It cannot be disputed that 2022 was an eventful year for news outlets. The invasion of Ukraine; a global rise in inflation; the death of prominent figures, not only in the entertainment industry, but also major international personalities such as Queen Elizabeth II; and the intensified effects of climate change, among other things, dominated the headlines as the world’s population crossed the milestone of 8 billion people.
Domestically, South Africa was bombarded with escalating load-shedding, political turmoil and deepening social and economic challenges. All these kept journalists and reporters in print, broadcast and online media on their toes and the gears of presses and newsrooms in overdrive.
The North-West University (NWU) also had its share of events in the spotlight from January to December 2022. In fact, judging by the total of 10 484 print, broadcast and online articles with a combined advertising value equivalency (AVE) of R585 466 849 in 2021, there was a major spike in the NWU’s news coverage. According to the media monitoring agency MarketIQ, the NWU’s total articles increased by more than 4 000 to 14 528, resulting in an AVE of R610 251 693. This means an impressive growth in AVE of R24 784 844.
It was the good and the bad that kept the NWU in the media’s sights during 2022. This included alumnus Arrie Rautenbach becoming Absa’s chief executive officer; Prof Raymond Parsons of the NWU’s School of Business and Governance frequently commenting on pivotal economic happenings in South Africa; various high-profile sports events and the tragic deaths of valued NWU students.
Issues surrounding sport featured the most, followed by events, alumni, student affairs, economics, politics, and research. The sports and economics categories were the highest AVE earners for the NWU, with R118 675 020 and R89 346 416 respectively.
The media regularly quoted and featured Prof Bismark Tyobeka, the NWU’s principal and vice-chancellor and one of the leading nuclear power experts in the world.
NWU experts Prof Raymond Parsons of the NWU’s School of Business and Governance (840 media items), Prof André Duvenhage (418), Prof Piet Croucamp (211), and Prof Linda du Plessis (179) were also prominent in media items.
It is especially in the online news environment that the NWU featured with 4 064 news items, followed by the print media (2 746) and broadcast media (1 249).
Considering the NWU’s prominence in the media in 2022, it promises to be a sure thing that the university will continue to make headlines as it continues its journey to be an internationally recognised university in Africa and the world, known for excellence, quality education and exceptional research and innovations.