South African New Media and Tune Me What?

From left to right: Roland Stanbridge, Monty Cooper, me, Brett Lock and Guy Berger
From left to right: Roland Stanbridge, Monty Cooper, me, Brett Lock and Guy Berger

Above is a group of New Media people from the Rhodes University Department of Journalism and Media Studies in about 1995. We were quite a groundbreaking lot.

From left to right:

Roland Stanbridge who came from Sweden to head the New Media Lab. He arranged for me to travel to Stockholm to present a paper on the internet and its impact on journalism and democracy in Africa. That is how I met my husband, and why I moved to Sweden.

Next to him is Monty Cooper who headed up Photojournalism. He died of malaria eleven years ago because we had no liquid quinine or ambulance service to the nearest large hospital at that time. Nowadays better systems are in place to prevent a similar tragedy.

Beside him is me – the only woman at that time in New Media in Africa. I developed and taught the first CARR (Computer Aided Research and Reporting) course in Africa

Next to me is Brett Lock who developed a search engine specifically for South African news media. It was called Gogga. Both Brett and I used to manually (and then with very rudimentary editors) code and build sites, though I didn’t have the instinct for layout and design that Brett did. I had a way more technical background and very little flair for design.

Next to Brett is Guy Berger, the Head of Department. He really drove for new media to be part of the curriculum, which was very much against the prevailing tide in those days. He is now Director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development at UNESCO.

So, back to Brett. Brett was always very much a musician. He was in a band called One Large Banana which had quite a bit of success in South Africa at the time. He has a lovely dry sense of humour and was a dream to work with. I can remember him helping me carry whole laboratories of computers back to the department in the dark. Thanks Brett!

So I am so happy to tell you about Brett and Leon’s project called Tune Me What? Their blog is here and is described as: 

Tune Me What? is podcast and blog by Brett Lock and Leon Lazarus that highlights South African music and artists at home and around the world.

Through our podcast and blog we dig into the history of South African music, unearth hidden gems and keep you up to date on tours and events.

Tune Me What? was chosen by Esquire Magazine as one of “21 Essential Podcasts” in their “Best of 2013″ review. I very much agree that if the movie Sugarman awoke an interest in South African music of that period, this is the place to go. Brett and Leon ferret it out for you and curate it with their love of South African music evident in every choice:




Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

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