The education and training sub-committee has been the most consistently active in Sanef, tackling long-term projects and producing some concrete outcomes.

The committee first dealt with the need for closer links between educators and industry, with conferences organised by the Rhodes University Department of Journalism and Media Studies in 1997 and 1998. The conferences looked at journalism for the new South Africa.

In 2000, training came to the fore again over issues of race and falling journalism standards.

Setting policy

Noting that the education and training of journalists was integral to media freedom, human rights and transformation, Sanef’s 2000 annual general meeting initiated skills audits of working journalists and adopted this policy:

  • The purpose of education and training must be the improvement of journalism
  • Ongoing training is the right of every journalist
  • Training is a continuous process that should occur throughout a journalist’s career. It should not be seen as only for junior journalists or as being demeaning
  • Media training does not involve just technical or skills training, but should incorporate social/ethical/political components and be holistic

Unit Standards and National Diploma in Journalism NQF Level 5

As part of our mission to advance the quality of journalism in South Africa, Sanef was active in lobbying to have the first Unit Standards in Journalism gazetted in 2003.

Sanef kept a close watch as the country set up a national qualifications framework (NQF), the South African Qualifications Authority, national standards bodies, sector education and training authorities (Setas), standards-generating bodies (SGBs), the Print Media Advisory Committee, which became the Print Media Chamber, and the Film and Electronic Media Advisory Committee.

In the process, Sanef influenced how journalism was represented in policy and on a practical level.

For more information about Unit Standards and the Diploma in Sub-Editing and Certificate in Practical Reporting, please vist the MAPPP-Seta website

Skills audits

Sanef conducted two national audits of journalism skills aimed at understanding where skills gaps existed. 

Phase One, related to reporters, was completed in May 2002. In September that year, a follow up National Skills Indaba was held in Stellenbosch. This was aimed at developing training initiatives in response to skills deficits identified in Phase One of the audit.

Phase Two of the skills audit, relating to first-line news managers, was completed in May 2005. Documents relating to both skills audits can be read or downloaded in the publications section.

Sanef has published a number of training guides, which can be read and downloaded in the publications section.

Further, we have collated a comprehensive list of large South African tertiary education institutions offering journalism courses as well as in-house cadet programmes offered by some media houses. Sanef does not offer bursaries or scholarships. The list is not an endorsement of any institution, but a tool to assist people interested in a career in the media.