William Bird & Thandi Smith

William Bird is director of Media Monitoring Africa. He started with some part time monitoring for the Media Monitoring Project, now Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) in 1995 and after leaving television joined the MMA as a researcher. At MMA William has overseen or been directly involved in over 100 media monitoring projects on subjects ranging from gender based violence, HIV, and racism to children and the media. William has also completed overseeing the data analysis of the biggest civil society media monitoring exercise in the world the Global Media Monitoring Project. For this project over 100 countries monitored gender around the world. William was appointed an Ashoka fellow in 2009 and also a Linc Fellow in 2010 for his work focused on childrens participation in the media. Thandi Smith has worked for Media Monitoring Africa for about seven years and has headed the Policy & Quality Programme for the last three years. The programme focuses on a range of issues including media policy, regulation and quality journalism. Smith holds a Masters degree in Media Studies, obtained from the University of the Witwatersrand. Her dissertation examined issues of universal access in South Africas digital migration. She also obtained an Honours degree in Media Studies from the same institution.