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Prof. Herman Wasserman

Related Publications

Wasserman, H. 2012. China in South Africa: the Media’s Response to a Developing Relationship
Chinese Journal of Communication 5(3):336-354
Abstract: The formal invitation extended to South Africa by China late in 2010 to join the BRIC formation of emerging economies (Brazil, Russia, India, and China)may be seen as a confirmation of the growing economic ties between China and South Africa. The expanded trade between these two countries allows South Africa an opportunity to meet its development needs. For China, the interest in South Africa as an emerging market forms part of its growing interest in Africa for resources, markets, and diplomatic support. However, this involvement has not been unequivocally welcomed. While China’s growing concern in Africa is seen as an opportunity by some for the continent to grow its economies and become a stronger presence in international markets, others are concerned that the economic boost that China brings to the African continent comes with too many strings attached. These critics are concerned that China’s controversial human rights record may pose a bad example for African countries, especially when China’s domestic policies lead to neutrality over human rights abuses in African countries where it seeks to establish links with the ruling elite. Some of these critics go as far as to say that China’s involvement in Africa constitutes a new type of imperialism and a “scramble for Africa.” This paper investigates how the South African media reports on China and how this reporting compares with the reporting on other BRIC countries to establish whether the negative views by international media of China’s involvement in Africa, as noted in the academic literature, also holds true of the South African media’s general views of China’s involvement in Africa.

Wasserman, H. 2013. China in Africa: The Implications for Journalism
Ecquid Novi: African Journalism Studies. 34(3):1-5

Editor of special issue Ecquid Novi: African Journalism Studies on ‘Reporting China in Africa’, November 2013

Popular news media

Wasserman, H. 2013. Birth of a New Communications Order
China Daily (Africa) 09 August.
Abstract: Globalization is flowing from the rest to the West, and the West will have to adapt. The global communications order is changing, and new theories of communication are needed to understand the changing global media landscape. This was a point researchers from all over the world made time and again as they presented academic papers at the annual conference of the International Association for Media and Communication Research, in Dublin, Ireland, recently.

Wasserman, H. 2013. What On Earth is Going On Downstairs?
China Daily (Africa) 31 May 2013.
Abstract: What on earth is going on downstairs? That's The question everyone should be asking about China's ties with Africa. International aid to Africa, and the way it is being reported in the media, remains controversial.

Wasserman, H. 2013. BRICS Through the Media’s Eyes
The Star 26 March p. 34
Abstract: There is little doubt that South Africa, as host country of the BRICS summit in Durban today and tomorrow, will grasp the opportunity to project itself as an emerging economy and take pride in its association with this prestigious club.Big international events such as this provide a strategic platform to boost the country's international image, and the summit will be a shiny affair. Hosting the summit will cost Durban ratepayers an estimated R10 million. Costs include banners, flags and branding material to impress visitors.,80314,en.html

Wasserman, H. 2013. Beyond the Tired Stereotypes
China Daily (Africa) 22 February. P.8
Abstract: Media outlets, part of the flow of capital between africa and china, helping to present a new picture

Wasserman, H. 2012. Partners in Cautious Optimism
China Daily (Africa) 21 December. P.8
Abstract: The formal invitation extended to South Africa by China late in 2010 to join the BRIC formation of emerging economies (Brazil, Russia, India and China) is a confirmation of the growing economic ties between China and South Africa.The expanded trade between these two countries is seen by many as an opportunity for South Africa to meet its development needs. For China, the interest in South Africa as an emerging market forms part of its growing interest in Africa for resources, markets and diplomatic support. But this involvement has not been unequivocally welcomed.


South Africa and China as BRICS partners: media perspectives on geopolitical shifts
Wasserman, H. 2012, keynote address
Conference ‘The Future of Global Communication and Journalism’ Tsinghua University, Beijing, December.

South African media: local contests and global shifts
Seminar ‘How Emerging States are Re-Shaping the Global Order’.
Wasserman, H. 2012, invited seminar presentation
Finnish Institute of International Affairs. Helsinki, Finland. 13 November.

South Africa’s membership of BRICS: media perspectives
Wasserman, H. 2012, Invited participant in roundtable on media in BRICS countries
Moscow Readings conference, Moscow State University, Russia, November.

Charting the future of global journalism: China’s soft power in Africa
Wasserman, H., Mano, W. , Zhang, X. 2013
Future of Journalism conference, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, 12-13 September.
Abstract: The future of global journalism will shaped by the changing geopolitics which include the rise of  the BRICS alignment of emerging states (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).These shifts are already impacting on journalism in these regions. The involvement of China in Africa has been especially controversial. China's quest for resources has been seen by some critics as a new imperialist 'scramble for Africa' that could have negative consequences for the deepening of democracy on the continent, if China's attitude towards press freedom would be adopted by their new African trade partners. China’s intervention in African media in recent years includes greatly increasing media presence in Africa: Xinhua news agency operates from Nairobi and is widely accessible; China's television station CCTV also has its base in Kenya, while China Daily's African edition is published from Johannesburg. As important platforms for the promotion of soft power, large investments are being poured into official media organizations to improve their reporting and broadcasting, including exchange programmes and training for African journalists. How has this 'soft power' offensive of China impacted on journalism in African countries? This paper draws on fieldwork in three countries – South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya – to assess the representation of China's involvement in African media, the perceptions of journalists and editors of China's soft power strategy and the implications of these developments for the liberal democracy model of journalism and media systems in Africa and further afield in the new emerging regions of the globe.

South African approaches towards media development in the region and perceptions of Chinese activities
Wasserman, H. 2013, invited address to the Forum Media and Development, Berlin, Germany, October.