner (1980-1983), and later forced into exile (1985-1990).