Maxwell Mthembu - BA (UNISWA); MA (Natal)
Telephone: +44(0)29 208 75688
Location: Room 1.24, Bute Building
Maxwell was approved for the award of PhD in March 2009
Development Studies and the Internet in Swaziland and South Africa.
The advent of the New Media (Internet and Mobile Phones), especially in the late 80s and early 90s saw a lot of countries embracing these new technologies for their advancement economically, socially and politically. Such technologies brought about rewards for some countries especially in the developed world in many aspects of social life.
As a result of the benefits brought about by these new media, there were similar expectations from developing nations in Latin America, Asia and Africa. However, no significant changes have been brought about by these media in developing countries. Instead, there have been a lot of disparities between the developed and developing nations and among developing countries themselves. Within national boundaries similar disparities have been witnessed with urban elites taking advantage of these technologies and the poor watching bemused.
My study seeks to establish whether or not the New Media can bring about social, political, cultural and economic development within developing countries, in particular the SADC region, as has been witnessed in Industrial Nations.
Moreover, the study seeks to:
- Find out the challenges and constraints facing the SADC region resulting in the continent lagging behind in the information highway;
- Ascertain whether or not under the prevailing conditions (socio-political and economic) facing the Southern Africa the new media can be a catalyst for development.
- Ascertain whether or not policies and regulatory framework in SADC countries, on the new media, are in line with priority issues of national development;
- Find out the level of awareness of the new media and the benefits it is likely to bring with it;
- Ascertain the level of infrastructure that could facilitate the use of these media by both rural and urban populations;
- Ascertain compatibility of the information on the Internet and the needs and aspirations of the people at grassroots level;
- Map a way of how the new media could be mobilized to enhance socio, political, cultural and economic development.
Supervisor: Professor Terry Threadgold
Media coverage of development issues (poverty, health), ICT and Social Change, Media Law & Ethics, Online Journalism, New Media Policy and Regulation
- Good Governance in Swaziland (1999)
- An Assessment of trends in Programming on Public Radio and Television (Public Broadcaster) in Swaziland, (2001)
- A critical analysis of journalism training in Swaziland (2003)
- A vernacular (SiSwati) HIV/AIDS campaign for PSI Swaziland (2003)
- Service Delivery in the Swaziland Public Service (2003/2004)
- A needs assessment survey determining the form, manner and viability of a youth magazine in Swaziland (2003)
- A situational analysis of HIV/AIDS in Swaziland (2004)
- An audience research on gender mainstreaming in the Swazi media (2004)
MA Dissertation Title:
An Assessment of the Effectiveness of HIV/AIDS Information Campaigns on Attitudes and Behaviour Change on Radio in Swaziland.
Maxwell Mthembu has practised as a journalist for print media and radio. He worked as a reporter and international news sub-editor for a privately-owned weekly newspaper, the Times of Swaziland Sunday. After four years working for the Times he left and joined the state-owned national radio, Radio Swaziland (Swaziland Broadcasting and Information Service). At Radio Swaziland he was employed as a DJ, news reader and news reporter. His responsibilities included, among others, producing and hosting a phone-in programme on socio-political and economic issues, a programme which was later banned in June 1999 by the authorities for tackling controversial issues that touched on the upper echelons of society. In January 2000, he joined the University of Swaziland as lecturer in Journalism and Mass Communication where he taught development communication, media ethics, and media studies.
“A Journalist’s Responsibility” – Seminar hosted by the Swaziland National Association of Journalists in Pigg’s Peak, October 2000.
“Coverage of Health Issues by the Media in Swaziland” - Workshop hosted by the World Health Organisation in March 2001.
“Community and Public Media: The Panacea for Poverty Alleviation in Swaziland?” A paper presented at a seminar on poverty in the SADC region, hosted by the History Department (UNISWA) and UNESCO in February 2002.
“Hostages of the South African media: A critical analysis of the dominance of the South African media in Swaziland”, A paper ‘presented’ at the University of Natal in May 2002.
“ICT Poverty in the Southern African Development Community (SADC)?” A paper presented at the Development Studies Association Conference in Milton Keynes, September 2005.