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The Writing Unit conducts training in written editorial content across the following platforms: newspapers, magazines, online, and mobile. The Unit offers short course skills training on Core, Advanced, Beat and Masters levels. Drawing on top journalism expertise, it offers consulting services and tailored solutions for clients, including training onsite and at the IAJ offices.

Running days 5


Past Student Comments:

Very rich in content, provides much resources for many years of meaningful effective reporting.


It is good to have a facilitator who thinks like a journalist.


The course exposed me to different issues in the energy sector in general. I had the opportunity to relate what I saw and gathered information for the Nigerian Energy Sector.


It was well organised and I think the whole objective of my participation was achieved.


Graeme Addison is a thorough teacher, motivator, organiser and intellectual of high standing. He... has been able to blend diverse this course. He does what he does with passion, interest and panache.

Powerlines: Reporting the African Energy Sector

From Monday 23 February 2015 - 08:45
To Friday 27 February 2015 - 16:00
Location : Richmond, Jhb
Who to Contact : Graeme Addison
Area of Concern: Writing Unit

The politics, pricing and technologies around power is becoming increasingly contentious and complex to report. 

A good understanding of the processes involved in the generation and distribution of electricity is vital to quality reporting on companies which create power, those who are heavily dependent on it, as well as various developmental issues.

This course covers:

  • Electricity generation, including thermal, hydro, renewables, nuclear, and new emerging technologies;
  • The specific strengths and weaknesses different modes of generation;
  • The complex politics of power generation in our region;
  • Pricing electricity for industry and home users;
  • Infrastructure development and theft;
  • Distribution issues;
  • An alternative trajectory for electricity development in South Africa; and,
  • Electricity as a rights issue.

During the course, site visits will be conducted to the Pelindaba power station and Sasolburg as well as facilities that produce green energies.  Experts from the different sites will address students. 

Who should attend:
This workshop is designed for journalists who cover all kinds of issues relating to electricity. Attention will be given to the physical production processes, transmission and distribution, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each method of power generation.

Facilitator's Description:

A newspaper and multimedia journalist and author of 40 years experience, having been mainly a popular science writer, publisher, and freelance. He has written 9 books on a range of science and technology topics including technology & innovation, medicine, health & fitness, the environment and planetary science. He has worked & trained journalists in dailies, weeklies, online magazines and radio broadcasting, and was also professor and head of a university department of communication in the mid-1990s. He has been involved in several projects to do with newspapers and community radio stations in Southern Africa, as well as research into digital media in Africa, and workshops on feature journalism. For the International Marketing Council of South Africa he organised and led two 10-day tours of the country (2005 and 2007) for science journalists and technology bloggers from Europe and America. As far as power and energy goes, he has written three books sponsored by Eskom (The Edge Series - SA science, technology and innovation 1900-2004).

Special session by Andrew Kenny who is a one of South Africa’s top expert in power and a consultant who also writes many articles for the media.