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AZA3808: Investigative journalism in the South African and African context

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate – Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal datesfor the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.




Mr Tula Dlamini


South Africa

  • First semester 2018 (On-campus)


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units.




The unit offers students the opportunity to undertake an in depth study and learn about the research and reporting practices required for thorough and detailed investigative reporting. It explores primary documentary and database sources and uses contemporary case studies, key institutions, and legal frameworks to better understand key elements of investigative reporting in the South African and African contexts. It places present day events and practices in broader historical and geographical contexts, and critically examines the professional and social implications and accountabilities of investigative reporting in this specialized field of journalism.


On successful completion of the unit students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate an ability to identify and research an investigative story, conduct interviews and gather appropriate evidentiary material in a suitable medium
  2. demonstrate an ability to report clearly and concisely on an investigation and display the ability to use factual data in a meaningful ways by using a variety of approaches
  3. recognise and critically evaluate key ethical and legal requirements associated with investigative journalism in South Africa and Africa and demonstrate their ability to reflect critically on their own and others’ performance
  4. work independently and collaboratively in learning and production processes, including online forums, to produce investigative reports
  5. demonstrate their capacity to report under pressure and in a timely fashion
  6. demonstrate an awareness of South African, African and international events relevant to current and recent issues and media related issues
  7. demonstrate critical insight into the competencies, limitations and social and professional implications of reporting practices in the field of investigative journalism.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

Chief examiner(s)

Mr Tula Dlamini

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Journalism studies – South Africa

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