A four-decade history of preparing the next generation of industry experts.
Students are provided with an unparalleled working environment as far as scenic beauty and ambience are concerned, allowing them to pursue their studies with the zest it deserves.
When Cillié founded the department in 1978, it was one of his biggest goals to help establish journalism in South Africa as a respected and professional occupation. This ideal was carried forward after Cillié’s retirement at the end of 1983 by his successor and ex-editor of Beeld, Prof. Johannes Grosskopf. Grosskopf also witnessed how the international communications revolution shook the world and the department had to adapt accordingly in order to survive. Once beloved and trustworthy typewriters were swept aside and replaced by computer screens and keyboards. After Grosskopf’s retirement at the end of 1993 to travel the world, his successor, Prof George Claassen, has seen to it that the department has remained in step with the latest technological advances that could be of benefit to journalists. Under Claassen’s leadership, the department has placed a high premium on computer literacy, as well as Internet literacy. Students receive intensive training on how to utilise the Internet for research purposes. His successor, Prof Lizette Rabe, also an alumnus of the first class of 1978, emphasises the need for multi-skilled journalists for a dynamic, morphing multi-media world where converging technology is the name of the game.
In 1995 the students started to publish their own magazine, Stellenbosch Journalism Insight. This was replaced in 2002 by the launching of a new yearly publication, Stellenbosch Media Forum, commonly known by the students as SMF. The honours class also started to produce LIP in 2006 to report on the annual US Woordfees. In 2017 LIP changed into a publication aimed at promoting and reporting on media freedom.
In 2017 the students launched their own news website, SMF NEWS . Real news that is relevant and accessible to the residents and the students of Stellenbosch and surrounds. An independent, dynamic, and fast-paced digital news publication reporting on a wide variety of news and current affairs.