CPUT Journalism

CPUT Journalism

CPUT Journalism, Thomas Jefferson wrote that ‘the cornerstone of democracy rest on the foundation of an educated electorate’… and our Journalism programme takes this responsibility very seriously.
We feel that South Africa, as a republic in transition, requires civic-minded journalists with a strong sense of ethics and a deep-seated respect for constitutional values and diversity… including diversity of opinion. We encourage debate and dissent as we push students to interrogate their own and others’ beliefs in a manner that opens space for dialogue in classes and in their future careers.
Working in the media requires mastery of many inter-connected skills and so we have integrated our courses more than ever before as lecturers work closely together to prepare students for the demands of the market while expanding their perspectives of global media. So, for example, students simulate the work of pundits by engaging in televised debates for Broadcast while drawing on information from Political Theory and using grammatical and rhetorical skills acquired in English.
This in-depth approach to topical issues is then translated into professional practices that simulate workplace conditions as students produce material for print, radio and television.

Class projects

Hole in the Head: Our newest publication is the pride of the first-year class which is made up of ambitious students who are determined to out-do their predecessors. So far, they’re giving the senior students a run for their money as the first edition of HitH includes a feast of features and opinion pieces on almost any topic you could imagine.
CPUT Buzz: Still in its genesis, this is a bi-weekly student tabloid that focusses on campus events and issues. This is where our students test their investigative skills as they poke and prod under the ‘hood’ of the institution, ruffling a few feathers along the way. It is also a chance for students to hone their Design skills on the industry-standard software InDesign while demonstrating the potentially awesome power and responsibilities of the Fourth Estate.
Catalyst: More a blog portal than an online magazine, Catalyst pushes students to produce text every week. The wide range of topics and increased frequency of news cycle serves a ‘final polishing’ function for students as they prepare for their internships in industry. The current version awaits the return of its authors from their six-month stints at some of Cape Town’s most prestigious media establishments.
GAS: Launched in 2013 by the then-first-year students, GAS is a monthly online magazine that includes a dizzying range of topics, both local and international. Every few issues is called GAS Politics and focusses on the ‘boiling sea’ of the world of politics – from Washington filibusters to the rise of the E.F.F. See past issues at:
Career Opportunities
More than just working in media, any graduate will be trained to communicate with skill and grace, thus enabling them to work in any Communication-related field.
Find out more about the National Diploma: Journalism
Find out more about the BTech: Journalism

Qualifications and subjects

National Diploma

Year 1

News Reporting 1: Covers traditional Journalism in terms of Beat Reporting while incorporating the massive changes caused by the arrival of the Internet and the rise of New Media.

  • News Writing: The basics of acquiring information for the writing of articles. Teaches students how to interact with sources in order to supply the five ‘W’s and one ‘H’.
  • Online Media: The role of social media and online publishing in acquiring and distributing information.
  • Database: How to manage information resources, from effective filing to basic research methods.

Media Production 1: Explores the role of multimedia in telling stories.

  • Radio: The history, theory and practice of Radio Journalism, with particular focus on how it differs from Print.
  • Editing & Sound: How to produce and refine audio clips both in technical terms and in the context of the modern radio station.
  • Photojournalism: How to take good pictures and integrate them into articles effectively, with a particular focus on developing Visual Literacy.

Media Communication 1: Expands students’ knowledge of the modern world and how it was made.

  • Media Law: A basic overview of South Africa’s Media laws, including case studies, which are then placed in a global context.
  • Politics: Basic political theory that is then grounded in current events. Students write and explore the theoretical context and background of their political articles.
  • Mass Communication and Ethics: Covers              the role, power and hence responsibilities of the fourth Estate in theoretical and practical terms.
  • News Awareness: Students bring short accounts of unfolding events to class debates that establish the significance of stories in a wider ‘News’ context.

Media Information Management: Control of languages and their role in the Media.

  • End User Computing: Basic computing for the modern newsroom, from efficient word-processing to Web Design.
  • English: Mainly grammar and writing with a sprinkling of theory.
  • Afrikaans/iXhosa: Students choose a language to refine, particularly in terms of journalistic jargon.

Year 2

Advanced Reporting 2:  Develops students’ ability to tell stories that matter.

  • Investigative Reporting: How to find information that someone doesn’t want found.
  • Online Media: Updates traditional journalistic methods to accommodate shifts in the fast-evolving world of New Media.

Media Production 2: Expands students’ skillsets as they explore various platforms and platforms.

  • Feature & Review: Teaches students how to write articles that use sources to express opinions effectively.
  • Editing & Design: A practical course that develops Design skills with a focus on specific software packages.
  • Broadcast: The theory and practice of producing clips for television or the internet.

Media Communication 2: Deepens student’s understanding of the theory and history behind their stories.

  • Politics: Focusses political theory onto contemporary events in order to enable students to insightfully read and write political copy.
  • Mass Communication and Ethics: Places practical analysis of newsroom practice in a wider context by examining the opportunities and dangers posed by the Media.
  • Business Reporting: Enables students to read and produce analysis of the world of Finance and Economics.
  • English 2: Refines students’ ability to use English with grace and precision.

Year 3

Advanced Reporting 3:

  • Political Economy: Refines students’ understanding of the underlying currents in Media by examining the impact of profit in publishing.
  • TV Production: Develops and extend students’ ability to produce material for televion or the internet while placing their work in a wider theoretical framework.

Media Production 3: Refines students ability to produce work of the highest quality across platforms.

  • Editing & Design: Polishing students’ aesthetic and technological grip on Design.
  • Feature & Review: A multi-genre analysis of how to optimally integrate fact and opinion writing.


  • Research Project: How to write a Research Proposal and a fifty-page thesis on a Media-related topic.
  • Editorial Management: How to manage a modern media organisation in both practical and theoretical terms – from handling diversity to providing useful content-editing.
  • Specialist Reporting: How to optimally pursue one’s specialisation in terms of form, content and function.