An admirable career in African journalism and media studies

Admire Mare holds a PhD in Journalism and Media Studies from Rhodes University. His thesis explored how politically engaged youth used Facebook as a platform for political action in a hybrid and democratic regime, and his study population was drawn from youth organisations in South Africa and Zimbabwe. This work with young people has stood him in good stead, and he now holds the role of Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and Media (CAM) at the University of Johannesburg, having previously been a Global Excellence in Stature (GES) Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the same university. Mare has published two co-edited and co-authored books, Participatory Journalism in Africa: Digital News Engagement in the Global South (with Hayes Mabweazara) and Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding in Africa (with Jacinta Maweu). His online biographies note that he has published articles on business journalism ethics in Africa, the creative appropriation of ICTs by clandestine radio stations in Zimbabwe, social media and social movements in Southern Africa, youth and political participation in the era of social media, and the intersection of social and mainstream media in the coverage of social protests in Southern Africa.

Mare’s research focuses on media innovation and entrepreneurship, platformisation of news and journalism, relationship between publishers and platforms, integration of artificial intelligence in African newsrooms, and journalism ethics. On the media studies front, Mare focuses on social media studies, mis/disinformation studies, surveillance studies, digital campaigns, media and democracy, media and conflict studies, youth studies, social movements in the digital age, and political communication in the Global South. 

Mare describes himself as “a thought leader, a creative and disruptive thinker, a skilled networker, and an eternal optimist whose scholarship foregrounds the creative uses of media by situated actors in various contexts.” He is also the founder of Dinari Mentorship Programme, the main thrust of which is to empower young people to reach and exceed their full potential. Mare is an accomplished research fundraiser, having received funding for various initiatives and research projects from Osisa, Codesria and the Social Science Research Council amongst others. In his email sharing the news of his JMS50 Alumni award from the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University, Mare continues to inspire and empower youth towards success, noting that “your background is not your destination, your smallness is not an end in itself, your past failures do not define you, your ruralness is not a handicap. Your journey is for you and for you alone.”