The Misinformation, Disinformation & False News in Africa Research Project is led by Dani Madrid-Morales (University of Houston) and Herman Wasserman (University of Cape Town). It compares the spread and reception of “fake news” across the continent, and investigates how it affects journalism.

This work is based on the research supported by the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences. 

Professor Herman Wasserman:

Herman Wasserman is Professor of Media Studies and Director of the Centre for Film and Media Studies at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He holds a doctorate from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, and worked as a journalist before starting an academic career. He has published widely on media in post-apartheid South Africa. His books include the monographs: The Ethics of Engagement: Media, Conflict and Democracy in Africa (Oxford University Press, forthcoming), Media, Geopolitics and Power: A View from the South (University of Illinois Press, 2018), Tabloid Journalism in South Africa  and the edited collections Media and Citizenship: Between Marginalisation and Participation (with Anthea Garman, HSRC Press 2017), Chinese Media and Soft Power in Africa: Promotion and Perceptions (with Xiaoling Zhang and Winston Mano, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016),  Media Ethics and Justice in a Global Age (with Shakuntala Rao, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), Reporting China in Africa (Routledge, 2014), Press Freedom in Africa: Comparative Perspectives (Routledge, 2013), Popular Media, Democracy and Development in Africa (Routledge, 2011), Media Ethics Beyond Borders (with Stephen J. Ward, Routledge, 2010). His awards include the Georg Foster Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Humboldt Foundation, the Neva Prize for Journalism Theory from the University of St Petersburg and the Stals Prize for Communication Studies from the South African Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns. He has held visiting positions at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich and at Tsinghua University in Beijing and has delivered invited lectures and keynote addresses around the world, including at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences,  Moscow State University, Yale University, Stanford University and the Finnish Institute of International Affairs in Helsinki. He is an elected Fellow of the International Communication Association and the Academy of Sciences of South Africa.

Wasserman is incoming Editor of the Annals of the International Communication Association, Editor-in-Chief of the academic journal African Journalism Studies, and Associate Editor of Communication Theory. He currently holds a B1 rating from the South African National Research Foundation. See his website here

Dr Danie Madrid-Morales:

Dr. Madrid-Morales is an assistant professor of journalism in the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication at the University of Houston. He holds a Ph.D. degree in media and communication from City University of Hong Kong, and M.A. degrees in international relations (Freie Universität, Berlin) and contemporary East Asian studies (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona). His research falls at the nexus of global media studies, international politics and popular culture, and is geographically focused in the Global South, particularly East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Madrid-Morales’ academic work has been published in top peer-reviewed journals such as Journalism Studies and the International Journal of Communication. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Universitat Popmpeu Fabra, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya and City University of Hong Kong. Before pursuing an academic career, Dr. Madrid-Morales, who is able to communicate in seven languages (in order of proficiency, Catalan, Spanish, English, French, Italian, Russian, Japanese and Chinese), worked as a broadcast journalist covering world affairs.