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CJN developed a Massive Open Online Course and it’s FREE


Do you want to grow your skill base in Community Journalism and promote your social cause? The Citizen Justice Network at Wits University developed a free Massive Open Online Course called “Activism and Citizen Journalism through Media. The course is designed to equip participants to produce a journalistic story using mobile media tools, to promote social justice.

Sign up here

The course has no entry requirements and is aimed at empowering activists to use social and traditional media to promote a social cause.

The course was developed in collaboration with the Centre for Learning, Teaching, and Development (CLTD), under the WitsX partnership.

The course is designed to equip participants to produce a journalistic story using mobile media tools, to promote social justice.

Participants will learn to: to identify newsworthy issues; define the limits and possibilities of different mobile platforms and tools, and identify an appropriate strategy and platform/tool to reach a defined target audience. The course also promotes ethical and safe media practices.

The course draws on the innovative work of the Citizen Justice Network.



Paul McNally is a journalist living in Johannesburg. He was a Knight Visiting Nieman Fellow in 2016 at Harvard University. He is the author of the non-fiction book The Street: Exposing a World of Cops, Bribes and Drug Dealers (which was long-listed for the Alan Paton – He is the Director of Citizen Justice Network (, a project that trains community paralegals to be radio journalists. He has won 11 journalism awards. For Wits Journalism he wrote, investigated and produced the radio and podcast series Alibi (

Akona Anati Zibonti has worked in communication, social media and journalism. She started as a freelance journalist for the City Gazette and later joined a social justice organisation, Khanya College. In 2014 she joined CMFD Production as a communication coordinator & sports journalist and in 2016 she joined SeeSayDo Advertising as a social media strategist.

Boikaego Dolphus Seadira is the Development Communication lecturer in the department of Wits Journalism and Media. The Development Communication is a Programme which examines new ways of interacting with journalists, as well as utilising social media platforms, speeches and publications to directly involve people in development of their initiatives. Boikaego provided consulting services to Government Communication and Information System on ICTs for rural development in the North West, the North West University Vaal campus radio, and the Central University of Technology campus radio. Boikaego is working on his PhD with the North West University; his thesis focuses on Broadband Policy and Regulation.

Sumeya Gasa is an award winning journalist, documentary filmmaker and researcher based in Johannesburg. Born and raised in Durban, Gasa later moved to Johannesburg where she completed her Bachelor of Arts in Performance and Visual Arts, majoring in Film & Television, Arts Management and Psychology. Gasa went on to work as a multimedia journalist, first, with News24 and later joining Chronicle. During her time at Chronicle, she and her co-workers produced the investigative multimedia feature, Casualties of Cola, which won the CNN Africa Journalist Award: Ecobank Economics category, Vodacom Journalist of the Year Regional Online Award and 3rd Prize at the Taco Kuiper Awards. Gasa completed her Master’s degree in Digital Arts and Interactive Media at the University of Witwatersrand. Her research topic investigates gentrification and the impact it has on generations of displaced families. At present, Gasa works as an investigative journalist and multimedia producer at the Wits Justice Project. She also teaches a writing course and multimedia story lining at the Market Photo Workshop.

Susan Stos began her career in educational publishing in Canada after attaining an Honours BA in English Literature (McMaster University). She later embarked on a career in television production and journalism while working in the newsroom of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Upon immigrating to South Africa, she became the first Producer/Director of Carte Blanche, a cutting edge weekly current affairs program. She went on to become executive producer of Carte Blanche Africa.

She has lectured post-graduate university students on Journalism Ethics and contributed to the academic textbook Communication and Media Ethics in South Africa. She wrote the module on Chequebook Journalism for the international Open School of Journalism, and continues to study extensively in the field of ethics.

She is currently lecturing, writing and updating a program she developed for schools entitled APPLY Ethics™, which teaches high school students how to make ethical decisions.

Itumeleng Bahetane is station manager of Voice of Wits FM, and sessional lecturer of Development Communication at Wits Journalism and of Social Media at the Wits Radio Academy. His research areas include Social Media and Digital Marketing; Development Communication; Broadcasting; and Content design and development.

Siyabonga Africa is the program officer of the South Africa Media Innovation Program.  Innovation is something that has been an interest of his since he began his media career at the University of Pretoria.  He has dabbled in storytelling since 2012 when he joined the local chapter of Hacks/Hackers in Johannesburg of which he is currently an executive member.

Teachers assistants

Sanet Oberholzer is currently studying towards an Honours degree in Journalism and Media Studies at Wits University with a specific focus on photography. She holds a Bachelors degree in Political Sciences and an Honours degree in International Relations from the University of Pretoria.

Tshego Mokgabudi is currently completing Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Journalism. He is a keen student, and always strives to achieve knowledge and skill through new learning experiences.